Saturday began with a spot of shunting, with the Ops Department sending a loco to move our completed wagons from Rothley to Swithland Sidings and replace them with others requiring exam from both Swithland and Quorn.
We also utilised the C&W shunter to move the Single Bolster out of the way, this is remaining at Rothley to complete its refresh.
Whilst the Ops Department shunted Swithland and Quorn, which included Michael who is leading the Bolsters refresh we turned attention to 3436 with its fine coating of dust.
We left this vehicle pre-lockdown in full black gloss awaiting signwriting.
Back in January we decided to cut some sections of old roof section to recreate the oval Esso plates. Over lockdown however, it came to light that the Swithland Wagon Group had a set manufactured. These were dropped off, although they had been made using the modern Esso logo. So we sanded the rear of each to bare aluminium to facilitate repainting.
Once back to bare aluminium one of the plates was offered to the vehicle and clamped into position. Blocks of wood placed under the plate to induce a curve.
Each clamp was positioned in such a way that to draw around it would place a mark in the correct place to line up with the attachment bracket on the tank.
These were then drilled at a smaller size than final and bolted up using smaller than final size bolts.
This confirmed the positioning of the holes, we then removed the plate and fitted it to the other side to confirm the alignment with the brackets on the other side. Thankfully they matched which allowed us to drill the other plate to the smaller size and once again each plate was bolted into position using the smaller sized bolts. These were then removed one by one, the holes opened up with a cone cutter and larger bolts including spring washers were fitted.
Finally, the plates was given a coat of etch primer.
By this time the Ferry tank along with some coaches requiring annual exam had been brought up from Loughborough and Quorn, this is in preparation for work next weekend after completion of the exam work and hopefully the Esso and Creosote tanks, these will be our focus from Monday as non essential volunteering may resume. With the shunt moving on to Swithland for collection of the final vehicles we turned to straightening the bent step mounts.
Whilst the centre road was empty it gave us opportunity to take a relatively clean shot of “The Yellow Coach”
To wrap up Saturday the next selection of wagons requiring exam arrived.
On to Sunday then, with the exam work starting on the Iron Ore Hopper, LNER Steel High, Shochood B and Medfit. Both Nick and Michael undertook the axle box exams on the Steel High and the Medfit, while Jake oiled the brake rigging.
I carried on warming parts of the Ferry Tank up to encourage some movement, this time on the south end coupling, a UIC screw coupling seized in its longest position. Unfortunately no amount of heat or penetrant was effective, so this will be left for another day. With the hot spanner in hand, I also removed some bolts from some plates bowed with rust to remove the plates and the old step bolts on the east side.
Dave and Matt inspected each of the 4 vehicles, and using Rothley’s Class 10, we checked the vacuum functionality on the 3 fitted vehicles. These have been overhauled recently so no issues were found. These 4 wagons are now back in traffic and can rejoin the mixed freight.
Vacuum Gauges in the resident Class 10.
To fill up the rest of the time, the team washed the Ferry tank before it enters the shed to remove the algae settled on the tank. The algae seems to only be removed by detergent, water and plenty of scrubbing. In doing this, some older details on the tank come to the surface as pictured below.
The team moved to Quorn around 1600 to move Madge’s trailers around and to start the Test Car’s generator and compressor to ensure these still function when we do finally get our sense of geography back. In striking up the compressor, we took the opportunity to put some air in the Volvo’s tyres.
Final point of order before I sign off this week, Dave has been refreshing the Test Car 2 Booklet. These are now on sale through Dave’s eBay page and on very kindly on West Hill Wagon Works’ website. The proceeds of any booklets purchased go toward the upkeep and maintenance of Test Car 2, and of course are very gratefully received.
Last thing for me to do is sign off. Non essential volunteering can recommence from tomorrow, so we’ll be back working on the tanks and Yellow Coach, join us next Sunday to see how far we get!