Posted by: wrha | September 3, 2017

2nd September 2017

Once the sun had burned through the mist it was a beautiful autumn day,  with warm sunshine.

With Jim on baby sitting duties he was just available for requests!

The remaining track boys decided to level and pack the track down beside what we call the “turning circle” before it was used as a stock pile area.

Because the guards van and the Ruston where standing on the running line the Permaquip could not be used as our works train, so it was time to awake “Samson” the large Benford 4×4 40TT dumper to convey our tools.

After Jim had breathed on it, the gear was transported to the work area.

We had planned to use the portable generator and the hand tamper, again after a request for Jim to “look” at it!

Both bits of plant worked perfectly so we set to levelling, packing and tamping, and the results look good, THEN like good plant men we stopped for lunch and stopped the generator and refuelled it, of course after lunch it refused all offers to restart it and Jim had left the site.

We continued to pack and level the remaining trackwork until home time.

Rod and George continued to work on the Fowler, which was fuelled and run for a period.

Davy used his moulding skills with filler on the guards van window which is looking good.

Alan and Bill where working on the museum display coach.

Jim had been onsite last weekend and had dug a hole where the support block for the first of the crossing gate posts go and had placed the first block (only three more mate !)

Another good day with all round progress being made.

We celebrated Rod’s birthday in style with cake and candle(s) (one as there was not room for 79!).

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Posted by: wrha | August 22, 2017

Saturday 19th August 2017

Another sunshine and showers day, but some longer good spells of warm sunshine today.

With just a panel and a half of trackwork to ballast, Jim had his “Hymac” hat on early this morning and scraped the compound of all remaining ballast into a heap ready to load.

The “Wee” Ruston was once again in charge of the ballast trailer, but was not to well it’s self this morning with fuel starvation once again the problem.

We had plan to fit a new alternator belt to the Permaquip and give all the electrics and battries a good looking at.

Once we had worked out a better access route to the alternator it was still a hard shift as all the nuts and bolts securing and tensioning it was chewed up from past attempts! A cutting disc on the angle grinder solved the problems, first checking that we had all required replacements.

The Ruston was very poorly by this time, so to continue ballasting work the Permaquip was once again pressed into service now it’s electrics where in full working order.

At the end of play the trackwork from the crossing to the tunnel gate had been roughly ballasted, well done chaps.

Davy and Tom continued there good work on the guards van (once Davy had sorted the blue plugs from the yellow !)

Posted by: wrha | August 6, 2017

Saturday 5th August 2017

Sunshine and showers was the weather deal of the day, with very heavy showers mixed in.
The Ruston was designated motive power for the ballasting today as the Permaquip has a few problems still.
The trackboys spent most of the day loading and using all the remaining ballast in the compound, we think another twenty ton should see the formation roughly ballasted from the crossing to the tunnel gate.
We then hope to turn our attention to the crossing, excavating the foundations for the crossing gate supports and getting them in place before the winter.

Davy and Tom continued their good work on the guards van and it is starting to take shape, with one side window welded up and primed.
Peter continued to paint the air tanks on the Fowler, whilst George had a frustrating day trying to extract the bolts from the cab dash board with an impact driver which refused to impact !

Some general tidying up around the site was carried out between the showers.

Posted by: wrha | July 9, 2017

Saturday 8th July 2017

Report from today’s activities:

A very good day by Whitrope standards; wall to wall sunshine with a slight breeze to cool down our volunteers, with a lot of good work carried out.

The track boys were out bright and early clipping up the inside rail.

Andy and Jim then set about reinstating the “curve” in the trackwork, while the cess rail was positioned, plated and clipped up.

Several sleepers required packing with pea gravel to properly seat them (the track will be levelled and tamped at a later date.)

With the running line connected back up we then had a test run up to the tunnel with the Permaquip Patrolmen’s Trolley and trailer to empty the trailer of ballast onto the 60ft length of new wood sleepers.

A well deserved lunch break, then Jim brought the digger down to the compound to load the ballast so we could continue to ballast the section beside the tunnel.

All went well until the digger said “enough” and blew a hydraulic hose in the most inaccessible place, then just to round things off, the Pemaquip refused to start.

The Permaquip was quickly sorted, but the digger resulted in much head scratching. We think some of the hoses could be thirty years old.

