19/12/21 -Check up for a Grampus or two

Its been wagon work this week, carrying out the annual exam on the some of the engineering fleet.

Hello everyone and welcome to another update from us. Our main focus this weekend was the annual exam of the Grampus wagons (well 4 Grampus and 1 steel Tunny). These have recently been unloaded so became available to us.

Dave, Nick, Richard and myself set up on the wagons, undertaking axle box exams and oiling up the brake gear. As these had been left loaded with spoil we had expected the axle boxes to have some water content but were pleasantly surprised.

An axle box exam consists of the following: cleaning around the box to make sure nothing can fall onto the pad or into the box. For divided boxes, the split pins are removed and the nuts are undone to lower the box bottom. For open-fronted boxes, the cover is just a case of levering the cover open with the special-shaped ‘Shark’ spanner. Once open or lowered, the pad is removed from the reservoir and placed on an empty paint tin. The contents of the tank are examined; mostly these were full of oil, but some did have some water in them. At this point, the exposed part of the journal is inspected for any damage or scoring.

The water gets emptied out of the tank and then they are topped up with fresh oil. The pad is examined, the tails are teased out and if the top and tails are satisfactory, it is placed back into the reservoir. After this, it is just a case of reassembling the axle box.

Richard was guided through undertaking a vehicle inspection by Dave and I oiled the brake gear on the push braked wagons which is accessible from each side of the wagon, so no need to go underneath. All doors chains were inspected, and besides one door securing lug being broken off, all is well.

Sunday started with more of the same, finishing off the exams by oiling up the only vac braked Grampus we have, DB991408. This is clasp braked so much more involved to oil up with lots of brake linkage in the centre of the wagon. The wagon also has screw couplings, so these were oiled as well.

After the wagon work was completed, operation tidy up carried on and I also sorted out the remote on/off for the power supply installed last week. We sorted through the spanners and have categorised them into Metric, A/F and Whitworth.

In ‘crafty corner’ Richard and Dave prepared the labels for each crate containing each of our power tools, continuing the organisation of those.

That just about wraps up our work for this week. Next weekend is Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so for a somewhat rare occasion, there will be no real update from us. All of us here wish you a Merry Christmas and if we don’t post before, and very Happy New Year.

Author: Ross Loades

Wagon Basher and Systems Engineer in the Rail Industry

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