Before getting stuck in on the Sunday, I decided to take advantage of the reasonable weather, to take a trip up to Buckland over the recently opened extension towards Broadway. All footplate staff had received an Ops Notice telling us to familiarise ourselves with the new track. As the Diesel Gala will see Top and Tailed running, I headed out on the Auto train to sample the new line. Congrats to the PWay guys on such a good job. Without their work we wouldn't be able to do what we enjoy doing.
|Auto coach W238 'Chaffinch'. A forerunner to the event development of the DMMU|
One of our yard shunters has been a little temperamental of late. 'DES', short for Diesel Electric Shunter, has had a few niggly problems but has soldiered on thanks to the small group who maintain it. This weekend saw some work done by Chris to get DES back into operational use as it has had a few issues with cutting out over the recent weeks. Fuel strainers and fuses have all been changed/cleaned, amongst other things, to rectify.
Work was also continuing on the long term overhaul of 47105. Ian, Dave and Mark S were busy with a number of tasks. More panels from the cabs were removed for repainting which allowed checking of some of the wiring and pipework leading to the control desk.
Some of the bodywork also saw some long awaited attention with Mark S welding new panels onto lower body sides. He also smoothed down some of the earlier welds ready for a new application of primer. Work know seems to be gathering more pace now that a lot of the mechanical work has been completed.
|Mark S smooths down earlier welding work ready for re-priming.|
The other big job is, of course, on the wheel sets of Class 24, 5081. Initially, Mark E and Ben E started on the monumental job of clearing away several decades of dirt, rust and accumulated mess from the first of the wheel sets removed during the lift.They would be joined later in the morning by myself and Stuart on cleaning duties, with a view to removing the hand brake mechanism.
|One of the worst jobs! Ben needle gunning away accumulations of dirt and rust.|
|Like father, like son! Mark and Ben work the tools on the bogie of 5081.|
It didn't quite pan out that way and the brake rigging had to stay in situ to await another day, but during the cleaning process some interesting information was revealed from the frame. It would appear that the last time this wheel set had a full overhaul was a lot further back in the annals of history than first thought! Given that 5081 has been in preservation pretty much since the day it was withdrawn from BR stock on 5th October 1980, it was thought that the bogies would have received some major overhaul attention at some stage during its preserved life. However, it would appear that the last time the wheel set had received this kind of overhaul was at its last BR works visit.....in 1975!! How accurate this is is obviously up for debate given that regular maintenance would have seen brake block changes and the like, but it would explain the amount of dirt and overall grime that existed on the frame!
|One of the traction motors with the start of the handbrake rigging resting on it. Utterly encrusted with dirt and dust.|
At the end of the day 45149 was shunted across to Road 10 for charging. Mike, Curly and Mark W had been working on replacing the batteries and these needed charging ready for the 'Peak' to be used in a couple of weeks time. Also, at the bottom of the yard, Richard G was busy with the component recovery on 20035.
|45149 is parked up on Road 10 ready for 'plugging in'.|
Considering at the start of the day we were wondering what to get on with, a lot was actually achieved all round!
More details for the GWSR Diesel Gala have been released, including the timetables. There are additional links on the page that will take you through everything you need to know! Loco allocations will appear towards the beginning of July. They are accessible on the GWSR website here.