Again the fowler boys were continuing the good work, along with the guards van work.

At the end of the day, we had a proving run along the track with the Ruston 48DS and the guards van, which also ensured the axle bearings got a turn, and enabled access to the sides for welding work.

Posted by: wrha | July 2, 2017

Saturday 1st July 2017

A mixed day weather wise, but pleasant working conditions with no midges about.

Some bad news met our volunteers in the morning; the vandals had been back, and Jim’s digger has once again been damaged. The vandals had broken the windscreen and side windows of the cab, the rear window had been damaged on another visit. This senseless vandalism is very upsetting to all of our volunteers as the digger is an essential and very useful piece of kit.

The Track boys would like to say a big thank you to the guy from down under who helped out a couple of weeks ago, this act of support restores our faith. G’Day Mate, if you’re reading this; bonza, good on ya!

After we sorted out our trusty digger, work commenced replacing the last of the concrete sleepers in the second section of the running line, this was done plus we took the opportunity to place two concrete sleepers into section three of the running line. It is open to discussion to whether we continue to the summit post with concrete sleepers, we have the material. We may get an answer at the forthcoming committee meeting scheduled for Sat the 22nd 1p.m. at Whitrope.

After lunch we lifted and positioned the inner length of rail, refitted the fishplates at each joint, and using the pansetter we started to clip up with Pandrol 401a clips.
We then lifted the cess rail roughly into position, but by this time it was time to clear up, pack away the tools and make secure the site.

The Fowler boys where onsite working on the locomotive; with the last of the sand boxes fitted and piped in. The air tanks are receiving a coat of white to denote they are part of a compressed air system. The train pipe has now been fully clamped to the solebar. A start was made to inspect the lubricators on the connecting rods. Water has got into the oil chambers due to broken springs within the lubricator. Tom is going to try to source a company in Carlisle to wind up new springs with an extra coil to increase the sealing pressure of the lub cap. This water ingress could result in removal of the connecting rods to check for rust damage to the bearing surfaces.

Tom any Davy where working on the guards van which is looking good, with new metal work being let into the guard’s viewing boxes.

Joe was attacking the weed problem with his trusty strimmer.

 

 

Posted by: wrha | May 14, 2017

Saturday 13th May 2017

A wet, very foggy morning met our small gang of track workers this morning, with more midges than volunteers about.Before lunch a breeze got up, but the light drizzle persisted blowing away the midges and cooling down the perspiring volunteers.

Jim soon had our trusty digger fuelled and run up to the work site to lift and move both the wood sleepers and the concrete.

The old wood sleepers where lifted and stacked on the p-way troll along with the old spikes and chairs and they joined the growing pile in the compound. Some may have a fourth life somewhere but not on the running line.

The new sleepers fitted with pan11s where lifted out and where stacked again on the p-way trolley for easy transportation further up the running line to replace life expired old sleepers.

After lunch the concrete sleepers where placed on the loop line handy and ready to lift across to be placed into the running line at the next session, probably the May Bank Holiday W/end.

Alan, Bill, Tom and Peter where onsite, but wisely decided not to brave the weather outside.

Access to the brake van is difficult at the moment, but it is hoped to park it beside the platform for easier access and power supply.

This Fowler Boys where conspicuous by there absent, they get a different weather forecast to us.

Posted by: wrha | April 30, 2017

Saturday 29th April 2017

A mainly dull, and overcast day, with occasional sunny spells.

Track Team:

Some work continued on the track work upgrade. The rails have been unclipped and turned out, with a start being made on lifting out the old wooden sleepers – a number of which are life expired.

The Permaquip Patrolmen’s Trolley gets spun round ready to head back North to base.

Concrete sleepers stockpiled ready for use in the track panel

Some of the sleepers, especially the originals with the BR1 style chair and spikes, are life expired and will be disposed of

The sleepers are being checked and identified as which ones can be cascaded for use elsewhere on the site

Some of the old sleepers which have been identified as life expired are removed from the formation

The rails are lifted out of any chairs, and turned to the sides off the sleepers

Fowler Team:

1 The drive shaft coupling bolts from the engine to the gearbox were fitted. (Thanks George).

2 The Westinghouse compressor was compared to a photograph taken by Duncan down at Tamworth using the rule of proportion we got an idea of the size of the flywheel. We also have an idea off the taper on its input shaft. This should enable us to get a rough estimate to have one made. Rod is to contact Tamworth and ask if the lads there would kindly put a rule on their Fowlers compressor flywheel just to ensure we’re close with our dimensions.

