Saturday, 7 February 2015

Atlantic Report No5: Just About Cracked It...

"Atlantic Outing" (R.Mathieson)
Hi all. Well, here we are, Atlantic Report No5. In the last post we saw my 3.5" gauge LBSC Maisie resting up in the workshop whilst a boiler band was repaired. The band; which suffered a paint reaction a few months ago; was kindly repainted and lined by The Steam Workshop ready for refitting to the engine. Last week, whilst faced with a few free hours, I decided to look at the C1's tender. The tender had been dragging on the rail-head due to its overly long guard-irons. The irons were removed, shortened slightly and the axleboxes and springs were checked. The rear box on the right hand side was tight in the horns and was locking up so I removed the box and cleaned the faces before oiling them well. The tender now runs better and the irons clear the track. With the work done, I repainted the bolt heads that I disturbed and then gave the green livery a polish. The tender is seen in the late afternoon sun in the garden last Tuesday...
"The Tender In The Garden" (3/2/15)
Anyway, back to today. Whilst the locomotive was languishing in bits in the workshop awaiting her band, the tender was now fit and ready to go when required. Today was the monthly CMES Steam Up and "Achilles" was waiting in the wings to stand in for the stripped down Atlantic. However, at the last minute, the band turned up in this mornings post and so, after a quick rebuild and spit polish, No4436 made it to Ryton Pools by 1pm! To be honest, not only was the loco lucky to be there but so was I. I'd been off work ill during the last part of the week, full of flu. Thankfully I was feeling better today and could get out for some air as there is only so much daytime television one can stomach. 4436 is seen here steaming up...
One of our Shackerstone cleaners: Reece: was visiting the track today and sent in quite a few pics of No4436. Here she is having steamed up and sitting pretty, ready to go...
"4436 In Steam" (R.Mathieson)
With 80psi on the clock, a good fire in the box and the safety valve beginning to lift, the moment of truth had arrived for 'Maisie'. Opening the regulator gently in full forward gear, away she went. The loco ran freely ("hurrah"!) and steamed happily around the track, attacking the bank in fine style...
"4436 On The Bank" (R.Mathieson)
I made quite a few laps with No4436: probably 8 or 9 or so. She was steaming well, her axlepump was working at good capacity and the tender was running freely. She's a bit of a racehorse and will out-run a 5" gauge engine on a good length of straight track. The wheels are bigger than "Achilles" as she stands! 4436 is seen here during a photo stop on the tight curve at the foot of Ryton Bank...
It was pleasant to be out with a well performing No4436 at last. She did start to tighten up a bit towards the end of the run, later determined (so I believe) to be the mechanical lubricator not working. This isn't really surprising as the engine is still only on her third ever visit to a track, having only been steamed 5 times in total. The lubricator rachet isn't working correctly and will require some attention before something goes wrong. The 4-4-2 was given copious amounts of oil through the blast pipe to tide her over once the run had finished. The Atlantic gets away on a final run...
"Atlantic Success" (R.Mathieson)
So, there we have it...4436 runs! With some adjustment on the mechanical lubricator to make it work when we want it to and a new ball in the foundation ring clack the engine should be fit & happy, ready for service. When she'll run again now is anyone's guess at the minute as its only fair that "Achilles" should be next out. We'll see. Thanks for reading folks. All the best, Sam...

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