Watercress Line

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang - Theres a lot of it about

It seems to be the time of year for it – the dreaded lurgy seems to be striking everywhere! This applied to Dave-the-blog and several others, so only a few of the faithful gathered for morning tea and cakes.  There was a “near miss” as the cake rota seems to have broken down, but Graham appeared for his monthly visit, bringing supplies of Madiera Cake – all the way from Madiera.

I got the small team (Stu and Mike) started on the next stage of the drawings-cataloging mini project.  This involved “borrowing” the A3 scanner from Steves office, installing a bit of software, then I left them happily digging out selected drawings and scanning them into the computer.  That way, if the roof leaks, or worse, we have a backup.

Les and his gang continued with their 2-year project to overhaul Swanage’s bogie and truck.  Les was busy with the pivot bush on the trailing truck, whilst Keith and Welsh Pete were doing adding stiffening struts to the ingenious horn grinding tool, which required a supply of 7/16” BSW machine screws.  This is a little unfortunate as that’s a size we don’t keep in abundance, but a bit of improvisation saved the day.

Dave-2Jags and his much-depleted Wadebridge-tender gang were making a bit of progress trial fitting the massive casting that goes behind the tender dragbox. The loco’s draw-bar goes through this casting, then is anchored with rubber shock-absorbers, a healthy looking spring, and probably the biggest nut fitted to the loco. Its all designed to transmit 31,000 lbf of tractive effort, from the loco to the tender so none of it is lightweight.  The brake hanger brackets have all been removed for re-work. Most of the rivet holes were oval, so they’ve all been filled with weld and will now be re-drilled.

I’m aware that something was happening to Cheltenham in the wheel-drop shed as Paul, Ian and Geoff were out there, but I was kept busy with various things so that will remain a mystery.  The 9F has also appeared in the wheeldrop shed, showing signs of repairs to the smokebox door.   I’m told the blastpipe has also been replaced and spotted the old one in the machine shop while I was helping to shift a bench and a rack around.   

The “Friends of 80150” have gathered themselves into a small team now and there are bits of bogie-cleaning and conservation work planned so that they don’t impinge on normal activities. If you want to help with any aspect of this, contact Martin at mhr.friendsof80150@btconnect.com. 

That’s all for this week.


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