Watercress Line

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang - 10th May 2017 – Bogies everywhere!

Plenty going on in the workshops at Ropley this week – we were forewarned of various shunting movements and to take extra care, then we set off to carry on where we left off last week.

Les-and-the-bogie-men were delighted that Santa had arrived early this year and brought them two new presents – the bogie and trailing truck from Canadian Pacific (35005 to the trainspotters amongst you).  The first job was to get the bogie and truck reasonably clean so the deposits left by numerous Eastleigh pigeons were scraped away and everything given a bit of a clean and some oil.  A quick inspection revealed some very badly worn surfaces in the side-control mechanisms,  some rather egg-shaped holes, and some missing rivets.  Les will make a plan to tackle it all – it seems to be in rather worse condition than Swanage’s equivalent bits.

The bogie is similar to the design used in the West Countries – and indeed the Lord Nelsons, Schools etc. The trailing truck looks similar to the West Countries’ truck but is a whopping great casting rather than a fabrication.  Consequently it’s probably over half a ton heavier, and the cast steel is thicker with a more irregular surface, which may make the job more difficult.

As the 4 new springs for Swanage’s bogie had arrived, I put them on the spring tester with a bit of help from Jim, and they perform pretty well identically to the 4 springs we salvaged from Swanage.  Les and his band of helpers had them all installed and loaded by the end of the day.

The painting work on Wadebridge’s tender chassis continued, and Alasdair carried on making a din up on Swanage’s tender, getting it ready for the paintbrush.

Out in the wheel-drop, something was happening under the S15 (30506), and a spring was being changed on the Ivatt Tank.  Later in the day, the Maunsell S15 (30828) was shunted over the wheeldrop to replace it’s bogie, which had been temporarily supporting 30506.  In this game of  “musical bogies”, the bogie from 30506 was then rolled into the workshop and placed in the queue of bogies to be overhauled.  The sight of 5 bogies and trucks in the workshop gives an insight into how the feeder areas must have worked in the old railway works, where they had dedicated space for overhauling sub-assembles, rather like car plants – only bringing it all together in the final assembly area.

In case anyone is the least bit interested, the bogies from the S15s are quite different from the Bulleid design. Whereas the Bulleids have two coil springs with an equalising bean for each axlebox, the older S15s have a huge leaf spring on each side – the ends of each spring bearing on the axleboxes.  It’s basically the same design as the LMS bogies and those used on the BR Standards – including our 75079 and 80150.

I busied myself with the maze of lubrication pipes that have to go back onto Swanage.  I blew air through all 24 of the axlebox lubrication pipes then cleaned up another set ready for a trial fit above the left leading axlebox.  This was aided by an extract from the works drawing and some tags which had been helpfully attached to the pipes showing which axlesbox, plus the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4.  Common sense suggested that these might be numbered from the front of the loco, but when they were in position, that looked like a mess, so I took the whole lot off and re-fitted them in the reverse order – ie the order they are fitted into the pipe clamps.  This looked better, but we’ll re-visit this next week and have a look at the long pipes that go back to the cab.  These pipes have all been annealed so they have to be treated with care as they are very easily bent or creased.  We’ll tidy up the shapes later when we’re more confident about what goes where.

Just in case you’re reading this and thinking of volunteering, I’ll just add that a lot of these jobs can be tackled by people without any prior engineering skills, so don’t be put off.  If I can do it, so can you!.  I know Martin and the Friends-of-80150 have quite a list of jobs that can be done by absolute beginners – you can contact him at mhr.friendsof80150@btconnect.com

Under Assistant Ropley Scribe


Cake roster for the next few weeks:
May 17            Dave-the-scribe & Andy
May 24            Kieran & Colin-Morris

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