Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Tender Tyre Machining Commenced...

At last...the news we've been waiting for!! Ian Riley received the tender tyre forgings on January 23rd and is well underway with machining and fitting them. The plan is to uplift the completed wheelsets at Heywood on 13th February along with the wheels from 46512 and bring the whole lot home to Aviemore in a single load. This will save the Strathspey Railway Company around £600 in transport costs. This gives us a good chance of having CR 828 ready for the start of the 2017 running season.

In the meantime a few other mechanical jobs have been completed at Aviemore including fitting of the smokebox spark arrester and an inspection of the tender steam brake. John Greig has been busy preparing the loco front bufferbeam for final repainting and has also prepared the loco running plate for a new coat of black paint. The new crownplate castings for the tender axleboxes have been primed by Roddie McRae so we're building up a bit of a worklist for our expert painter Mr Murray Duncan who is with us for a couple of weeks in February...

A welcome sight..! A pile of tender tyre forgings of the correct size(!) undergoing machining at Ian Riley's works in Heywood, Lancashire

On the vertical boring machine...

Getting ready for heating and shrinking in place on the wheel centre..

Another tyre on the vertical borer at Heywood..

Under the tender...the steam brake cylinder is tucked under the front lefthand corner. It hasn't been opened up for inspection in many years so this is a good time to have a look at it...The black flexible hose is the brake vacuum pipe connection between the engine and tender. The lamp is sitting on the brake cross-shaft. The steam supply (and exhaust) pipe can be seen snaking its way to the rear of the brake cylinder. 

Close-up of the connection between the brake piston and the operating arm. Steam from the driver's brake valve is supplied at the same time to the separate brake cylinders on engine and tender. The holes in the piston rod allow for adjustment as the tender brake blocks wear out. Steam pressure applies the brakes and the force of gravity acting through the brake rigging releases the brakes when the steam supply is cut off by returning the brake handle to the running position.

Brian Warrender getting to grips with the cover nuts on the tender brake cylinder..

The brake piston rod after removal. Note that there is no physical connection between the piston rod and the piston.The piston force is applied via a simple ball and socket connection. The ball on the piston rod can be seen at the left hand end..

The brake cylinder is in excellent condition. It shows very little wear and is fit for at least another half century of operation...

The brake piston is also in excellent condition and needs no attention..

The brake cylinder cover has an interesting casting defect. It operates at atmospheric pressure and we are in agreement with the CR / LMS / BR that it remains fit for further service..

John Greig stands back from filling and rubbing down the front bufferbeam before applying a coat of primer. The brilliant winter sun makes it difficult to appreciate John's workmanship...

Roddie McRae applying a second coat of paint to the new crownplate castings for the tender axleboxes. The axleboxes themselves are on the pallet behind him. Not long until they go back onto the tender....!

The Alan French spark arrester clad with mesh and almost ready for installation..

Close-up of the spark arrester in position..

How the spark arrester looks from a distance. The operating principle is based on the fact that a hot object passing through a mesh loses a lot of temperature and thus any small red hot cinders passing through the mesh will experience a strong cooling effect and should exit the chimney at low temperature....the slight downside is that the mesh will probably attract a build up of soot that will interfere with the efficiency of the draught on the fire. But that's preferable to starting a lineside fire...!

What we hope to see soon again at Boat of Garten Station.....a picture from Mrs Aileen Scott's Facebook Timehop..

Friday, 20 January 2017

Into 2017

Hopefully the tender wheel tyre forgings will be delivered to Ian Riley's works at Heywood by 21st January and he'll be able to crack on with getting them fitted and machined to profile as quickly as possible. In the meantime a few small but necessary tasks have been completed on the loco and tender..

The tender has been placed on a couple of spare Gresley coach bogies to free up the slave bogies for use underneath Ivatt Class 2 46512 which has had its wheels removed for tyre turning. Here we see the tender as a four wheeler suitable only for low speed movement.. The Ivatt's tender sits behind 828 - but not coupled...

Gresley axlebox is quite a good fit in Caley tender horn....

Getting ready to close up the tender water tank...

Tank closed up. Note the very old crack in the cast iron lid of the lefthand filler cap...we might need to renew that soon..

When opening out the split taper pin for the loco steam brake bellcrank pin it broke...! Easy to fit a new spare until it turned out that the original was a non-standard size so no alternative but to ream the hole out to the right size. Here we see the taper reamer going into action..

Reaming completed and new taper pin fitted and opened out without it breaking...

Boiler blowdown connection into the ashpan has been fitted permanently. Here we see another taper pin acting as a lock for the connection on the rear wall of the ashpan..

Ages ago Alan French made up this elegantly simple spark arrester frame. It is designed for ease of removal. This is it being trial fitted. When complete it will be clothed in stainless steel mesh to prevent red hot cinders escaping up the chimney. Its lower end fastens on to of the blastpipe / blower ring and the upper end engages with the chimney petticoat (or more properly in CR parlance the "hood").

Close up of the stainless steel clamp that locates Alan's spark arrester.

Calum Titley carrying out a welding operation on the new spark arrester frame. Note the newly fitted safety chain on the smokebox door - a CR arrangement to prevent the door hinges being overloaded if the door is swung too far..

Drilling out the bolt holes in the oak spacesr for the front buffers. The material for these was donated by the National Trust for Scotland at Inverewe Gardens thanks to Mr Aidan Bell. A neighbour of Keith Holyland's very kindly machined them to the final size in his large wood-turning lathe..

The new spacers in place after being given a coat of red oxide paint. Note 46512 alongside minus all wheels..

Do you ever feel you're being watched...?

Slightly unfocused picture of 828 with her buffers permanently back in place. Now we can get the front bufferbeam repainted and numbered....!

Picture of 828 in her very early CR days - probably at Aberdeen...tender is well loaded with coal..!