18-19 July 2009

Saturday 18th July

Attendance: 4

Due to a break in at the ELR in the previous weeks this in turn had prompted our project leader to take the plunge to beef up security in our support coach and rent some secure storage. This had all kicked off the week before so when we arrived at the coach for this working weekend at the start of the day we found the support coach to be disorganised state and the compartment where we used to store the engine parts and other spares was almost empty. This dramatic clearout has allowed us to transfer much of the stored equipment in the support coach into store and free up much needed space.

Adam Booth decided to go into the Co-bo to do some undercoating in the cooler group and Jason & Rob loaded up their cars with some more spares to take down to storage facility, just before they left Matt Lindley arrived and was keen to get going on stripping out inside D8233's cab so it was made sure he was set up before Rob & Jason departed for the store.

Meanwhile Adam had finished his bit of painting in the Co-Bo and was now in the coach seeing to another security upgrade by panelling over the inside of door windows in the kitchen area of the coach, Matt was making good progress in the 15's cab and Jason cleared out the last few items from the old spares store. At this point Rob returned and set about transferring all the big tools and equipment into the now new tool store. , Jason now sorted through the large broken cardboard box full of electrical gear from when the coach was first wired up and managed to make it all disappear into one of the under seat storage cupboards in the new tool store After this he then removed the lock from the sitting room and installed it into the door on the new tool store making sure to test that it locks alright.

Around midday Rob decided to refit the fuel header tank into the Co-bo and as its quite large and heavy it required everyone's help to get it in. At first there was a problem with one of the mounting brackets not sitting fully home due to a blobby weld behind, the tank then had to be removed while Jason used the drill with a grinding bit to grind down the weld until there was enough room to refit the tank and all the mounting bolts properly. Once this was completed Adam was ready to apply the hemp gloss paint to the area of the cooler group that he had undercoated previously and Rob carried on sorting out the tool store.

Thanks to some recently acquired original Class 15 plans, Jason had discovered that the terminal box that used to live under the TMB stand in the front nose end compartment was actually the connection box for the multiple working cables and that an identical box is also fitted in the B end lower compartment. Keen to test this theory and with a little help from Matt he went into the B end offered the box up to the mounting brackets and found that the connection box bolts straight on. Also in the compartment were the original flexible conduits these too were offered up and to Jason's surprise they still fit after all these years.

Time was getting on by now and it was mid afternoon, Rob had to depart early and had managed to transfer much of our major tools into the new store and it was now pretty much full up. Adam had managed to fully plate over two of the door windows in the kitchen area and Matt was finishing up. The tarp was then secured over the loco and all the tools used collected up, Matt then had to depart this left Adam & Jason to finish off with the small task of painting the outside of MU connection box and left it hanging in the workshop to dry, Adam then had to leave that just left Jason to load up his car with some more stuff to take down to the secure store in the early evening that then finished off the days efforts.


Sunday 19th July

Attendance: 4

The weather on the Sunday started off really wet and this kind of put a kybosh on plans that Jason had to work with Jim and get the nose end handrails welded back onto the loco but as a little starter job while he waited for the others to arrive he got out one of the nose end cantrail handrails and as these need to be bought back to bare metal after being wrongly painted. We have recently acquired a small orbital sander and Jason trailed it on one of the handrails and as it happened it does a good job of sanding the metal down to a nice smooth finish. Jim then arrived and for a while took over the job of sanding the handrail until Dave G & Matt L arrived and as the weather was bad Dave had a job to do repairing the damaged door frame and lock on the old tool store. Jim decided to give him a hand and this task would keep them both preoccupied for the rest of the day.

Matt returned to D8233 cab to continue his task of stripping out the under floor conduit & piping, and Jason had a specific task to refit some radiator elements into the cooler group but before he could do that he had to spend some time setting up a light in the cooler group and wiring it into the lighting circuit on the loco. Once that was done he bought round the radiator elements; there were four removed on the L/H side and two missing from the R/H side and after cleaning off the surfaces and applying fresh blue Hylomar to the gaskets and refitted them one at a time doing the L/H side first before moving onto the R/H side, this job complete the cooler group was locked and Jason joined Matt in the cab.

