15th July 2012
I hold Andrew entirely responsible. As we drove back from Scunthorpe last weekend, he remarked that we hadn't heard anything about "Pluto" and hoped that the Derwent Valley were making good use of it. And two days later, guess what happens: we get a e-mail from Vince at the DVLR to say that Pluto had been started ready for service on Sunday and promptly developed a major oil leak.
8th July 2012
On Saturday morning I was woken from my slumbers by the mobile - actually I often am but this was the ring tone rather than the alarm - being a call from my transmission gurus. The boss himself had stripped our powershift on Friday - the converter seals had failed probably because of the presence of rust and debris (and having been stood unused for over a decade probably hadn't helped) plus at least two bearings were knocking in the powershift and were probably close to failing. Taking labour, bearings, seals etc into account the total cost would be £3000. It is the sort of shock that brings you summarily into the land of the living and I told them as calmly as possible to proceed - after all, it has to be done, and ultimately it's Andrew's money(!).
1st July 2012
The last week of the month I suppose lived up to precedent. At the beginning, I had one of those "I'm sorry to have to tell you" calls. It appears that when we were told last week that the spare powershift transmission for D2128 had been tested OK, it had in fact been pulled off prematurely as a more urgent job had arrived. When it was put back on and tested properly not only did the converter seals leak but it made "unhappy" noises which may be a bearing down in the powershift. We knew it was much stiffer to turn the output flange so this was not really a surprise, but nevertheless unwelcome.
24th June 2012
The narrow gauge theme started by the Amberley visit continued this week. On Wednesday night Steph and I met Andrew at Butterley for their annual n.g. open night. (We met for the simple reason that he was on his return journey from Eastleigh.) These open nights have a similar theme - two or three runs the length of the GVLR with resident 0-4-2T "Joan", then the area around Butterley is de-marked into sections and a loco is set on each and visitors are free to have a go.
11th March 2012
The magazines are now beginning to report the plans for the AFRPS gala, now but 2 months off. Some are confidently saying that haulage will include a certain 03, others adding the “subject to availability” caveat, and one contributor muttering that “getting a move on” will be vital if D2128 is to turn a wheel (but what does he know?). Provided there are no major hitches, things are progressing nicely, and Andrew’s biggest concern is cash flow to buy the remaining big lumps. The control panel still monopolises the front room table at Briddon Towers.
15th April 2012
To celebrate the end of Andrew’s week long Easter holiday, he scheduled a further 3-day working weekend. Actually it would have been 3.5 days but I had the van in for a bit of TLC and didn’t get it back until Friday morning. So we loaded up, and headed on a tour of suppliers, collecting various bits before meandering around to Scunthorpe. The 03 was still inside and awaiting our attention.
20th May 2012
With the AFRPS gala behind us, for better or worse, we had said we would take a break from Scunthorpe as, with the collection spread over so many sites, spending so much time at one is liable to cause issues at another. Nevertheless, determined to get to the bottom of what was wrong, he persuaded me to head over on Tuesday night for a further bit of investigation.
18th March 2012
Only one day on the collection as Andrew was at his girl friend’s and I was having a frustrating time on that Dorman 8JT I mentioned before, but I won’t go in to that save to say that I had done the work according to the Dorman manual, and only wish that someone had explained that to the engine. Anyway, amongst the miscellaneous little jobs during the week I spent a bit of time finalising the gearchange unit.
25th March 2012
During the week, a jiffy bag arrived for Andrew containing a new set of vanes for the dmu exhauster on “Pluto” and in consequence he decided that it was time we showed our faces there. So on a misty Saturday morning, we headed north to York and the DVLR.
4th March 2012
Even as I was packing to go away for the (previous) weekend, I got a phone call from Peak Rail reporting that Charlie’s stop solenoid had given up the ghost. Let me explain. Left to its own devices, most engine fuel pumps head to the “run” position, it is what they are made to do. Therefore you need a device to pull the lever on the pump to a position where there is insufficient fuel delivered and the engine stops.