Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Achilles Report No15 - Evening Steam Up...

"Achilles" With Lamp & Headboard
Hello people. I sat at work today wishing the minutes away so that I could get out into the hot sunshine and pick up "Achilles". Destination?: Ryton Pools and the 5" gauge track owned by CMES. Myself & Ben arrived first at about 5pm. We opened up and then took the Saxo up to track level to unload the engine. Under the hot sun, "Achilles" hissed as I shoved her backwards onto the traverser beam. She was then moved onto one of the 5" gauge only bays for prep.
Having took the Saxo back down to the road, Dave & his son arrived with their 3.5" Princess Marina (Stanier Mogul). The two engines were prepared side by side. First I oiled "Achilles" up before filling the boiler with water via the hand-pump in the l/hand tank. With 1/2 glass of water in the boiler I lit the fire using ready soaked parrafin wood. The electric blower was then used to draw the wood fire before changing onto coal.
Fire In The Hole
Other engines duly arrived and it ended up being one of the busiest club running events that I have seen for quite a few years. There were just so many engines, mostly steam but also with some electric/petrol examples mixed in. "Achilles" was the first steamer on the track, coming on at just after 5:30pm. I took her for a lap before Shackerstone collegue Dave took over for the following 3 laps. For the rest of the evening the loco gave various rides to not only my family and friends but also to club members and guests. Ken (the gentleman who gave me the loco) also attended and seemed very impressed with the condition and peformance of the engine. She was steaming and pulling well, though the valve gear is beginning to clank rather audibly. The l/hand crosshead in particular is very worn, as are both big ends. Luckily, "Achilles" only has another 3 or 4 runs to do before the end of the season when she will be rebushed in the winter. This should give her a new lease of life and allow her to run much more economically and quietly.
The newly-fitted reverser spring (to stop her choosing her own running position) seemed to be working very well and I could leave her in 2nd or 3rd notch and she would stay there no matter what. Beforehand the loco would have pulled herself into either full forward or even mid-gear which was beginning to be a bit of a pain, particularly when climbing the lengthy 1 in 70 bank. The recently changed return crank settings seem to have altered the engines valve events for the better and it now seems to run much smoother at speed. I was impressed anyway!
Dave, as usual, was joined by his camera and kindly sent in the following 5 images for your interest. Cheers Dave!
No Overalls Today - Shorts Weather! (D.Hanks)
"Achilles" On The Bank With Two Guests Behind (D.Hanks)
Eddie Relishing The Chance To Drive Something Of Quality! (D.Hanks)
Eddie Driving "Achilles" With Ken Riding (D.Hanks)
Me Back On The Regulator With Mum & Ben Riding (D.Hanks)
Thanks for reading folks. It had been a very enjoyable evening. "Achilles" had performed very well and even other drivers such as Eddie, Dave and Emma had managed to take her round and return with good steam & water levels. To me, that shows that the engine is doing OK. I hope however that it will be much, much better once she's been rebushed and had a few minor mods/repairs carried out. "Achilles" will next run in a few weeks, with any luck! ;) Cheers. Sam...


Petensue said...

HI Sam
As usual a great report on an enjoyable evening.
Just one question - Why do you run with tins of metal polish and brasso in the coal bunker?

Sam Brandist said...

In truth Peter I forgot to take them out but they did come in handy to polish up a few more little bits during queuing for the water tower ;)

Mark Harding said...

Hey sam, good stuff, i dont get up to ryton much these days, but once get the pannier steaming will give it a few turns round to run her in.

Nearly came upto that run, bought the coaches out again, but other things put paid to that

good stuff mate