Sunday, 19 February 2012

Alot of Work at Shackerstone...

"Firebox Work" (by C.Simmons)
Hello all. This morning at 9:30am in the bright sunshine I drove down the muddy driveway towards Shackerstone station. After parking up I signed on before heading down to the loco works, discovering 3803, "Sir Gomer" & "Blue Circle" inside. It was very chilly so, as I was first in, I lit two of the three shed stoves. The rest of the team arrived over the course of the next hour and work soon got going. After helping Mic with "Blue Circle" for a while, I joined Adrian on the slumbering 3803. The main job today on her was to clear out the tender coalspace, brush it, wash it and then repaint it black...just a simple tidy-up job really. By 3:30pm, we had finished. BEFORE...
AFTER...
The tender did look much tidier: nice and clean. The fact that we are going to drop about 4-ton of coal on it next week did seem a bit of a shame though! Whilst we worked on 3803, work was continuing on the other two engines. "Blue Circle" was having another shaft removed for gear trimming before final refitting and, hopefully, a return to service. "Sir Gomer" was meanwhile having her two eccentric sheaths removed for checking. Regular readers will remember that when she returned from Cholsey her two drivers-side eccentrics were loose on the sheath. This could not only affect the valve timing but could also bend the straps or ruin the faces. When removed (luckily) there was no damage spotted so we think that they can be refitted as they are, but with a shim added to make them run true. The loco will hopefully be running again within a month or two, as and when. I popped into the Peckett's firebox as well today, measuring up for the new brich arch bars & blocks. From atop the tender of 3803, we can see blue skies overhead and Reas toiling away doing the D-Veg on the right...

Elsewhere on the site, the Lambert family's Class 04 had burst into life again and was off out down the line on one of its first test runs. It was very nice to see it move under its own power as its always been broken since I've been there! The tests on the Drewry 04 were successful and she returned to the yard with smiling faces beaming from the cab. (All they have to do now is paint it!)...
After lots of tea, lots of laughs and lots of jobs done, I left the site at 4:40pm for home. I'll be back down again next Sunday for more work on the engines. We reopen for trains again on the first weekend in March, with the plan being to run Diesel saturday and Steam sunday. Maybe we'll see you then?! On a sad note, the Steam Gala that was to feature a visiting Black 5 has been postponed until September due to circumstances beyond the railways control. HOWEVER, the September gala is now planned to be even bigger with (hopefully) TWO visiting engines. More on that as it happens. Cheers all...Sam...

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