28/03/21 – Oiling and Overhauls

We’re back again for another weekend of maintenance, this time on a portion of the mixed freight set. Those being: B740654, B721587, B724570, E301588, B732357, E212315, B916549 and B425356. As per the preceding few weeks, the wagons received an axlebox exam and the brake gear oiled. Dave and I also inspected each vehicle, noting down items/issues as required.

The vehicles that we have been working on this weekend haven’t seen any vacuum attention for a while, so it was decided to test the vacuum and give the fitted vehicles a vacuum overhaul. The vacuum piped vehicles had their hoses changed as required and the vacuum hose & dummy seals replaced. I also replaced some vacuum branch pipes which had seen better days.

Given the new hoses and seals, we connected the exhauster plant up and tried to create a vacuum, which got got to 19 inHg at the other end of the consist. The vacuum was destroyed using the test cock and the brakes observed for any activity. Two vehicles passed the vacuum test, having just had their hoses replaced. These will of course be done when they come back to us for bodywork and painting. Of the other vehicles, three are piped (though one with an issue) and the other three had failed the test. The Pipe, Shock Hybar and LNER Tube will receive vacuum overhauls over the coming weeks.

Sunday saw us attempt the vacuum overhauls of the three failed vehicles, starting with the Shock HyBar. Our conclusion is that this vehicle is a right pain to remove the vacuum cylinder from, having to remove the door banger/stop and possbily the handbrake lever. After a considerable amount of faff, the cylinder was removed and taken apart for inspection and overhaul.

The Shock Hybar having taken longer than expected, we then took a look at the LNER Tube. This was somewhat easier to remove (although the hot spanner was required to undo the nuts) and was in remarkable condition when taken apart. The cylinder was cleaned out of the rolling ring dust and reassembled with new rolling ring and joint seals. Dave removed the release valve and overhauled that so it was ready to refit when the time came. Matt took away the piston rod and polished it.

The cylinder was re-assembled and it was put back under the wagon and tested. The re-fit was much easier than the removal!

With just the Tube connected to the exhauster, 21 inHg was achieved and exceeded with the rig, and the cylinder exercised a few times. The brakes applying and releasing just fine, a slow brake application was made and the brakes allowed to apply and sit. The brakes were applied around 1600 and were still on when we left Rothley at 1800, a good result as when initially tested yesterday the cylinder didn’t apply at all!

Next weekend is Easter weekend, and the vacuum overhauls will continue on the Pipe and the Shock Hybar and we will also look at the leaking trainpipe on the Coal Hopper. Join us then and see how we get on!

Author: Ross Loades

Wagon Basher and Systems Engineer in the Rail Industry