Monday 26th October 2020

Ade at the controls of ProgressLast Wednesday saw the successful transfer of FR 20’s boiler from the FRT shed to the RSR running shed where it can be steamed for the boiler surveyor. Both Keith and Ade were assisting Ribble Rail last week and we see Ade here at the controls of Ribble Railway’s Sentinel Progress during the shunt.

Keith taking a ride on Fluff as it is shuntedFluff had to be moved out of the way and is seen here being shunted with Keith on board.

FR 20's boiler being moved to the west of the siteThe boiler was then released and moved to the west of the site.

Alan on top of FR 20's boilerAlan is seen here preparing the dome to receive the valve seats after machining.

John Dixon cleaning the base of FR 20's chimneyBack inside the FRT shed John Dixon has been cleaning and painting the base of FR 20’s chimney.

John Dixon making new domed smokebox retaining bolts for FR 20John then set about making new domed bolts that will secure the smokebox to the frames.

Fred removing paint from FR 20's left hand valanceFred has now finished cleaning old paint from the engine’s valances.

FR 20's dome cover being prepared for painting.Tim has been busy hand-sanding the dome cover ready for painting.

John Davis painting Fluff's cab spectacle plateThere has been more work on Fluff including work by John Davis to prime the front cab spectacle plate.

Cumbria' re-painted rear buffer beamOver at Embsay work has been taking place on the FRT’s ‘Austerity’
0-6-0ST Cumbria in readiness for its 14 month cold boiler inspection which has been brought forward to the 9th November. This is to enable the loco to operate the planned Santa Special programme of trains there. The rear buffer beam has been re-painted.

Cumbria being readied for SantaA similar refresh is seen here being carried out on the front buffer beam.

Finally, a couple of our volunteers have recently sought guidance about travelling to Preston to volunteer during the operation of the three tier Covid-19 restrictions. Recent Government advice supports voluntary work such as that carried out by FRT members and the following extracts are shown for peace of mind:

“At all three alert levels whilst providing voluntary services:
you are exempt from social gathering restrictions;
you can travel within and between different local COVID alert level areas to volunteer.”

The full advice on volunteering can be found here.

Monday 19th October 2020

The welcome news that FR 20 had passed its hydraulic test has turned thoughts as to the practicalities of conducting a steam test out of the frames. It is hoped that the boiler will be shunted around to the RSR running shed sometime this week in exchange for a brake van. Ade with the 4WD fork liftThis is all subject to the availability of Ade who is assisting Ribble Rail this week. Ade is pictured here trying his hand last week with the RSR’s recently acquired four wheel drive fork truck.

John re-fitting FR 20's smokebox lamp bracketWork has continued on some of the smaller jobs on FR 20. Tim has finished painting the modified spring hangers and has also done some careful refurbishment and priming of the tender buffer beam so as to retain appropriate signs of age and work use.  John Dixon has straightened up the smokebox lamp bracket.

John painting the bottom of FR 20's ashpanJohn then set about giving the bottom of the ashpan a much-needed clean and paint.

Keith cutting yet more metal from Wootton Hall's tender tankKeith has taken advantage of some better weather to cut some more metal from Wootton Hall‘s tender tank.

Phil Bell and John Davis painting more new steelwork for FluffPaul Balshaw has continued buffing up 5643’s rods whilst Phil and John Davis have been busy painting new steelwork for Fluff.

Paul Newton painting the bench seat slatsFinally, Paul Newton has at last managed to put some gloss paint on the slats for the formerly derelict platform seat.

Monday 12th October 2020

Keith grinding his ringThe cleaning work inside and outside the frames of 5643 has been completed which has allowed work to focus on the valves and pistons. Both pistons have now been split from their respective crossheads and examined by Keith who determined that new piston rings were required. Keith is seen here dressing off one of the rings prior to fitting.

George at work on 5643The heavy work involved in releasing and re-installing the pistons required additional assistance which was provided by George, who came up from Derby on two occasions over the past couple of weeks, however, both pistons are now back in place and connected to the crossheads.

Fred and John clean up after another of Fred's wire brushing sessionsWork on cleaning up and repainting the cab floor steelwork continues which is Fred’s forte. Fred and John Dixon are seen cleaning up outside the shed on Friday after Fred’s latest work which saw off yet another cup wire brush.

Phil Bell and John Davis with more steelwork for FluffThe end of the main thrust of cleaning on 5643 has enabled Phil, John Davis and Paul to return to the overhaul of Fluff. Phil and John are seen here with yet another new sheet of steel.

Ed and his spruced up gardenWe were pleased to see the return of Ed after a short spell in works. He spent a very busy day tidying up the garden area and cutting back undergrowth that was coming through the adjacent fence.

The remainder of the volunteer workforce has generally been engaged on progressing the overhaul of FR 20. We are very pleased to be able to inform you that the boiler passed its hydraulic test today, so well done to all concerned. However, the current procedures now require that the boiler is steam tested out of the frames so that will be the next milestone to achieve.

Alan preparing a new joint ringMeanwhile, Alan has cut two new joint rings for the cylinder covers which have been carefully fitted.Fitting the new ring

Alan and Ade attempting to re-fit the LH cylinder cover on FR 20Alan and Ade then spent most of last Wednesday struggling to fit the left hand cylinder cover, finally succeeding after discovering that one of the studs hadn’t been properly screwed in and was not square with the rest.

The new springs fitted to FR 20We are pleased to report that, after much fine tuning, the new springs are now in place.

John Dixon warming up the bulgeThe annoying slight bulge towards the front of the right hand valance has been removed with the aid of some carefully applied heat and the use of a clamp to straighten the metal.

John Dixon painting FR 20's ashpanFinally, the ashpan has been cleaned, painted and the ejector ring repaired and re-fitted by John Dixon.

Ade playing with his nutsFinally, Ade has also spent some time freeing off and adjusting the nuts on Caliban‘s brake rods. Incidentally, contrary to what you might think from the photo, we can confirm that Ade has now had his post lockdown haircut!