500954 has left us to have its actuating arm welded at Rothley and will return to traffic as part of the Parcels rake at the upcoming Goods Galore gala before it joins the rest of the vans for future events.
On to this weekend and first a trip out to collect a Hydrovane Compressor kindly donated to us, this will be a great asset for the future and our thanks go out for this kind donation.
Due to the changeable weather, our attention has turned to the vacuum system of the Shockhood B. This had been isolated sometime ago and was picked up during our routine maintenance. The vehicle has an Empty / Loaded change over valve which once selected to the loaded position introduces an additional 15″ cylinder into the brake system as well as the standard 18″ cylinder. When we last looked at the vehicle we connected the 15″ Cylinder direct to the train pipe of the vehicle. After replacing the south end vacuum hose we carried out a brake test.
This performed unsatisfactorily even after the replacement of the release valve. We swapped the direct connection to the 18″ cylinder and again this did not meet with expectation.
The piston gland seal was replaced and again no change to its performance. So with a new release valve, gland seal and a missing nut replace from beneath the cylinder the issue must be internal.
With a plan formulated for Sunday, we removed the release valve from the 15″ cylinder as well as the now redundant pipe work.
The final job for Saturday was a spot of signwriting for Renaissance Railcars
On to Sunday and we dropped the 18″ cylinder from the Shockhood.
The cylinder was last overhauled in 1993 and its internal condition was remarkable only the seals were in very poor condition.
With the seals replaced the cylinder was reassembled and the top of the dome painted in bitumastic paint. Once it is refitted this area will be inaccessible. Once together the cylinder was refitted, plumed back in and a test carried out. This time the cylinder held until we released it after a tea break.
With a boost in confidence, we turned our attention to the Medfit and again cylinder out. This time however we lifted it out.
This one shows the importance of sealing an out of use cylinder, the Shockhoods was sealed when isolated keeping the elements out of it, the Medfits however left to the open and internally it was very poor.
With a scrape, wirebrush and then Red Oxide it was time for another tea break.
This allowed the Red Oxide to dry so we could reassemble the cylinder with another full set of seals and it was refitted to the vehicle. The two vehicles were then connected to the test rig individually, the cylinders operated a number of times and then the brake finally destroyed and left.
I finally brought my latest bit of signwriting out into the sun.
On arrival Monday the vehicles still had their brakes applied. Hardly any drop on either cylinder.
Our task, however, was gala prep. Next week is, of course, Goods Galore and a few of our vehicles are in operation. We were asked by the Operations Manager to look over not only our vehicles but all those in operation. It also gave us the opportunity to complete the Winter Maintenance of E280364 and DB916549.
Back at Quorn and to complete the day I manufactured a blanking plate for the now redundant 15″ cylinder on the Shockhood and Nick manufactured 2 chalkboards for the Medfit.
As I mentioned above next weekend is Goods Galore so feel free to come down and see a substantial number of our collection in operation.