Our first formal working parties since the start of the lock down took place last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 5 of us attended each day and we made reasonable progress.
Following completion of the re-metalling and machining of the trailing coupled axle boxes the wheel set, horn stays and springs have now been refitted, as have the ashpan hopper door linkage and rear brake pull rods. The wheel set’s paint work was inevitably damaged when the tyres were turned earlier in February and upon their subsequent removal and refitting. The damaged areas have been rubbed down and undercoated. The inside of the crew and tool lockers have been cleaned rubbed down and under coated and a start has been made on installing a new battery charging point for the GSMR batteries. This will allow the batteries to be charged with the radio locker shut which is not possible at the moment.
The boiler has been boxed up (having been washed out just before lock down) apart from the refitting of the rear fuseable plug. Unfortunately when the old plug was removed the threads in the crown were found to be damaged. As the plug hole was at its maximum permitted size (BR4) it has been tapped out to take a copper ‘bung’ and a new hole drilled for a new plug hole. The hole is just about ready for tapping to take a BR1 plug.
There will be working parties on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week when the plan is to complete the reassembly (including casting a new concrete arch) and painting jobs to enable the engine to be steam tested before the end of this month. If you wish to attend then please let me know by text on 07964988551 or by e-mail at this address. The working parties will be limited to a maximum of 5 each day and I will confirm who has been rostered.
As you may be aware West Coast plan to start this years Jacobite season with 2 trains a day from 15th July with the K1’s first week starting on the 19th. I am currently drafting Covid 19 control measures for our volunteers in relation to Fort William Depot and for when the loco works the Jacobite. I will also be working with West Coast and Ian Riley to ensure there is no conflict between the measures adopted in the yard and on the operation of the service. I hope to be able to consult with the Group’s Board and our main line support crew members on all of the relevant documentation in the next few days.