Saturday, 18 March 2017

Test Running.....

A lot has happened since I last updated the Blog. The loco and tender were successfully reunited by the Shed staff at Aviemore after the tender had received some adjustment to its weight distribution. A big thank you to Nathan Lightowler, Calum Titley, Tommy MacDonald and Colin Vaughan. Not only did they have to get 46512 finished and ready for a very successful Photo Charter at the beginning of March; they also had to get 828 finished off and prepared for running-in.

The loco needed some final weight adjustments before test running could commence. With this completed she was steamed and run light engine through to Boat of Garten and then on to Broomhill. She performed well and the only issue was the amount of leakage from the valve rod glands. This was attended to with help from Alan French who cast new replacement white metal packing segments using a harder grade of white metal than has been used previously. Nathan Lightowler made a new gland follower for the RH rod and reassembled both glands.

We took the loco out on a loaded test run on 17th March. She took five MK1 vehicles through to Broomhill and back and gave every indication of being fit to re-enter traffic on March 25th. The newly improved valve rod packing performed very satisfactorily. The weather was cold and damp - just the conditions when it is usually difficult to see the way ahead when running chimney first at low speed because of valve rod leakage. This time there was no difficulty so well done everyone at the Shed...

There are a couple of jobs to attend to before 25th March - the tender water level indicator has stopped working and we need to fix it. This device looks a bit like a walking stick fixed to the front of the tank. By rotating it 90 degrees water should flow into a vertical tube with small holes equally space up its length. The tank water level is indicated by the highest hole that water leaks from. Simple but effective....but not working at the moment..! Shed Foreman Colin Vaughan also wants to add a new layer of concrete to the smokebox floor to protect the steam pipe connections and the top of the cylinder block..









Taking water at Boat of Garten during the light engine test run..



On the way to Boat during the light engine test run..

At Broomhill Station for the first time in nearly three years..







Shunting operations ahead of the loaded test run...

Passing Speyside Signal Cabin on the way to Broomhill...

Heading North on a wet and cold day...and running very well...!

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