Sunday, 23 March 2014

3803 Gets New Springs...

Hi everyone. Today we were at Shackerstone bright and early at 6:30am to begin changing two of 3803's very heavy springs. She had broke the pair on her second driving axle this time and so both would be replaced during the day. Two brand new springs were already waiting in the loco shed when we arrived...
"Spring Time"
At around 7:30am, with the pit clear and ready to accept 3803, I headed out with Adrian to start up the railway's Class 04 diesel shunter. When oil and air pressures were at their required levels, the 04 moved easily into the shed and buffered up to the big Western. She was then pushed forward by the blue shunter, over the pit. Once 3803 was secured, the diesel was moved back outside and shut-down for a while. The next task was to set-up the packing ready to install the jacks for the lift. In order to change springs, the weight of the locomotive has to be taken off the axlebox, and the spring. The locomotive is jacked equally until the spring pins become fairly free; thus denoting that there is no/very little weight being carried. At this point, you can stop and begin removing the old springs. With the two old springs removed the new ones were dragged into the pit and, with some straining, were slowly fitted to 3803. By dinner time, the locomotive had both new springs fitted and was lowered back down off the jacks. She is now fit for service next weekend. Out in the South Yard, the 25-ton Southern Railway brakevan is coming along nicely. It is currently enjoying the completion of its restoration and is looking rather smart. I'm sure it will be completed in the near future...
At the back of the shed on the 2-road section, things are looking a little busy at present. The cold hulk of Peckett 0-4-0 "Dunlop No7" is still awaiting her boiler before her restoration continues to progress. Meanwhile, fellow Peckett "Sir Gomer" is awaiting lifting so that the damaged front axle can be removed. Everything is now ready for the lift so this should take place imminently. The pretty little 2-2-0 "Blue Circle" is now awaiting her next outing which will take place during our April 11th - 13th Steam Gala. Talking of the gala, another little blue locomotive was waiting at the back of the shed, along with "Blue Circle". "Bluebell" has been heavily cleaned and is now very much anticipating April 11th when she will be in public service on the Battlefield Line for the first time...
"Something Old, Something Borrowed, Something Blue"
Opposite "Bluebell", "Sir Gomer" awaits her lift...
"Sir Gomer" (1859 of 1932)
We left Shackerstone a little earlier today, probably about 2:30-ish, due to having started much earlier than normal for a 'shed work' day. But, our main task (3803) had been successfully completed so everybody could rest easy in the knowledge that she will be out next weekend as planned. Next weekend? Its Statfold and Shackerstone! Cheers guys, Sam...

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