The quiet achievers.
Work has been progressing between our weekend workdays at a steady pace. We now have 30 brand new superheater elements installed thanks to Gavin and Ian. David Malcolm has arranged to borrow an element tester from our friends at the RTM. This will facilitate the high pressure testing of the required 20 elements that will have to be re conditioned. This will make up the complete set of 50. We will also take the opportunity to repair and test the spare elements while we have the test equipment on site.
Ian has also completed the rebuild on the bottom smoke box front plate and has now moved onto the replacement bracket and plate work for the air compressor mount. If this is not enough Ian is also making the new the sheet metal pockets for the wash out plugs at home. Well done and a big thankyou to Ian.
Between his bus driving shifts, Stuart has been dropping in to apply the many coats of paint required on the boiler cradle. Thanks to his efforts and the weekend crew we should see the boiler cradle work completed in June. A great team effort.
After the boiler cradle we intend to start work on the four bogies as we are already aware that the lateral control springs will require a rebuild. Typically when bogies are stripped down all of the working components tend to yield a lot of work for all concerned. So we anticipate many hours of crack testing, weld repair and even replacement of some components.
The air compressor strip down has commenced with the bottom cover removed. Again 20 plus years of inaction has every bolt resisting until the last turn. It was planned to send out the two piston rods for hard chroming, however a close inspection has revealed that the railways applied this previously.
The regulator rod will be sent out for hard chroming shortly, as when the fitting of the superheater elements is completed the regulator will have to be fitted to facilitate the planed hydrostatic and steam tests.
Our next workday is Saturday 6 June. Yes winter already.