First thing Saturday morning I was called on to act as bodyguard for Andrew on a visit to Carcraft, but whether it was to stop him from making a rash decision or being overcome by high-pressure sales tactics was unclear. Either way I wasn’t needed as they had nothing that met his exacting specification. As we headed back, he had the presence of mind to stop off and collect another drum of MIG wire (the extant one ran out during that afternoon), and treated me to a tin of slitting discs. Then it was off to Rowsley. Various brackets were assembled from the profiles, and while Andrew was involved, I went over to the Drewry, topped up the exhauster and fired it up. I’d run it for 20 minutes or so when Andrew joined me and by chance spotted that the back bearing cover of the dynamo was adrift. We shut the loco down and concluded that the dynamo would have to come out for a bit of TLC – but not today. I did however get to trial the two train brake handle assemblies as he finished welding them.
The casing tops were off “Libby” so Andrew decided for variety he would remove the side casing pillars. These were put on in a rush some years ago and of course before the days of copper-slip. Despite my assurances that Whitworth bolts will always undo – he complained – a couple of these sheared as he applied maximum elbow. I deemed it better not to point out that my comment on here had been relative – had they been the equivalent metric, then they’d probably all have sheared!
As the day grew dark we loaded up up the ‘big MIG’, newly built bracketry, “Libby’s” casing pillars, sandbox lids and a battery cover (for me to deliver to the shotblasters, I’m told) and headed home.
Sunday: After removing the bits not required for Scunthorpe, and loading a variety of components that were in their place, we headed off through the bright but chilly morn for a day on D2128 and “Beverley”. D2128 lives at the end of the siding outside the shed, over a shallow pit intended for steam-cleaning or similar, and provided therefore with shallow concreted pit and a drain. Said drain has been blocked for some time, and all through this winter we have been working over a pond – sometimes a frozen pond to boot. Today it was watery with a thin layer of ice floating on top where the sun had yet to penetrate, but we had agreed that D2128 came first and I started by loosely assembling the Mk2 exhauster mounting base to check whether this version fitted where the Mk1 had not. It was looking fairly good when one of the gusset pieces dropped out of its socket and fell with a splash into our underlying pond. We spent the next 20 minutes trying to find it. This is not what railway preservation should be about. It had gone down like the Titanic and was in danger of taking us as long to find. Stuff it – we shouldn’t be welding in a bitter breeze with our feet in freezing water anyway. There must be a H&S rule forbidding it somewhere. Andrew went to fire up the 02 – which can be a so and so since the “anti-plugging” protection tends to cut in before the engine has fired and if all else failed we’d have had to get “Beverley” going) but run it eventually did and we shunted D2128 inside. Only when it had moved did I spy the sunken profile and recovered it with a shunters’ pole.
The belts now link the compressor, while the tandem charge pumps can be spied at the bottom (yellow)
I have said before that “progress” to outsiders is measured by the appearance of big lumps, and by that criterion we made considerable “progress”. With all its parts salvaged and a couple of minor tweaks, the exhauster bracket was welded together and into place. Four B-section belts that had been in stock in the garage (probably bought for an earlier job when I managed to get them too short or too long as usual) were fitted to the compressor and the bracket for the tandem charge pumps welded into place – the fact that there was now a (dry) pit under the loco being a distinct advantage as the area around the front is becoming inaccessible.
The brackets for the rad-mounted fan now stand ready
The brackets for the radiator fan drive also now stand sentinel over the front end – two or three more bits to arrive and the whole caboodle can be put together and lined-up. Further back still the hydraulic oil reservoir was introduced to its new home and prompted a furious argument between me and Andrew. Its location is not ideal, but short of manufacturing a new tank specifically for the purpose it is the best I could do. It will, it is true, be quite close to the propshaft – if my drawing is right and the diameter of the shaft is to published info, there should be 71mm clear – but Andrew is unconvinced. After welding the brackets into place and “testing” the result with increasing loads (pressing gently, a bit harder and so on up to sitting on it) he conceded that the shaft should clear – just. I might provision a few shims for the rear engine mounts – just in case.
The tank in place - transmission output flange to the right
The exhauster base was placed into position...
..and the exhauster added
Andrew disappeared off and returned with the exhauster on a sack truck. With the aid of the shed hoist and a bit of grunt, it was slid along the running plate and onto its new base. I was on tenterhooks in case the bolt holes didn’t line up – this bracket was after all a second attempt – but everything appeared in order, though it will require a “power bulge” in the casing door as a couple of lumps on the exhauster stick farther out than my rudimentary outline drawing had allowed for.
By late afternoon we decided it was time to turn our attention back to “Beverley” but first D2128 was shunted back out over its personal pond. The hydraulic oil tank – having been “dealt with” for its propensity to leak – was refitted to the cab after we had filed out a couple of tight holes. I reconnected the hoses while Andrew went off to apply primer to various new bits on D2128. When I was clearing my late father’s bungalow out I had found one of those little rotary pumps that you drive with an electric drill, and decided that today was the day to test it by pumping the hydraulic oil from drum to reservoir, cleanly and efficiently. It was an abject failure – not a cc was lifted and I had to resort to filling it from 20 litre drum to reservoir with all the spills that were inevitable when pouring in a confined space. The good news though – not a sign of a drip coming from the scene of Andrew’s welding – just everywhere else where rivulets had formed from my spills. Ah well, at least it won’t rust. Sort out the coolant leak and insert Anti-freeze next time and “Beverley” can come out for another spin.
Which brings me to next week, and I fear it will be blog-less. Andrew and our daughter Jennifer have clubbed together to send Steph and me for a weekend in Lincoln, culminating Sunday night in a concert by Fascinating Aida – look up “Cheap Flights” or “Dogging” on YouTube if you want to know more.
PS : and speaking of YouTube, the short-but-sweet (?) vid of Beverley in action is now up – see here