North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Saturday 12 March 2016

In spite of the excitement of the 'worlds most famous locomotive' roaring past Deviation Shed during the day, Andy reports a most frustrating time yesterday - 'I think today was a case of one step forward and two back: everything was hard won with some jobs just not getting done for various reasons.'

Neal Woods brought James Pearcy and Ian Pearson in his car with some additional bags of concrete for the smoke box. Andy brought Trevor Wilford and Brian Armstrong in his car with the right cross head, gland packing and regulator handle that had been collected from M-Machine on Friday evening. They both managed to park near the Shed having come down from Esk Valley but space was very limited and photographers were lining the fence opposite Deviation shed. After unloading both cars and signing on it was time for the first train.

Once that had gone, the first job of the day was to move the pallet of concrete from in the way of the public entrance, all 32 bags of it. This had to be done twice as there was only the one pallet.

There were 4 to 6 JVs having training with Chris Parrish and also working on the locomotive. Steve and Bryan Orange were looking after the JVs and they were set to with the task of lubricating all the brake gear after cleaning the grease nipples. Three different grease guns were tried: one is now living in the skip, one was filled by hand as it was a larger diameter than the grease cartridge, and for the last one a new cartridge was obtained from the MPD stores. So, after cleaning the workshop, they were in business. Hopefully the JVs learnt some valuable lessons in grease lubrication and then went on to clean the piston packing springs and followers for the cylinders.

Neal and James set up the left slide bars with the wire running through the crosshead. With much shimming and checking it was decided to put the left piston in the cylinder. By the time the rings had been gapped the team were now on overtime, but the good news is the piston is in. Even better news, it slides up and down the cylinder with the crosshead.

The previously missing cab gauges were found - easy when you know where they are! - the box had been covered over. Ian fitted these and put some additional calibration stickers on the front supplied by the MPD. The valve glands were nipped up.

Brian set to sorting out the cotters on the side rods and making secondary cotters. A very time consuming task with not a lot to show at the end of the day. Trevor was building up the cotters until the welder broke down. He is going to get a new shroud and tip for the gun.

Andy tried to fit the regulator handle but the square is still too big and our welder does not work. He then put the right cross head together on the slide bars and took some measurements to get the top slipper built up with white metal and machined to size. This was taken back to M-Machine and will be returned for fitting next Saturday.

No work programme for Wednesday yet as it depends on what, if anything, arises from tomorrow's cold exam by the boiler insurance inspector. John Graham, Andy and Ian will be present for that , so Ian will know if anything is identified which needs to be dealt with on Wednesday. If not, Andy assures me that there will still be plenty to keep us occupied! So anyone else available and wanting to attend will be most welcome to join the regular Wednesday team. The NELPG car should be available, but, as usual, anyone planning to use it should check its availability with Paul Hutchinson on Tuesday (07964 988551 after 6pm). And don't forget that Wednesday will be a Scotsman operating day, so no parking at Grosmont