There is plenty of action from this last week to report.
5643 duly arrived at Sheringham on the North Norfolk Railway last Wednesday in readiness to take part in the North Norfolk Railway’s Spring Steam Gala on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. George travelled down to Norfolk on Friday afternoon and was at Weybourne shed at 05.30 on Saturday to assist the crew in the preparation of the locomotive. We’re not sure that Keith was overly impressed to receive a phone call from George at 06.30 to discuss the finer points of the lubricator, but the advice given was no doubt appreciated! Unfortunately, George was also back at Weybourne shed at midnight to assist with the fitting of a replacement spring on the left hand rear driving wheel – just to prove that these trips out with a loco aren’t always jollies! Fortunately, having previously had 5619 on long term loan, it didn’t take too long for the fitting staff to put in the new spring – George was impressed with the lifting table which made the job much easier. Thanks go to George for taking the time out to go to Norfolk for us, and for these photos including the double-header with Ring Haw.
Alan and Alison have been up to Locomotion, Shildon again (yes, the campervan is back on the road after extensive repairs), where FR 20 was scheduled to be in steam over the two days. The Saturday steaming was mainly for a private birthday party in the afternoon, which was just as well as a problem with the right hand steam injector valve in the morning (shall we just say that it was being closed rather too enthusiastically) caused the steam pressure to have to be blown down so that the valve could be replaced. However, all was well in good time for the birthday party. Alan and Alison are back at Shildon this next weekend for the Spring Gala there when FR 20 will be joined by Beatrice from Embsay on the demonstration line on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
To complete coverage of our three operational locomotives, Cumbria passed its steam test last Thursday and is scheduled to be in steam at The Battlefield Line this next weekend once the big ends have been reassembled after winter maintenance work.
Back now to home depot, Preston, where work on the RMB has continued, chasing up the remaining jobs to complete the overhaul. Tim has now completed the paintwork at the east end of the coach and Mike has just about finished the re-instillation of the toilet fittings. He mutters that at least mostly he’s been able to sit down on the job! David has undertaken more clearance work inside and the coach is beginning to look more like its old self. The next major task will be re-fitting the melamine panelling and cupboards in the servery area. John has had a week off for good behaviour so will no doubt be raring to tackle some of these jobs when he re-joins the gang this week! Paul has been busy cleaning down the new (to us) paint cabinet (which apparently needed discussion with Mike) and has made up a frame from which a mould for the new gas compartment door plate can be cast with the consumables purchased last week.
Following the discovery of some unwelcome visitors to the CCT store outside, David, Tim, Matthew and Martin Clarke spent time on Saturday moving some of the more useful items to the new internal store in the first class North London Railway coach body.
Keith has been busy again with the gas torch removing components from the front of Wootton Hall for refurbishment. Fred and Roger arrived late on Friday, having been delayed by yet another dead Class 37 on the Furness Line, to clean up the front buffers, including the springs which can be seen here.
Anthony Jolly appeared on Wednesday to do some more work on Fluff, to be followed by Alan Ogden on Saturday, who is refurbishing the electrical boxes.
Finally, Adrian has been making even more dust and noise in cleaning Caliban‘s frames and the sand boxes have been removed. The sanding mechanism was found to have rusted up, and Howard took on the job of unseizing it through the age old remedy of hitting it with a hammer – with success.