Lots has been going on in both the Romney Hut and the Running Shed during the summer, and with 7 train running now over, it hoped that projects currently on will pick up pace.
No 7 is currently out of traffic and receiving boiler repairs. In early august a steam leak was spotted between the front tubeplate and angle iron on the boiler barrel. Further investigation revealed a crack which ran up from the bottom of the tubeplate vertically up, before branching out horizontally, and a couple of rivets had worked ever so slightly loose. Unfortunately to allow room to work, the boiler had to be jacked out of the frames which required the gutting of the smokebox and the removal of the cab & tanks from the locomotive. Andy from H&I Engineering LTD, who repaired the cracks in Morayshire’s throatplate, was called out to grind the cracks out and re-welding the tubeplate over two days. Six rivets were also removed; their replacements are currently on order and will be fitted immediately on their arrival. Once they have been fitted the locomotive will undergo a hydraulic test prior to re-assembly and a subsequent return to traffic. With the locomotive out of the service the opportunity has been taken to service the locomotives clacks and injectors, the fireman’s side in particular had been giving some trouble prior to the locomotive’s failure. We have also acquired two new regulator facing castings, one for 19 and one for 7, which Mark intends to machine and fit to rectify passing regulators!
No 19 is currently bearing the brunt of services whilst No 7 is out for repair. Generally running well. Mark is in the process of manufacturing a spark arrestor for the locomotive (badly needed after several lineside fires this summer!) which will be fitted to the loco at some point in the near future.
No 6 is currently undergoing its 5-yearly boiler inspection. The boiler inspector, John Leggat, looked over the locomotive and was happy with its condition. However, he did recommend that several new washout plugs were fitted and the mudhole doors either replaced or overhauled.
419 was re-wheeled in early August. During the last two weeks of June the bogie was removed from the locomotive and overhauled. This involved the repair of two exterior cracks in the axel boxes, the straightening of a spring hanger (suspected to have been bent during a visit into the reserve collection building!), replacement of the oil pads and a thorough cleaning before painting. The next step in the overhaul will be to set the locomotive up on the rolling road and reassemble the motion.
80105 was taken off her wheels at the beginning of September. The locomotive is now nearly completely stripped which will allow the frames to be cleaned, assessed, repaired if necessary and painted. The first of the driving axle boxes have been removed and the condition is encouraging. Plans are now being made to send the driving wheels away for the tyres to be turned.
No 1’s boiler is rapidly approaching completion at David Wright’s works in Loughborough. At Bo’ness, the locomotive is being painted and new glass has arrived to replace the Perspex which was originally in the cab window frames. When the boiler arrives for the locomotive in 4 to 5 weeks time, all attention will turn to re-assembly to ensure she is ready for the first Thomas event of 2017 in May.
As always, new volunteers would be made to feel at home! We have working parties on a Monday evening, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Mark is also out on other days so will be happy to see you if you appear then! Some turnouts of late have been very good but others have been dire. With two locomotives approaching completion we need all the assistance we can get!
Lastly, a quick thank you to Richard who came and stayed with us for 5 weeks in August. A German engineering student, he devoted himself to the railway whilst he was here and became very popular in the Corbie in the evening! We hope we will see him back in Bo’ness for a week or two in the future.