Chris Henwood reports that the outstanding work on the J27 has been successfully completed. All being well the J27 will be off Grosmont light engine tomorrow, and hauling the Pickering/Levisham shuttles all day, being both Yorkshire Day and the first day of NYMR operation.
He had a working party of sorts yesterday, with Chris, Ian Pearson and Andrew Jeffrey signing in for NELPG, and assistance from Robson Hewitson from the NYMR. Close of play saw the connecting rod bush fitted and fettled, and the rod itself fitted, as well as the removal, resealing and re fitting of a few valves that were leaking in the steam test the previous week. As a result, a warming fire was lit for a steam test today (Friday). That was a success. The little end was stone cold to the touch after a fair bit of running up and down the headshunt, and the valves were leak free. The locomotive was disposed just after lunch, and shunted onto Five Road in readiness for tomorrow's service.
Chris is conscious that in spite of some work being required on the locomotive, he has not advertised for anyone to be rostered for J27 working parties. He hopes that working members will understand that following the steam test for the 'shadow running' week, it was found that the right hand connecting bush was defective. As a result, he arranged with Ian Pearson to go in and drop the rod out ready for a new bush to be machined. This was effectively a two man job both for work reasons but, ultimately, Covid 19 security and social distancing. This job was subject to various shunts through the day as well, so it was felt best not to invite a working party along, especially if they were travelling far, to be waiting around, and potentially not get to do much anyway. The NYMR had also made it clear that it wanted the minimum number of people attending working parties, sufficient for the work in hand and no more. Yesterday's working party (Thursday) was very much last minute, as the new bush was only completed on Tuesday. Again, the work involved in fitting the rod required close-ish working, and, along with the other jobs as mentioned, was all done fairly quickly.
Consequently, Chris rightly felt it was best to have the lads who live literally in Grosmont village, and free to attend at short notice, for this particular work.
However, for those missing their J27 fix, the locomotive should be on washout from approximately 17 August , so he is hoping to get an NELPG working party together to unbox the locomotive and do the wash out, with the MPD staff numbers being so reduced because of furloughing.