A miserable morning at Whitrope saw a good turn out of bodies and a number of jobs progressed.
The track team continued work on the relaid track panel near the level crossing. A start was made on packing and leveling the sleepers. Work continued on the brake van and some the drains were checked following the recent heavy rail. Peter ended up sitting down on the job, not recommended when you are working on a culvert. He was fine although somewhat soggy!
The Fowler team continued there work with a report on progress below:
Working on the loco : George, Rod, Dave & Duncan
Weather:- rained most of the morning with some heavy downpours but brightened up in the afternoon.
- Water level in the rad was checked with some loss of water detected, but not much. Again no obvious signs of a leak, other than the top hose bodge we did for the trial run. The suspicion now is maybe there’s no leak at all, just air trapped in the system which is slowly being bled out. Duncan fitted the top hose elbow and new interconnecting pipes, this should eliminate the leak there.
- Dave painted the underside of running board a lovely black colour. There was black paint everywhere including on Dave.
- The next longitudinal air supply pipe to the brake cylinders was fitted along with the air pipe across the front of the loco to the opposite cylinder. George must be congratulated for this one, he spotted the missing component we’ve been looking for on and off for the last couple of weeks.
- We only need to connect the flex air pipes to the brake control in the cab to complete this section of pipework. It would be useful to test this section and we could do this using the portable air compressor as the supply source.
- We still need to determine where the third air pipe comes from that runs the length of the loco shown on the photo we have. George and Duncan looked for this pipe on two occasions during the day with no luck. We suspect it’s the emergency air supply to the emergency backup tank to control the brakes and gearbox, so the loco can be stopped if a catastrophic air supply failure occurs. A trip down to Tanfield to view their Fowler appears necessary to look there unit over. Duncan is to contact them and arrange a visit in the not too distant future.
- Whilst looking round for the missing pipe Duncan spotted the ring clamp for the exhaust silencer, which he then fitted.
- The engine was run again to splash oil around and to test the condition of the batteries, as Jim had detected a leakage current from the stop solenoid last week. There didn’t appear to be a problem, however the batteries were charged on the generator set to refresh them (this was overdue anyway).
Overall a day that started off damp and miserable, but the weather improved as the day went on and good progress was made across the site.