Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of waiting

11th October 2015

Tata lived up to – or maybe lived down to – what I expected this week. Having placed an order for the additional sheets early last week, it took them well in to this week before they got it on the computer and managed to raise me the Proforma invoice. I paid it straight away and it took them until Friday to get the order slotted in to the manufacturing programme with the result that I now have a delivery date of 23rd October.

It could have been worse, the proforma had a delivery date – which they were at pains to stress in the accompanying e-mail was not 'firm' until payment had been received – where some wag had put in 25th December; by 40ft articulated sleigh, no doubt.

That leaves us in a bit of limbo at the moment. We are both keen to see the building clad, get that roof over our heads at last, but we must wait – and wait – until the contractor gets around to us. At least it looks as though the missing sheets will be here before the contractor starts.

In the meantime I have been double checking all the flashing sheets and realise, as I suspected, that I have not quite got the right sizes/quantities to do all round the doors properly. The personnel doors, probably yes, but the big roller shutter apertures will need a little more material, but is not much in the great scheme of things and I dare say Andrew and I can do them ourselves.

This weekend our grandson has been up, and Andrew and Steph went to collect him on Friday. He did stop off at the shed as he returned with the young lad though, and gave me a hand unloading stuff from the van. The heavy rain earlier in the week had left a considerable pool in the tarp we have over the workbench - a neccessary feature until that long-awaited roof takes shape - and as I wasn't up to syphoning it out, I had the bright idea of digging out the submersible pump. It took longer to get an extension cable and set it up than to pump it all out, but it was a satisfying experience.

One of the week's e-bay bargains has been a quantity of concrete reinforcement mesh remaindered from somebody's house extension about 10 miles away. We have one full sheet left over from the shed floor works, which is allocated to the apron we must lay outside in order to unload vehicles more easily with the forklift. The new pieces, though much smaller, should just about give us enough to reinforce the whole apron. That task will have to be undertaken before long, though quite where it stands in the rankings I don't know.

But Andrew's understandable desire to spend quality time with his young son meant that I was largely on my own for the weekend, what time Andrew could spare on Saturday being directed to helping me get some pieces ready for painting. (Indeed, Saturday morning was occupied with chasing around looking for someone with yellow Hammerite paint in stock – there seems to be a shortage around here.) With that out the way though I turned my attention to 14 901.

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As I had the 110V available I decided I would tackle getting the new additional termination board mounted up in the cabinet in the cab. It contributes a further 7 termination points (of which I'll need 2 straight away) and acts as a restraint to the cables coming out to the door, as the self-adhesive base that should hold them with a tie-wrap has long since given up clinging on. By the time I had got that far it seemed pointless getting started on anything else, so I had a wander up and down the footpath that borders the site, cutting back some of the branches that were growing away from the railway and impinging on the public's right of passage. It'll be interesting to see how much use it gets once the new cycleway access is built.

Andrew and son were off to a child's birthday party being held on the Chasewater line today, so I had an early lunch and headed down for further painting. But with that out the way I set myself up in the front part of the engine bay on 14 901 and started belling through the cables and re-terminating them at the new junction box. The new work at the right hand side of the engine did however make that at the left hand side look even poorer by comparison, so in the end I decided to put a tee and some further conduit in to protect the cabling more professionally at that side. The new level switch is thus connected back to the cab (where it was lastly terminated at the top of the seven new terminals, but as yet not run across to the PLC) but the cabling itself needs a bit of tidying. Similarly the oil pressure switch and adjacent pressure sender require attention as the spade crimps on the switch are loose (I pulled one wire off to bell through and the adjacent one came too) and one of those on the sender may have fractured. These can though be easily dealt with. Additionally I still have to disconnect, drawback, persuade to go through the new conduit and reconnect the wiring for the front lights to dispose of the oversize conduit, but that should be only a couple of hours work.

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Back up in the cabinet, I clipped a new output module into the PLC's base plate, which gives me another 16 possible outputs to play with (though I will have run out of termination points again if I get that far). The first will be for the new alarm light on the desk, as my thoughts run to it becoming a 'master' fault warning light which will lead you back to the individual warning code on the box. The next stage of the work will be to get that connected up through to the desk, where when I am mounting the lights and their wiring I must remember to pull out the right hand speedo (my original) as the backplate behind the needle is merely cardboard (you may recall the steel one I had first effectively sabotaged the magnetism when the needle reached 8mph). I have an aluminium backplate to replace the cardboard.

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Actually talking of speedos, some case parts finally arrived this week from the supplier (ordered November '14 but it seems he might have forgotten about them) which means I can think about assembling one for 03 901, though I shall probably have to invest in a set of M3 taps as these are plain castings and must be completed.

And that, ladies and gents is about it for the week. To be honest, Andrew is a bit fed up and champing at the bit to get on with some loco work, but I can't see how successful that is going to be as next Saturday we are due to attend the Class 14 Owners group meeting down at Norchard, and the Saturday after grandson is up again for half-term week. A day's work would have 14 901 up and running, but he is anxious to progress Cheedale. I'd like to win a lottery but it is singularly unlikely as I don't take part in any - except maybe the lottery of life but that is getting far too philsophical.

Oh, and in case anyone has been counting, it was actually my birthday today. But I have had a fair few of them before.

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