As the tool cupboard had been removed previously but was still in the cab it was taking up space so Jason gave Matt a hand in lifting it out and putting on the bench across from the coach steps for the time being. It was then decided to remove the handbrake mechanism. The pedestal was easy enough, after Matt had disconnected the thin air pipes to the radiator shutter control valve, Jason then unbolted the base of the pedestal and by unscrewing the thread on the handbrake itself it drew itself out of the base unit and when clear Matt was able to lift it out, then after placing a plastic bag over the end of the screw thread to protect it Jason again provided assistance to carry it outside and rest it on the bench with the tool cupboard. Jason now crawled under the bogie of the loco so he get access to the pin that holds on the handbrake link bar onto the bell crank assembly under the frames, withdrawing the split pin was a little awkward due to the confines of the work space and lack of appropriate tools. Matt assisted by fetching more tools and passing them down through the open TMB duct hole and soon the split pin was removed, the main pin pushed out allowing the link rod to drop clear. That done Jason crawled back out from under the bogie and went back into the cab to unbolt the handbrake base unit from the floor, clearance was tight down one side because of a remaining floor baton in the way and this had to be removed first plus a load of accumulated crud stuffed down the back had to scraped out so that the bolts could be accessed, then with all the bolts removed Jason carefully lifted out the heavy lump of the handbrake base mount.

Jason then went off to start another task leaving Matt to continue on in the cab removing the under floor pipes & conduits, meanwhile inside the Coach Dave & Jim had dismantled and removed the door frames to the old tool store and the sales stock store room with a view to using the un-damaged frame to fit in the tool store frame, however the frame was too small and they had to dismantle both frames and cut a section out of one to fit into the other, these modifications proved to be awkward and very time consuming and they did not manage to get the door frame to the old tool store back in until the end of the day.

The weather by this time had dried up and Jason decided to make a start on the prep work to refit the handrails to the nose end so after getting some kit together he first had to measure up the one handrail that remains in situ (the R/H/F one) after doing this he carefully measured out the height of the top of the handrail and the distance away from the edge of the door frame. Using these measurements he then marked up the rest of the hand rails, taking care to make sure that the aft handrails would clear the edge of the door when opened, then with help from Matt the hand rails were held up against the body and using a paint pen the mounts were drawn round. With the aft handrails the plan is to cut small rectangular holes through the outer skin plate and weld to the frame behind for extra security, so to achieve this Jason had bought a Dremel mini drill with a heavy duty cutting disk as the job was too small and delicate for an angle grinder. The first hole at the R/H/R lower mounting position was cut with few problems but when the upper whole was being cut the cutting disc started to shear off the mandrels then the switch on the Dremel unit itself packed up! Jason got out the large drill and tried to use that instead but again the cutting discs were shearing off so unfortunately the job had to be postponed for another time.

By this time it was mid afternoon and Dave & Jim had got the tool store door frame back in place and just needed to adjust the door hinges so that it closed properly and after a full day of messing around with door frames they'd had enough and packed up their tools and departed.

Matt had made significant progress in the cab over the weekend and now he cleared away his tools with help from Jason. The tarp on the loco was then tied back up and the loco tool cupboard and handbrake pedestal which were still sat on the bench outside were carried into the coach by Jason & Matt and put into storage in the coach workshop. That done it was just the small matter of washing hands, removing overalls & boots and departing. It had been quite a productive weekend for both locos even though the tool store still needs some sorting that's a job for another time.

The next working weekend is on 15/16 August. If you wish to lend a hand please contact Chris Tatton

Above : Much of the spares from the old engine are now in secure storage. © C15PS
Above : Adam is seen panelling up the window on one of the coach doors. © C15PS
Above : Matt has been busy in the cab removing the old conduit & pipework. © C15PS
Above : The Radiator elements are in the nose end waiting to be refitted. © C15PS
Above :Matt presents the freshly liberated handbrake pedastal..© C15PS
Above : Matt tied up the edge of the tarp so as to get some air into the cab. © C15PS


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