Update April 7
Sorry this report is later than hoped but winter maintenance did run on a bit.
Since the last report we have carried out most of the winter maintenance and, the engine has passed her annual boiler exam with the insurance inspector.
During the winter we have made and fitted all new washout plugs, and fitted three new mudhole doors. My thanks go to Steve Jones and Mike Strange, both Steam Dept volunteers for their efforts with these two jobs.
The major job has been the overhaul of the Vacuum pump to try and get it pumping on both valves. The seat cutter that John Hancock designed and Dave Mumby made, worked brilliantly. A day was spent carefully cutting the seats in the pump body before it was thoroughly cleaned and washed out. John Hancock then made all new valves and the pump was carefully re-assembled. On testing we found the front valve was still not pumping as it should so further investigation and work was required. Some new bushes were made for the front sealing gland which now appears to have resolved the problem and the pump is working on both valves. There is a valve also mounted on the vacuum pump body that regulates the exhausting air, commonly known as a Pepperpot valve. This we have made a new body and valve for and reset the control spring, another job machined by Steve Jones!
The two tender floor plates designed mentioned in the last report have been made in the main by Mike Strange and have been fitted and appear to be working well.
The brake valve has also been repaired and re-fitted.
Generally the engine has received some cleaning and tidying up and has already seen action on the March Race trains. As I write this,6th April the engine has been in traffic and is also out this coming weekend. She may stop then to let another of the engines out for some running.
I will end by saying I was driving her on the service trains on Tuesday 4th and at the request of the Operations Manager we took the engine down light engine past Laverton on the new extension to collect some Permanent way vehicles. We were within sight of the Broadway Goods shed so it was nice to travel the new all welded track.
See phjoto below