15/12/19 – Mostly Fitted Freight

A slight picture light update this week, apologies! In other news, as some of you will have seen on our Facebook page, we have been awarded the 2020 Mortons Media (Rail Express) Modern Traction Award from the Heritage Rail Association, which is in addition to our two shortlistings.

This weekend has seen the final vacuum brake overhaul completed on our van train and a release valve replace on B763305. The final two vans, B852838 and B783082, have each had their brake cylinders lifted down, overhauled and replaced. With two vans left, we spend one day on each van. Saturday saw us concentrate on the Shocvan, starting by stripping the cylinder down enough to lift down.  The cylinder put up a fight when we tried to dismantle it, with rust around the dome studs preventing the dome coming free.  The cylinder has been untouched for at least 29 years, which is the amount of time it has spent at the railway. Unfortunately the cylinder had no tag fitted after its last overhaul, so the last overhaul date is unknown.

As a member of station staff, Matt and Michelle attended the Quorn Station staff Christmas Do in the afternoon, which meant Matt spent the morning signwriting the signs for the WHSmith’s kiosk at Loughborough station.img_20191214_1757024602619512976459306.jpg

While the light was disappearing I was rebuilding vacuum release valves to replenish the stock of valves overhauled by Dave. While doing this I also rebuilt our two C-type valves, which as it turns out use the same diaphragm as the more common E-type valves.

Sunday had Nick, Dave, Matt, James and I in attendance. We started by pulling the vans down to be able to access the final cylinder on B783082. Dave set about stripping the cylinder to make it ready to lift down, removing the piston rod, release valve and piston rod cover in record quick time.

We lifted the cylinder down and began the now familiar task of the overhaul.

This then got refitted and reconnected.

With the plyboard available, I attended to a previous mistake on B763305.

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The vans were pushed back down, and the test rig again coaxed into life to test the Shocvan, Vanwide and B763305. Matt went under the Shocvan with his flair lamp to check for any holes.

Both the Vanwide and Shocvan still held their brakes on upon leaving this evening. B763305 now holds for the required amount of time. We finished the testing by lunch, so spent the afternoon clearing the site van out, and putting the tools back and investigating now defective tools. Matt continued signwriting the other kiosk sign.

Thanks for reading, and join us again next week to find out what we get up to.