Watercress Line

A bit of TLC for 80150

Off to the safe haven of Ropley Home for the Bewildered – an escape back into the 1960s with a proven therapeutic benefit!  Talk over tea and cakes was JAM – not the stuff that goes in with the icing, but the new government acronym “Just About Managing”.  We're all just about managing something-or-other - do they mean us?

Since my last blog, the “Friends of 80150” have grown in number and a couple of sorties have been made to do a bit more conservation work and to assess what is needed to make it safely moveable.  It was unloved and unwanted in its early life – BR wanted to cancel the order for the last 5 Standard Tanks due to the Modernisation  Plan, but too much had been committed so they were allowed to continue.  80150 then had a short 7-year life with BR at Eastleigh and Guildford, and during that time a 18” x 15” patch was applied to the inner firebox.  This patch held back 25 tons of steam pressure, and deterred the preservationists in the 1970s/1980s which meant it was destined to become one of the “Barry 10” with many of its components missing.

Once restored, 80150 will be an ideal loco for our railway, being powerful, economical and easy to maintain.  Since its been here, some components have already been sourced, overhauled or made, but it's present location is unsuitable.  A necessary first step is to make it moveable to a location where it can be displayed as part of the "Barry story" while hands-on work gets under way.  It has an alarming tendency for the bogie flanges to climb the rails on curves and pointwork, which is caused by a combination of missing springs, seized axlebox horns and possibly seized side-control. The “Friends” are looking at ways of getting more load onto the bogie, and freeing the side-control.  If you want to help with this, please contact Martin at mhr.friendsof80150@btconnect.com.  Note that access to 80150’s location requires PTS and prior arrangement.

The “walking wounded” gang (mainly Painless, Stu and Mike) have completed the job of indexing about 2,000 sheets of paper engineering drawings.  As some of these were several parts of, or copies of, the same thing, it means we have about 1,200 engineeering drawings identified.  The next job is to match these with the drawings we have stored on the server, and then we can focus on making backup copies of anything that can’t easily be replaced.

Les-and-the-Bogiemen now have a new toy designed by Nick in the Thursday Gang.  The horn grinding tool is mounted on the massive jig we installed into Swanage’s bogie a few weeks ago, and is used to grind the axlebox horn guides to be completely flat and parallel – desirable qualities in a horn guide!

Dave-2Jags and his team are still engaged in removing rivets from Wadebridge’s new tender chassis. The lifting frames have now been scraped down and rust-converter applied, with a view to painting yellow and certification.

Out in the yard, a well-staffed team was formed to replace some timbers that allow road vehicles access over points near the boiler shop. Keith had been borrowed from the P-Way gang as he has both a chain-saw and the training to use it.  This proved invaluable in shaping railway sleepers made from Jarrah wood, which is almost as hard as concrete.   Special screws had been obtained by Andy but we now need a specialist drill to make pilot holes.  Painless is off to somewhere exotic, but perhaps his SDS drill can be borrowed when he returns.

Elsewhere, there was work to do on Cheltenham and the 9F, and some cleaning-up and winter oiling to protect the running fleet from the climate. We did hold a special container-hunt to catalogue bits of S15 – I’ve been getting withdrawal symptoms from this container as I’ve not been in there for weeks!


That’s all for now.



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