Sunday, 19 June 2016

Boiler Ticket

Another week of great progress with CR 828!

We carried out an in-house steam test on Tuesday 14th June and brought the boiler pressure up to the full rating of 180psi. Colin Vaughan then set the front and back safety valves to lift at the correct pressures (there should be 3 - 4 psi difference in the settings to prevent the valves from depressuring the boiler too quickly). Having satisfied ourselves that everything was in order we were able to look forward to the scheduled visit of the Boiler Inspector on June 15th. 

The day dawned cold and wet and got colder and wetter as it progressed. But the Boiler Inspector turned up and duly witnessed satisfactory operation of the boiler gauge glasses and the safety valves. He expressed satisfaction and that was it..! A boiler ticket for another year and a major step forward towards getting our old girl back into operation. And thanks to Roddie McRae for most of the pictures during the Boiler Inspector's visit.

With the inspection out of the way we were able to attend to more mundane stuff like fitting the mineral wool insulation to the dome and then refitting the cover. Working with mineral wool is a horrible job but at least it is better than working with the blue asbestos originally specified by the CR. With the dome cover refitted the loco is looking more and more like her very elegant self..

We are hoping to get the eccentrics and straps back from the RPSI in Northern Ireland during the coming week. Bob Edwards, the man with the plank and the reinforced barrow is bringing them back and staying on to help us fit them. This will be another major step as it will let us go ahead and fully assemble the inside motion and set the valves. Nathan Lightowler has started on modifications and repairs to the valve spindle tail rod bushings. This is a troublesome component that JF McIntosh first used on the CR 766 Class (or Dunalastair II). It provides a front end support for the valve rods but in practice, on 828 at least, we have found it difficult to lubricate and avoid excessive wear. We'll see if we can improve things this time round...

After a few weeks of chasing Ian Riley for information on the delivery date for the tender tyre forgings Colin Vaughan go some hard information. This was to the effect that the order on the south African supplier was cancelled by Rileys and a new order placed on a German supplier via another UK Heritage Railway Company. The lead time is supposed to be three weeks but as yet we have no confirmation of a delivery date. In the meantime Rileys are carrying out the necessary repairs to the wheel rims.

The loco has its own pressure gauges once more.....Left to right we see the brake vacuum, boiler pressure and carriage warming gauges.

We had to modify the new safety valve body provided by the SRPS. It was too tall and didn't give the required range of adjustment. Calum Titley carried out the necessary machining and here we see him with the old and new bodies at exactly the same height...
Looking good - both safety valves at the same height..

With the JCB coal bunker in attendance the fire is lit again for the first full pressure test..

180psi and all well....

Back in the Shed and cooling down after setting the safety valves for 180psi working pressure

The day of the Boiler Inspector's visit - a typical Highland summer day - pouring with rain and blowing onto the footplate..

Back safety valve lifting at 180psi

Fire burning well, blower on and back safety valve roaring..

Mixed traction in the Shed Yard....

Drifting steam amongst the rain...

A wet fireman....

The old girl looking quite smart despite a lot of missing parts..

The dome insulated with horrible mineral wool..

The cover back on and the access ladder tied off on the handrail..

Slightly out of focus but looking good with the dome cover back in place..

Aidan Bell working on the LH Driving Hornclip to ensure a true seating for the suspension springs..

One of the springs in place...

Mr Macintosh's valve rod support bushing in the lathe. This housing bolts onto the steamchest front cover and each of the two rods is supported by a bronze bush that wears out very quickly. 

The condition of the support bushes as removed.....hopefully we can come up with something that lasts longer and wears out less quickly...

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