Monday 24th May 2021

Alan marking one of the flanges for soldering to the injector steam pipeA few pictures this week of progress in fitting the new injector steam valves on Furness Railway No. 20. The first, taken last Wednesday, shows Alan marking up one of the new flanges that is being fitted to the left hand steam pipe.

The right hand steam pipe lined up to the new jointThe right hand steam pipe can be seen lined up nicely with the valve after a bit of tweaking.

Sam removing the left hand steam valveIt was left to Sam to remove the pipes and the new valves so that the cladding sheets could be fitted.

The left hand firebox cladding sheet fittedBoth cladding sheets were duly fitted on Friday by Roger, John Dixon and Tim. The sheets are a ‘nib fit’, so it took some time to get them exactly in the right location and screwed down without damage to the new paintwork.

The next stage will be to silver solder the flange joints and to fit the brasswork around both ends of the cladding sheets. Then it will be possible to fit the cab sides and open up plenty more work including the finishing paintwork on the cab sides and valances.

Wootton Hall's tender chassis jacked up ready to receive the wheelsetsWe are pleased to be able to report that Keith was happy with the lubrication trials on the first two of Wootton Hall‘s tender axleboxes. The chassis is now being raised so that the wheelsets can be rolled into position underneath.

Unfortunately, the holidays mean that there won’t be a blog next week.

Monday 17th May 2021

The replacement Great Western Railway style axle lubrication pads for Wootton Hall‘s tender have finally arrived, much to Keith’s delight. This is what they look like (no that is not a small creature previously unknown to science…!) A new GWR style axle pad for Wootton Hall's tenderThis should pave the way for placing the tender chassis on to the wheels in due course.

Newly assembled axlebox on one of Wootton Hall's tender wheelsetsTim has produced a dozen new lubrication trimmings which will siphon oil from the upper oil tray. The first two axleboxes have now been assembled and fitted with the new pads and trimmings and the rate of flow of oil from the trimmings will be checked over a period of time.

Keith reports that the repairs to 5643’s vacuum cylinder have proved to be effective with a successful test last Thursday. The locomotive was in traffic at the East Lancs Railway over the weekend.

Work has continued on Furness Railway No. 20 with both clacks and the first of the injector delivery pipes being fitted. The fitting of the new injector steam valves took a step forward with the drilling of the new pipe flanges, which Alan achieved last Thursday at the former Victoria Engineering workshop at Longridge. Work has also continued on FR 20’s paintwork, along with the ongoing restoration of Fluff and the former Furness Railway water crane from Foxfield.

Monday 10th May 2021

Dome cover and spectacle plate fittedLast Wednesday saw another welcome step forward in the overhaul of Furness Railway No. 20. With the assistance of the Ribble Rail staff, FR 20 was pulled out of the FRT shed to enable the hi-ab on the self propelled TRAM to lift into place the dome cover and cab spectacle plate. Tim is seen wielding a spanner during the course of tightening up the nuts holding the spectacle plate in position.

Ade with the fork lift and ash panWhilst out of the shed, it was also a good opportunity to re-fit the ashpan, which needs to be done whilst the engine is situated on sleepered track to allow sufficient clearance below the firebox. Ade used the large fork lift truck to convey the ashpan to the far end of the shed.

How many people does it take to fit and ashpan?Fitting the heavy ashpan can be an awkward task and no less than Ade, Matt Crabtree, Tim, Sam, Ed and Alan are involved. Needless to say, brute force and plenty of wooden packing won the day.

Roger painting the awkward bits on the water craneOn Friday, Roger was found lying down on the job as he painted the Furness Railway water crane.

Fred painting the easier bits!Fred also took advantage of the better weather to add some paint.

John Davis polishes the copper top on Fluff's chimneyJohn Davis also made the best of the weather to polish the copper top of Fluff‘s chimney.

Keith paid another visit to Bury on Thursday to assist with the replacement of the slipping band in 5643’s vacuum cylinder, the old slipping band having been damaged by an unexpected ingress of oil. An in-steam test of the brakes was expected to take place today.

On financial matters, the Trust’s application for a new bank account with the Cooperative Bank under the RBS bank switch scheme has now been accepted. The FRT will benefit from better interest rates along with a bonus for completing the switch. Further information on how it affects members with direct debits etc will be available shortly. We are also pleased to report that the 2020 accounts prepared by David Rimmer have passed muster with the Trust’s Independent Examiner.

Monday 3rd May 2021

Fred removing paint from one of FR20's hand railsWith much relief, John Dixon successfully removed the formers from FR 20’s brick arch without any unplanned collapse. The engine’s hand rails have had to be fully stripped of any paint to enable them to be fitted through the stanchions, which gave Fred a job on Friday. Even then it was quite a fight to fit the right hand rail, but persistence won through and FR 20 is shown below in its current state.FR 20 with newly fitted hand rails

It is hoped to refit the large dome cover and cab spectacle plate this Wednesday.Alan adjusting the small dome cover for FR 20In the meantime, Alan has been adjusting the smaller dome cover to enable the new larger injector steam valves to the fitted.

Fluff's left hand sand box is refittedThe Fluff gang of Paul Newton, John Davis and Phil Bell have refitted the left hand sand box.

Fluff's left hand cab side is refittedIt was then the turn of the cab side to be fitted back into place, under the supervision of Mike Rigg.

Finally, 5643’s brakes incurred a problem when under test last week and so Keith is off to Bury tomorrow equipped with new slipping band and sealing rings for the vacuum cylinder. Replacing the slipping band is always an awkward job so we wish Keith luck!