We had a pretty good day on Saturday. 8 of us attended and the weather was kind to us. A couple of the lads even had their lunch sitting out side in the sun - I will have to put a stop to that before they get used to the idea and book a holiday to Benidorm.
Anyway, when half the crew weren't lying about in the sun or drinking tea, we managed to bring all of the heavy stuff (springs etc) off the tender top, get all con rod and side rod bush clearances measured, the rods off cleaned, stored and oiled for protection, all the gauges off and taken away for cleaning and recertification (they have since been cleaned), the flanges, slide bars and piston rods measured and 4 roof stay nuts replaced (only about 40 more to do!).
Not a bad effort given that the loco was reluctant to move (as it was sitting on an uneven joint on the wheel drop road) so the initial move in connection with dropping the rods off took us over half an hour rather than the anticipated 2ish minutes. We did, however, find a few minutes to go and look at Carnforth's new wheel lathe which is now very close to commissioning. It looks really good and as we will now be able to have the tyres turned at Carnforth, will save us many thousands in that there will be no transport costs and the actual turning job is likely be cheaper anyway. It will also remove the hassle of having to take the engine somewhere , dropping the rods off and putting them on again when the tyre turning is done.
There will be another working party on Saturday when the plan is to do a few more roof stay nuts, then completely remove the grate so that West Coast can replace the centre hopper and door on the ashpan under contract. We will also remove a few more things out of the smokebox, perhaps even an element or two.
Unfortunately, such was the demand to come to Carnforth on Saturday that I had to turn one prospective volunteer away. If you want to join us next week early booking is therefore highly recommended.