Welcome to this weekend’s update from Quorn Wagon and Wagon’s Rothley outpost. We have again been working on Test Car 2, in preparation for its move to Quorn as our temporary base.
Work this week has concentrated around the vehicle’s vacuum system. Last week, we were able to prove that the vacuum pipe was intact as a throughpipe. We started off by digging out some spare Direct Admission (D.A) Valves and sections of specially shaped pipework out of the van train from storage. This pipework fits into the tee joint from the main vacuum train pipe and drops them down to the D.A valve bracket next to the Vacuum Cylinder.
Firstly, We removed the bungs from the tee pieces in the train pipe and connected the first section of downpipe to the Crane coupler.
One end had a frame fitted to carry a DOPLAR speed measuring system whilst it was based at the Old Dalby Test Track. Matt set about removing that frame whilst Nick and I trial fitted the down pipes to see where the bracket would sit. This would also show us modifications we’d have to make to the pipework to be able to fit with appropriate clearance for all components in the area.
Both ends required no modification to the down pipe, but both had to have the mid section and final sections altered to allow for best positioning on the coach.
The electric pipe threader made light work or altering the pipes and by the end of Saturday we had managed to effect a brake application on the North end of the coach.
We found that whilst the brake applied satisfactorily (first time since 1991) they would leak off after 5 minutes. we cleaned and exercise the release valve on the cylinder. This resulted in the cylinder holding for 3 hours, after which we lost interest. Our attention then move to the south end brake cylinder.
The south end of the vehicle is fitted with reduced diameter cylinders on both the vacuum and the air braking system. This means that the vehicle has a reduced brake force reducing the risk of the wheelsets locking up as this end was fitted with tacho counters for distance measuring during tests. We found that the brake cylinder again applied well, but released after only 1 minute. Initially, we suspected the release valve, so changed that for a spare. this did not rectify the issue, so we then replace the DA valve. This hasn’t rectified the issue, so no the cylinder is suspected. This will be replaced in due course. Matt remains confident in the air brakes of the coach, after its final movement to the loading pad on the Test Track.
Work didn’t just take place on the brakes. Matt has trimmed the buckeye chain guide to allow the Brake Pipe cock on the air system to latch shut. I reinforced the door frame around the lock I fitted last week. I also noticed whilst underneath the vehicle that the return spring for the south brake rigging had come adrift and was not in place. A spare was found and Matt wedged himself into the bogie and fitted it. The train lighting jumper blanking cover was found in the guards area, so Matt refitted it to the North end from whence it came.
Thanks for reading this update, join us next week, when the saga of the vacuum cylinder continues!