Watercress Line

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang - 15th August 2018

This is likely to be a very short Blog, as although everyone was busy all day, most of the activities were continuations of previous week’s jobs or routine maintenance tasks.

The 9F was on the Pit Road for a Boiler Washout and Ian was connecting the hose to various washout plugs, raking out mud and debris until the water was running clear. This is one of those methodical jobs that can’t be rushed.

Work on CanPac’s Tender Frames continues with the last piece of the wasted right hand inner frame removed after more drilling, grinding and hammering.  New man Richard has proven to be a dab hand with both the Mag Drill and the sledge hammer.  Welcome Richard. At the rear of the Tender, Peter and Keith have started drilling out yet more rivets so that the damaged buffer beam can be removed.  Steve H has started to investigate cracks that have come to light on the horn guides.  Might be a case of repair or replace. Next job is to drop the centre wheel-set, using the wheel drop, for further investigation and measuring should it be necessary to manufacture new items

The Bogies for the S15 are now on No.3 Road in the Shed and one of the lifting frames plus several Jacks were used to lift the Frame so that the wheels and axle boxes could be removed.  To accommodate the Bogie under the lifting frame the axle box covers were removed as there was very little clearance. At the end of the day the wheel sets were free.

Some of the Team had a ride up to Alresford to deliver Coach Brake Blocks and I understand that Pilot Pete treated them all to a sausage roll.  They are arrived back during the lunch break to tell us what a hard morning they had had. Oh yes!

It was pleasing to see that the first Up train of the day had very good loadings with a number of passengers alighting at Ropley to view the Yard. And the last Up train of the day, behind the Ivatt could have been on the Lymington Branch or Castleman’s Corkscrew.  Fitting given that the up shelter has pillars from Ringwood, closed to passengers in 1964 and freight in 1967.

Untill the next time,

Dave – 2Jags

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