Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Of Andrew away

3rd October 2011

There was a theory behind naming this blog Weekend Rails that one works Monday to Friday and “plays” Saturday and Sunday. Occasionally however, necessities mean that the format gets blurred, and so it was this last weekend, with Andrew away overseeing fitters carrying out mods on a carriage somewhere. But having seen this state of affairs in the offing, he instead took an afternoon off during the week and headed over to Rowsley with the intention of maintaining progress on “Libby”.

The cab side is now re-primed, although you can still just make out the weld area – Andrew plans to filler this with some fresh filler before going for undercoat. While this was drying he moved on to the front casings – these are to come off completely for shotblasting and priming – but first the exhaust and inlet systems need stripping where they hang from the casing roof. Andrew found water in one of the silencers, so the original YEC “storm drain” which is still intact must be blocked and will require attention.

"Libby's" cab side now

On Saturday Steph and I were again back continuing the clearance of my father’s bungalow, arriving back home just before midnight, so although Andrew had left a list of jobs that “I might like to do if I can’t think of anything better” by the time we’d surfaced, sorted some of the van’s contents and overcome fatigue it was around 2pm but we still headed dutifully over to Rowsley. My target was the Drewry, WD72229. While it was up at the DVLR it developed a fuel leak from the drain tap, which just happens to be located directly above the belt drive to the exhauster. The DVLR had kindly provided an empty baked bean can, which, before we refitted said exhauster, rested on the driving pulley and was virtually filled every week. With the aid of a few tie-wraps (what did we ever do before tie-wraps?) I rigged this can into a hanging can, from the tap which was itself leaking, and provided we remembered and did not allow it to continue unattended for over 7 days, the fuel has been “recycled” back into the tank.

You may assume that all that is required is to drain the fuel out through the drain valve, change it for a modern one and refill. Not so, such is the fickleness of this drain valve is that opening it produces nothing: there is no flow. Yet it continues to drip, even when closed. Thus in the high humidity and overall languidity of Sunday afternoon, there I was, rotary drum pump in hand, sat upon the casing top solemnly pumping fuel out through the filler neck into a 45gallon drum. At the end of it all (well, when the pump stops sucking, which probably means a 1/4″ or so on the tank bottom before the sump section is taken into account) I removed the troublesome valve, and the tank remained sealed thanks to 50 years of accumulated sludge in the bottom of the sump. That’s what it’s there for, of course, but reporting to Andrew later brought the bright suggestion that maybe we should flush it out.

Down in South Wales, the torsional coupling has been refitted to 14 901 and reports came back that it was now very much smoother than it was before – possibly vibration we had put down to the rigidly-mounted engine was in fact the outer end of the coupling rattling in the worn bearing. Not so satisfactory is the news that other parts of the loco were damaged, and can we supply parts? It would have been better if we had had the whole story from the beginning.

As I sat down to write this blog on Sunday night, my monitor suddenly went black – it had been showing signs of old age – like me – for months. By the time it had cooled down and that “parfum de melted electronics” had gone away, the old large CRT lump humped out of the way (as we used to say “one, two, three, hernia!”) and my father’s flat screen installed, it was well past eleven and being presented with an “input not support” screen message on boot-up was the last straw.

More in this category: « Of brackets and battery boxes

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