Monday 16th January 2017

Here we are again, after a long festive break, with the first blog of the New Year.
Whilst the blog team has been taking a rest from writing over the Christmas and New Year period, the guys at Preston have been busy on all of our current projects.

The trackworks progressing outside the shedThe trackworks progressing outside the shedThe track work outside the shed has made good progress, as can be seen from the above photos, with road three of the shed now re-connected to the rest of the RSR and, therefore, the national network and thenceforth the line to Russia! The sleepers for road four are also now in position. Well done to all concerned (Russ, Ed, Keith, George, Phil and Mike McA), for the weather has sometimes been bitterly cold, not to mention very wet.

John working on the end of the RMBInside the warmth of the shed, John has again been working on repairs to the east end of the RMB, which has required replacing some of the floor and various areas of steelwork. Tim has finished sanding and filling the sides of the RMB and has embarked on applying some undercoat in readiness for the main paint job, which he hopes to commence shortly.

Sticking on the "frosting"The finished toilet windowOne job on the RMB that has lingered on the ‘jobs to do’ list for far too long has been the replacement of the south side toilet window. Trevor had constructed a template some while ago, but no-one had got around to sourcing the new glass. However, with the list other jobs now diminishing, it was decided that the new window must be sourced. A search through the RSR’s spares failed to find a second hand pane that would fit and so a final examination of the FRT’s CCT store was made and, much to our surprise, Mike found a sheet of toughened glass to the correct size, although it did not have the required ‘frosted’ opaque finish that gives the necessary privacy to those using the loo. A quick search of the internet enabled a plastic film to be acquired for the princely sum of £6, and Mike and Paul are seen here fitting the film to the newly cleaned sheet of glass, which is now securely fitted to the RMB. So, another job crossed off the list.

Roger working on Caliban's wheelsFred removing another bit of CalibanAlan and Ade at work on CalibanAlan, John H, Adrian, Sam, Fred and Roger have continued their labours to clean up the frames, wheels and components on Caliban and to free up parts that have seized through lack of use over the past thirty years. Roger can be seen chipping paint off the wheels, Fred removing another component, and Alan and Adrian at work on the frames.

Alan and Sam working to remove an eccentric strap on CalibanFred cleaning up an eccentric strapThis last Wednesday saw Caliban‘s eccentric straps being removed leaving Fred the job of cleaning them up on Friday.

Ben and Alan O have continued work on Fluff in Anthony’s absence and are hoping to get the loco within reach of a crane in the next month or so in order that the engine can be removed.

The new tender water collection tank for Wootton HallAnd so we come to Wootton Hall where Keith has been constructing a replacement water collection tank that is fitted beneath the tender tank and contains the two filters, one for each delivery pipe to the injectors.

George has also been able to spend several days at Preston over the Christmas period and has been able to remove more of the Hall’s old small tubes. Keith reckons that he has only around another 50 tubes to remove. More good news is that two of our working members have very kindly sponsored the two reverser mechanism castings that were acquired before Christmas. Well done!

The King was in his counting house... Alison very kindly provided the Wednesday Gang on the  4th January with a fresh supply of mince pies (yum, yum) and also brought in the December takings from the sales stand, which David is seen counting here. There were also vanilla slices on hand last Friday to celebrate Tim’s birthday.

Tim met up with some old faces when he gave a talk on the FRT’s activities to the Marsh History Group in Lancaster on Thursday afternoon. Ken Nuttall and Tommy Rawlings were present at the meeting and enjoyed seeing some of the more up-to-date images of the FRT’s rolling stock both under restoration and in action around the UK.

A working party was convened at Embsay last Saturday to examine 5643 after its busy period hauling Santa Specials. Efforts are being made to procure a new ejector ring to replace the original, which developed an unplanned hole at Christmas.