Thursday, 9 October 2014

Achilles Report 64: Fell Over...

Hi all. This week I've been on afternoons/evenings again at work, meaning that the only thing I can do in the day, apart from watch endless repeats of Jeremy Kyle, is to work on the two engines. I mentioned in the last report that "Achilles" probably needed the water pump servicing. This was done on Monday, with the loco in a drunken state looking as if it had a run in with a much bigger engine. The eccentrics were out and the pump stripped ready to clean it out, fit new balls and repack the glands around the rams. The lack of eccentrics also allowed me to get inside with a spanner and tighten that pesky handpump feed nut which comes out from the side of the L/H tank. Following this work I took the engine outside and filled the tanks in order to prime the handpump. The fitting wasn't leaking with some real force having to be applied to the pump where I'd blocked the feed pipe off so I think that test was a success but only time will tell. The tanks were then drained before the engine was returned to the workbench. On Wednesday I was back in the workshop again and it was time for "Achilles" to have her first clean up & polish since the last repaint of the cladding. I had been advised not to clean the cladding until after a couple of steaming's but, even so, it is already showing marks and deterioration beneath the surface. Oh well, its going to get wrecked in such a hostile environment so who cares. The engine was cleaned from top to bottom, whilst the shining green contrast of "Maisie" looked on...
 "Achilles" was spruced up throughout Wednesday and, when I left for work, the engine was looking pretty pristine again with all brasswork polished and paintwork buffed up. I think her next run will be at the GEC on October 25th but you never know, it may appear before at a moments notice. "Maisie" on the other hand has had no real attention apart from just admiring her. The only thing I have done is made her some vacuum hose look-a-likes for her vacuum feed pipes. These will fill the void between the pipes and the stoppers during the Midlands show, where the engine will be appearing next week. As it seems almost impossible to get accessories for 3.5" gauge locomotives, these pipes have been made from simple measurement springs and a tiny bit of electrical heat-shrink, which brings out the springs in a pronounced way so as to give the impressive of a vacuum hose. Naturally this is cheating but they look OK. I just need to fashion a ring now for the top end to hide the end of the heat shrink but as you look at the engine you can't see any problems so I'm happy...
Things will probably go quiet now for the two engines for a few weeks, apart from "Maisie"s visit to the Midlands show of course for a spell on the Coventry MES stand. Then, after the Midlands show, perhaps we'll try and get her to go! All the best guys, Sam...

No comments: