Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Atlantic Report No15: Maintenance and The Midlands Show...

Hi all. After her run three weeks ago, you may remember me reporting that the Atlantic was running her back truck boxes warmer than I'd have liked. Therefore, with an appearance at the Midlands Show coming up and the engine pretty dirty from her recent run, I decided to take out the rear axle to check it prior to cleaning the engine up. Last Tuesday, with some spare time available in the evening, the keeps were removed and the axle dropped out for inspection on the workbench...
"The Recently Unveiled 4-4-0 Atlantic"
The axle on LBSC's Maisie sits right beneath the ashpan and, due to the rocking grate, the ash accumulates around it with the lubricating oil providing an unwelcome sticky surface. As if that wasn't enough, the blow down valve points directly down onto the axle through the cab floor. With the wet, ashy mist that often forms during disposal it is little wonder that the axle gets caked in muck. However, though there was ash on and around the boxes, the journal inside was remarkably clean and the oil ways were free of dirt too. With the boxes removed, I stamped them up (L & R) before washing the axle and wheels with paraffin. The wheelset looked much better without the layer of oil and grime...
With the wheels cleaned and the journals checked thoroughly, the axleboxes were also washed out before being flooded with fresh oil. The oil ways are actually quite substantial and there is little reason I can see why the boxes would run warm. A good rule of thumb is to check that the axlebox is not hotter than the frame but on that recent occasion, to me at least, it seemed to be. Ahh well, at least its all clean and tidy now...
"Clean And Tidy Rear Axle Ready For Refitting"
With the boxes flooded with oil and replaced on their respective journals, the axle was refitted to the Atlantic. The springs are pretty strong on the back end and it wasn't easy to balance everything in the right place whilst you did the keep bolts up. The reachrod then had to be replaced as did the bypass pipe, as both had to be removed to free the back axle. I wondered then as I wonder now why I picked an engine with so much on the inside! Ahh well, another good job done. The fact that the engine had the cab facing the edge of the workbench gave a good opportunity to take a photograph of the back head. Through the firehole door can be seen the LBSC boiler arrangement. The model has superheaters as well as thermic siphons. Although I wouldn't have wanted to have even attempted to have constructed this boiler, I cannot knock its steaming ability or performance...
With Tuesday's jobs complete and lots of oil repeatedly splashed around those pesky rear boxes, the polishing began on Friday. The engine is still looking well, despite the paint being 2 years old and having been polished within an inch of its life since I've owned her. The result of cleaning the loco is captured during the afternoon...
During Friday the engine also had a visit from my own version of "Chips Away", in an effort to remove some tiny blemishes that have appeared during previous runs. On Sunday, with the paintwork having shined up well on the top half thanks to a liberal application of polish, the bottom end was done with paraffin and oil mix...
Though the engine is definitely older than her condition shows now (we don't know how old she is) the builder certainly knew what they were doing. The detail on the rods in particular I really do like. I still love the LNER lining on those wheels...
So folks after a few days polishing and a brief whip out and refit of the rear axle, the engine was ready for her visit to the Midlands Show today. The C1 will be on display on CMES' club stand, as part of the four-day 2016 exhibition on the Fosseway. I think Mike (the stand organiser) likes the 3.5" engines for display as they can still be fairly large tender engines but remain easier to handle. I dropped the engine off this evening and she is spotted below on the second tier of the stand, awaiting more models to join her...
"LBSC Maisie (LNER 4436) On Display At The 2016 Midlands Show"
The engine will be on display now until Sunday, during which time countless model engineering fans will pass her by. The CMES stand has a brilliant line-up of exhibits to see this year and, even during my short period to drop the engine off, I spotted many beautiful pieces of kit on display about the place. It will be interesting to see how many LBSC Maisie's there are on display. As a design, they are very popular and rather numerous but I've never seen more than one or two at the show in one go. I'll keep my eye out on Sunday! One notable exclusion from this show was the 3.5" 2P partner for the C1, owned by well known roving lateness provider 'Eddie the Late'. Rather selfishly, Eddie now resides in Norfolk but I don't see why that should stop him! All the best all, Sam...

No comments: