March, April & May 2014 Report

Welcome to the report, covering March, April & May 2014.


Volunteer drilling bolt holes in a new section of plate for 25's ashpan

Although the blog has been quiet and hasn't been updated since February this doesn't mean the Saturday Gang haven't made any progress, quite the opposite! The editor has had his exams / end of year exams recently so hasn't had time to sit down and update. Hopefully this latest blog post will put that right. 

The K&ESR has begun to run trains again and because the DMU has been out of action for essential repairs, a second steam loco has been required. Normally on our quieter times of year we only use one steam loco with the MK1 set. Though it increases the amount of running maintenance it is good to see our smaller locos getting a run out. 

The Saturday Gang has been kept occupied with various items of running maintenance and of course progressing n.o 25 Northiam ever closer to completion: 

25 Northiam

Saturday Gang discussing further works on 25's ashpan
The overhaul has taken some quite big steps forward since the last report. The big ends were retrieved from the storage container (and made quite a lengthy journey on a trolley into the workshop, see the video report). The conrods have been refitted and the motion is now fully reassembled. We barred the loco backward and forward to check that everything moves freely. We have also begun to fit some of the other non motion components such as the sand pipes. This is a large milestone in the overhaul as we can now start the final preparations to reunite the boiler and frames.

A major task that has been occupying us for the past couple of months is the repair of the ashpan. This box sits underneath the firebox and collects the ask from the fire. As you can imagine the heat and ashes corrode and distort it over time. Much wasted platework has had to be replaced, a new lid and bracket have been manufactured. Perhaps this doesn't sound much but it has taken much careful and time consuming effort. The ashpan will ultimately be fitted beneath the boiler. It's another piece in a very large jigsaw puzzle. The series of photos below shows the various different works / skills that have been used in this project. 

Measuring and squaring off platework

Marking out holes to be drilled

Grinding off weld excess

Cutting slots for the door mechanism to fit

Smoothing out the slots with an angle grinder

Works on 25's ashpan so far!

DS238 Wainwright

DS238 - note the lobo staging in front of the loco
The overhaul continues, repairs on the boiler are ongoing. To facilitate the works required on the cylinders and motion some lobo staging has been erected. This creates a safe platform from which to work. 

753 P Class

753 P Class - note needle gunned front frames
A little progress has been made, some needle gunning has been carried out on the frames (as you can see from the photo). Some more of the P's many components have been cleaned and stored. As has been written before though, this project is a low priority and most of the loco dept's attention is focused elsewhere. 

In the works / news at Rolvenden

32670 Bodiam: In service

32670 Bodiam in the yard
32678 Knowle: In service

32678 Knowle - receiving repairs prior to a return to traffic

12 Marcia: The boiler has now been lifted out of the frames so remedial work can take place on the firebox.

12 Marcia's boiler - now removed from the frames

14 Charwelton: Charwelton has been receiving a number of repairs over the past few months, we have assisted in the program of repairs. Tasks such as renewing firebars, rebuilding the brick arch and refitting the firehole door guard have been undertaken.

14 Charwelton under repair
376 Norwegian: In service 

376 Norwegian - running up to Tenterden for the evening Pullman

23 Holman F Stephens: The Saturday Gang has carried out a number of repairs to n.o 23 over the past month. The sand boxes were heavily corroded so were removed, repaired and refitted. N.o 23 has also had a bit of a bend in the running plate for a while (where it came from we're not quite sure!) so whilst she was out of traffic we took the opportunity to straighten the plate. A new injector valve had been procured and the Saturday Gang assisted in installing the joints and fitting the new injector in place.

Volunteer curing the bend in the running plate!

24 Rolvenden: Readers may or may not be aware that for some time n.o 24 Rolvenden has been up for sale. The latest news is that the loco is close to being sold, the deal may be confirmed shortly. Though currently we know little more than you do! 

24 Rolvenden - in slightly happier settings than it's current location

1638: In service

1638 in the yard

6619: In service

6619 ready for traffic

65 Maunsell: The loco is currently being prepared for another spell on loan away from the K&ESR. Location is to be confirmed.

65 Maunsell & 23 Holman F Stephens in the yard

Videos / Photos 

March 2014 Report:

April 2014 Report: 

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Many thanks for reading, 

Saturday Gang 

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