20-21 June 2009

Saturday 20 th June.

Attendance: 2

With one of our main group members getting married today Congratulation goes out to our Volunteer Liaison Officer Mr Christopher Tatton and his lovely new wife Sophie, this resulted in quite a few of the regular working members attending the wedding ceremony today so we were a little short of workers with stalwart regular Jason & returnee new kid Matt Lindley who first tried out with us back in April on a Co-Bo weekend but has since become a very keen & helpful addition to the Bury Diesel Group up at Castlecroft yard and there he has assisted with both the Bubble car restoration and the recent engine change on D7076 to create the “Wes-Mek” hybrid, but now he regularly attends the railway most weekends and had promised to come back and help out on D5705 & D8233 and today he made good on his word.

Obviously with the weather being wet & unsettled and only two volunteers on hand work today would be restricted, but that did not mean that progress could no be made, as Matt had not experienced the Class 15 before Jason gave him a tour through the locos innards after opening up the tarp and showing him the sights of the Nose end compartment, engine bay, generator compartment and the cab, after which they had a cup of tea and then drove down to Castlecroft to sort out some of the large bogie spares which are stored there.

The Castlecroft site is in the process of being cleared of all the equipment belonging to the diesel groups so we needed to make sure that all D8233's spares are marked up and kept together ready for when they are due for removal and transportation back down to the Baron Street site, recently someone had gone around and marked up all D8233 parts with paint, but some of the parts were piled up in a disorganised pile including the traction motor gear cases halves, so to keep them together Jason & Matt arrived with some cleaned up gear case bolts and suitably large socket & spanner and set about building up the gear cases.

There are two halves to each gear case an upper & lower and in the sides are large holes that the loco axle & traction motor pinion pass through, as we'd had a lot of rain recently most of the gear cases were full of rain water that had to be emptied out then one by one each gear case was pieced together and a bolt fitted at each end and once done the cases were stacked beside and on top of some of the traction motors. Also Jason & Matt dug out the traction motor links, these were buried under the pile of gear case halves and now are resting on top of the motors, the large pins that mount these units were slotted into each link as needed this helps to keep the stuff together and will make the gear cases easier to lift using the crane when the time comes.

Afterwards they returned to Baron St for some lunch during which time the weather had cleared up a little so it was decided to do a spot of painting on the L/H nose end door. The inside of the door was ready for glossing and after they had pushed the tarp back over the nose Jason started painting at the top of the door while Matt started at the bottom and they worked their way into the middle, after the door was completed another job was found for Matt, there were still a couple of the long engine room electrical conduits to be drelled so one was set up on the bench for Matt and he was supplied with the necessary protective equipment and he got on with it. Jason made a trip to B&Q to get a better all weather plug unit for the coach end and on his return he stripped off the old unit and fitted the new one, by this time it was late afternoon & Matt had finished drelling the conduit and after cleaning up had to set off home, Jason thanked him for his help and then finished off mounting the new plug box, this ended to days efforts.


Sunday 21 st June

Attendance: 4

Today would be a much better day, the weather was a little better and for the most part dry though the plan to paint the previously drelled up section of the L/H roof was scuppered when it started raining mid morning, it didn't last long but as we didn't want to risk doing any external painting the job has been put off for another time, Jason was on site first with Jim arriving shortly after, Chris B & Matt Lindley arrived a little later and work could begin.

First off Chris B had bought back some radiator elements these were mostly ones that have been modified to fit the Co-bo radiator as the elements on it are a non-standard length, Chris also returned a couple of spare elements for D8233, then after a successful test fitting of the elements in the assembled Co-bo radiator frame Chris took home with him the TMB snail ducts, bolts and associated equipment to fit to the TMB motors that he is overhauling at his home workshop.

Matt was set up with another long conduit to drell but it was too long for the work bench, however a section of it was removable and using the large stilsons he managed to unscrew the end section make the conduit more manageable for working on, so he made a start on drelling it down. Meanwhile on the loco the tarp had now been pulled back to the cab fully exposing the nose end, cooler group, engine & generator sections and from this point on the remaining workers would split up and tackle different areas of the loco; Jim continued his work on realigning the body side doors on the L/H side of the loco, as the nose end doors are now pretty much complete he moved back to work on the large engine room doors which all fit reasonably well but it was found that the door edges needed minor tweekage and some of the door locking bars were bent so these had to be removed and straightened, Jason decided to continue his task to paint the power unit deciding to start on a fresh area and went to back of the bedplate to needle gun the outer surface as the inside of the generator cradle has been painted already.

Chris B meanwhile had got into the cab and was continuing the task of taking reference photos and then removing the floor batons then he tackled the under floor electrical conduits & air pipes, however he soon reached a point where his task was stalled but a number of the pipes being trapped under the TMB ducting that runs under the floor of the cab, so it was decided to remove it, but this was a job easier said than done.

The Duct runs between a number of the floor braces and is bolted at either end also one of the mounts for the “Slot Machine” master controller which is welded to the floor partially wraps around it, and at the opposite the handbrake pedestal mount butts up against it. This has the effect of boxing the duct in place so that it cannot be lifted out so Chris required the assistance of Jim to try and move the duct and lever it out with crow bars but it would not budge. They decided to cut a slither of metal at a angle off the Slot Machine mount that would give some extra clearance, so they tried again and eventually they managed to twist it up and pull it loose. This was a huge relief and upon the removal of the duct all the air pipes & conduits that ran under it were now free & exposed.

While all this was going on Matt had finished drelling the long conduits in the workshop and was now applying the coat of green primer, Jason was continuing to needle gun the engine bedplate and had to remove some of the modifications that were welded on to the bedplate when the engine was converted to a standby generator. Back in the cab, Chris continued to remove the under floor fittings, the TMB duct has now been stood up and placed in the door well on the R/H side of the loco with curved end sticking out of the removed cab front window.

Jim had completed his task of adjusting the L/H engine room doors and now they fit nice and snugly, Jason had gunned most of the bad frame but some of the inside areas were still to do but time was getting on and all the tools had to be packed away and the tarp pulled back over the loco and fully secured. After the others had departed mid afternoon, Jason remained for a while to apply some green primer paint to the other long conduit that Matt was unable to finish, this then bought an end to todays proceedings. It seemed like we got a lot done and work on the cab is showing real signs of progress which is a good thing.

The next working weekend is on 20/21 June. If you wish to lend a hand please contact Chris Tatton

Above : A stack of some of the assembled gear cases in castlecroft yard. © C15PS
Above : The inside of the L/H nose end door has now been gloss painted. © C15PS
Above : Matt de-greases one of the long electrical conduits on the workshop bench. © C15PS
Above : The Tarp is pulled back to reveal Jim working on the engine room doors. © C15PS
Its surprising where you can get our small yet powerful needle gun.© C15PS
Chris & Jim manage to lever out the stubborn TMB ducting from the cab floor.© C15PS
With the TMB duct removed you can see the pipes that ran under it. © C15PS


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