This week on Tuesday and Wednesday a number of our vehicles were used during a Timeline Events charter. As usual, I was on site reenacting with Jack, but this time we were also joined by Ross. If you have ever wondered what happens to van sides that have been removed? We repurpose them and this week the VEA door skins removed in 2017 became a headboard for Standard 5 73156. The original was carried by the engine in 1959.
On to the weekend and our vacuum adventures with Test Car 2 continue, with the performance of the 15″ cylinder below par the decision was taken last weekend to replace it. With the vehicle being made available for possible future use in passenger rakes the reduced braking provided by the reduced size cylinder could be detrimental to the braking of a train. First, we dropped into Quorn to pick up one of our spare 21″ cylinders. This was refurbished some time ago but not fully assembled whilst it awaited a purpose. It originally came from one of our Dogfish hoppers and had been attacked by the tin worm. The Cylinder dome was repaired by the locomotive department some years ago.
On arrival at Rothley the first task was to remove the 15″ cylinder.
With the cylinder removed, we had to modify a support bracket for the ETH through wire as this will be foul of a 21″ cylinder. The clamp blocks were fully removed, the outer block was reduced to top and bottom radiuses and the inner block was cut down and the lower corner removed.
Whilst Ross and I removed the 15, Nick and Jake assembled the 21. This included applying red oxide to the areas that will be out of reach when the cylinder is fitted. The inside was hovered, a new seal fitted and cylinder bolted up. The repairs previously carried out are clearly visible.
With the cylinder assembled, it was time to fit it to the vehicle. The trunion supports were replaced with standard brackets recovered from long lost coaches and the cylinder lifted into position. The cylinder was connected to the brake cross shaft, release valve fitted and clearances checked.
Once complete Jake took the time to red oxide the rest of the cylinder but not before the all-important vacuum test. 20inHg was reached and the cylinder operated a number of times before the vacuum was destroyed. 10 minutes came and past and the brake was still applied after 3 hours and deemed a success.
Next task was to replace the draw hook at the generator end. When converted to a test car in 1974 the original draw hook with buckeye attachment was removed and replaced with that from a 20T Brake van. This included a narrowing of the headstock slot which luckily was only a plate bolted into the original.
Taken from another long since lost vehicle a full set of coach drawhook springs drawbar and draw-hook was retrieved from storage. Ross had the arduous task of undoing the mounting nut 1/8th of a turn at a time. Once free the assembly was removed along with the headstock plate.
A ware plate was fitted, the spring pack then assembled and fitted and the recovered draw bar and hook was also fitted, All four members of the team were required with some interesting contortions of people around the axles, bogie and pipework of the coach.
On to Sunday and again a quick visit to Quorn. This time to pick up a buckeye. On arrival at Rothley the split pin to secure the draw hook was fitted. Unfortunately, airlines were in the way but a quick modification to the support brackets and clearance was attained.
Next job was the laborious task of screwing up the drawbar nut because of the bogie this was done 1/4 turn at a time. Once tight the split pin was fitted.
With the draw hook assembly complete next was the “simple” task of hanging the buckeye. This required a few burs dressing and once in place, the support pin was driven home and once again a split pin fitted.
When we dropped the buckeye however some minor alterations had to be carried out. The buckeye came into contact with the main reservoir cock. This was removed and then the support plate was foul. A little alteration and the cock and support plate were clear.
Back in the service position the release chain and support pin chain were fitted and the release tested. A little lubrication and the wear limit was checked and the buckeye passed fit for use.
The last item was to replace the internal arrangement drawing which I had created in the week and marks the start of the internal tidy and the task of replacing the faded signage. The new one may give a clue to the livery we are looking at applying.
Hopefully, we will be back to normal next weekend or at least we will be back at Quorn.