Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of the run-up to Christmas

 23rd December 2018


Well, it's the last edition of the blog before Krimble and there's not much really to say, so I'll keep it fairly brief. Monday was the last Tunstead day of the year, and we had not only Andrew Hn but George as well, so progress was made on several fronts.

I had brought up a small tin of Golden Yellow, and that meant that Andy H set to to paint anywhere that might become less accessible as things progress, so all around the radiator, cab front, etc became no-touch areas. The window surrounds are done because from Hill's days, once the glazing goes in it saves trying to paint up to the edge of the window rubbers and smudging them.

I started off by assembling the top hose, and then returned to flex conduit and wiring the engine. I had brought up the upholstered cab seats which Steph had made, and put them in as a trial fit: they received the bum test and pronounced highly satisfactory before being removed to prevent damage to them from either Andrew Hn welding or Andy H painting, and that before I got a photo. Andrew Hn continued with the window frames and then moved on to the rear cab doors, renewing all the hinges but we didn't get them finished. Nor is the engine wiring - I'm about 70% of the way there, making off the wires from the engine into the box and then the multi-core back to the cab on top - that way if the power unit is ever taken out the wiring can be disconnected with the minimum disturbance.


Back up in the cab, George had mounted the fuse holder board and I realised I am guilty of further poor planning. For starters the gland for the engine multicore needs to go next to the conduit for the alternator cables, but did I allow enough room? Barely. Well I had the idea that the multi-core (you can see it looping across to the left) would go straight into the relay cabinet with a gland, but now that gland will be in the trunking and the wires go left or right to suit. Similarly that valve sitting under the two blue wires (it's part of the clutch unload arrangement) is badly placed and needs moving. The valve on the right of it is gearbox control, and hopefully these will finally get plumbed early in the new year. I'm coming to the conclusion that the cab air manifold will have to be replaced by a more prosaic, modern rectangular one but we'll keep the round original in the hope of reinstating it sometime when an adaptor can be made. When he wasn't painting, Andy H went under the loco and set up the brake rigging, so we now have working brakes.

Pete C fitted the taper pin to a crank pin and the tab washers to the bolts on the propshaft. George took the relay control box and made up a drilling template, but didn't get cab-access to get it on. All in all quite a few jobs got ticked off but we were getting in each others way from time-to-time, and I never got the chance to measure up for the solid steel pipe to the air brake cylinder, nor the throttle cable. Pete C and George finished their day freeing up the radiator stay-bar, but I need to hunt out a 5/16 inch UNF tap to clean the threads in the header tank.

So RS8 finished the year close, but still not runnable. Andy H reminded me of a you-tube video, taken at Dinting in the late '70s or early '80s when the Bahamas group were re-fitting a tender body to its chassis, and the steam crane was shunted around by RS8. I had seen this before but at the time it was good to see it in use but on reviewing, I noticed at about 5 minutes in, when a panning shot shows the crane and RS8 near to broadside, there is a definite disparity in the buffer heights, with RS8 significantly lower than the crane, which as a constant mass and low mileage ought to be a stable height.

Andrew had plans to get shuttering assembled and concrete poured this week, but sadly that came to naught but he did get time to weld in the last two cab mounts into the bottom section of the cab. He still needs to flick it over and finish the last few welds before dropping it back onto Adolf's frame to see that it all lines up and assess what parts need adding where to support the floor around the Hunslet gearbox.

On Thursday he and Steph went to collect grandson, and at one point it looked like they might return empty-handed, but in the nick of time the situation was resolved and grandson has made his presence felt back here at the Briddon Country Pile. Myself on Thursday I had gone over to Scunthorpe, returning with a quantity of pallet type racking which, at 2.4m lengths, neccessitated securing the van's back doors with a lorry strap. I went back again on Friday to collect the heavy chipboard shelves and had to do the same again.

I was back in the shed on Saturday, still searching for the elusive crimping tool and doing a bit of tidying along the way, though I did in the end strip some Westinghouse standstill detectors for conversion into electronic speedo generators. I also spent some time on Adolf, removing where the speedo drive comes off the Hunslet gearbox and the plate that covers the bearing. The idea is to put the Westinghouse-conversion in place of the mechanical right-angle drive, and although I've done this before in YEC days, my drawings are not complete so it's neccessary to re-invent the arrangement. I had planned to get down to the shed again today, but this morning decided I needed to do some serious tidying up of the garage in the hope of finding the missing crimping tool. There is a lot of stuff in there that really ought to be down in the shed anyway - at least two large boxes of spanners and such that were simply inaccessble, and lots of stuff which, if we're honest, we've forgotten we have. Plus carboard boxes from last years Christmas presents piled up until finding your way to the freezer took on the nature of a jungle expedition. I've dealt with a lot of that, and almost covered the van floor with boxes of bits to be taken down and sorted, even if some is destined to go straight in the scrap bin.To cap it all, I had convinced myself that the last time I had used this tool I had been assembling the panels for 03 901, hence it ought to be at home. I was both right and wrong: the last time the crimping tool was used was by Andrew when adding some wiring to the low load trailer - it was in his bedroom all the time. The hours I've wasted...

So that's about it. Presents are under trees, and at least one correspondent has confided that there might just be a copy of The Railway to Merhead there for him. One more entry to go in 2018, but hopefully there'll be something happening to make a worthwhile read. See ya then?

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