3 Plans for the next step in the renovation were discussed with Jim as wiring is now a feature.

4 Jim checked the output of the dynamo, the initial results were not promising 3 volts appeared to be the maximum output, it should be around 30. To be continued.

5 Dave finished painting the air pipes which run under the running board. We’re now clear to re-fit air tanks, sand boxes and the cab steps. Discussions with Tom finalised an internal cab colour of blue, (the only colour we had) it was hoped to be able to paint it green Jims favourite colour, but that’s life, next time Jim.

6 The engine bay was cleared of all miscellaneous items which are not needed at present, and given a general clean up.

7 All fluid levels were checked for correct level and contamination. The cooling water level which has caused concern in the past has been ok for the last couple of top ups and the conclusion is, we have no fluid leak. All the other levels were ok and contamination free. Good to go.

8 Tom ran the engine for us again to allow Jim to take his measurements. The engine was closely inspected, and a couple of minor leaks were detected and attempts made to secure.

9 A general inspection of the drive train of the loco was undertaken to familiarise ourselves with any potential issues that may arise as we move onto the transmission system.

A couple of Nurses from the Shetlands popped in while hiking in the area:

Posted by: wrha | April 25, 2017

Fowler work 22nd April 2017

Working on the loco : George, Rod & Dave. Weather:- mostly sunny but started off cold.

1 We attempted to secure the drive shaft. The bolts for the flexible drive coupling between the engine and gearbox couldn’t be found and we could only source bolts that were not really long enough. However we did manage to align the bolt holes through the coupling. George is to source longer bolts complete with spring washers and nuts, (Thanks George).

2 The alternative Broom & Wade compressor was measured up to see if it would fit in the frame well as a temporary unit, whilst we tried to source a spare flywheel for the Westinghouse. Unfortunately it has a protrusion on the side which will prevent this. So back to having a flywheel made. One of the tee bolts which secure the compressor to the loco frame is missing and George is going to have one made.

3 The taper shaft on the Westinghouse compressor was measured up to try and approximate the angle, this is critical because it carries most of the torque needed to drive it. (It would help the telephone discussion with our potential manufacturer to get an estimate). We will no doubt eventually have to take the compressor to the flywheel manufacturers to let them mate the two parts. A quick flick over of the unit indicated it was pumping air ok and there seems little point in dismantling it until we have a chance to run it and see if there’s a problem.

4 Dave painted the air pipes which run under the running board, as they are now fitted for keeps. He also started to clean up and paint the top rear external cab roof flange.

5 Tom ran the engine for us to splash oil about. This is necessary to keep a lubricant coating on the moving parts. This start stop scenario every week will also push the engine through temperature changes which may highlight possible problems. So far so good, it’s looking less and less likely that a fault will develop.

6 Next week we intend to:-refit the air storage tank on the off-side and continue fitting air pipes providing the parts arrive on time. Fit the coupling bolts. Tidy up the engine compartment as work in that area is nearing completion. Start to look at the electrics.

Posted by: wrha | April 16, 2017

Saturday 15th April 2017

Notes from Baz:

With it being a holiday weekend volunteer numbers were a little down today. Davy says they’re all away bowling their Easter eggs!

The track boys planned to move the pile of concrete sleepers from the loop line to above the third join in the running line, then count up and see how many more were needed to complete the section.

With Jim not available, we were in two minds to “borrow” his digger to speed up the work.

Rod and George kindly assisted us and we soon had eighteen sleepers moved and positioned ready to drop into the next section.

After lunch we used the p-way trolley to move twelve more concrete sleepers from the turning circle up to join the others on the running line; we now have enough to relay the section plus two for the join.

Work will start shortly to unclip and turn out the rail and wood sleepers.

We plan to carefully remove the ballast and use half of it to top up the ballast in the section we have previously laid.

Thanks again to the Fowler boys for their assistance.

Posted by: wrha | April 10, 2017

Saturday 8th April 2017

Just a short update to say that volunteers were on site and some work was undertaken on both the Fowler, and the track.

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