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2016 Archive

A slightly delayed start for the reports for this year for which I apologise.

Anyway here goes:-

Tues 5th Jan – Happy New Year.

Today Steve put together the new steel band saw. It certainly looked a lot more difficult than IKEA self – assembly.
Richard K braved the (not so) watery pit to service the grease nipples in the upper reaches of the Coles 15T crane bogie. One bogie dealt with completely today, helped by taking the opportunity to jack up the crane body sufficiently to get at the most awkward example. Rather frustrating to start with, as the grease gun needed repairing during the course of this operation.
The Wilf Ward Team (Shaun and Paul) working on the Coles crane – continuing with painting the final bodywork panels and crane rope wheels and de-greasing washers etc.
Rod (assisted by yours truly) on with removing rivets from door parts and drilling and fitting said door parts to the RUDD. The operation went very well until the mag drill expired in a flash and bang, for no apparent reason, as it was being rested on a wooden step at the time. Steve performed the necessary tests, to prove that it is the PCB that has failed. This is very disappointing as the drill has rarely been used since acquisition in 2011.
Harry is to contact the manufacturers to see where we go from here.
Fitted temporary hex head 16mm bolts as I found sufficient nuts to go with these. This enabled us to accurately fit the stiffening plates behind the door and also the door bumper plates.
We then consoled ourselves by trial cutting to length, the stiffening plates for the bottom of the doors, utilising the new band saw. A great improvement on using a disc cutter both in time taken and the quality and accuracy of finish.
Harry has today completed the FTR examination on the LNER brake van and the LOWMAC EO.  The LOWMAC EO now in service as the mini-container carrier wagon for track fittings material recovery from Kingthorpe.
Sun 10th – Volunteers out dismantling track at Kingthorpe.
Gerry working on 73250.

 First had a look at the bank slew cylinder, the bearing had broken up and the pin was badly worn. Pin and bearing replaced with the ones off 214 which were better but still a bit worn. A new pin and self centering bearing would be better. The pin is 29.5mm with grease way and the bearing outer is 47mm.

After lunch looked at the compressor. The air goes into a water separator with blow down valve. This was full of oil from compressor so took it off and washed out in de-grease tank. Then looked in un-loader valve but this was clean and looked OK. A new compressor needs fitting so I will look at this next week.

 Midweek work continued on the relay with Staff and volunteers working together.
A Culvert at around the 9mp has been dug out and replaced with new plastic pipe. The original had begun to collapse.
Tues 12th.
First the good news. Harry discovered a small break in the cable for the magnetic drill, right beside where it entered the casing. Cutting out and shortening the cable slightly has cured the problem. Well done Harry.
Consequently, Rod (assisted by me) spent the day drilling lots of holes in the new RUDD door and fitting the remaining strapping. There are 50 holes per door, at least. We have now run out of temporary locator/assembly  bolts, which will be moved onto door two, after fitting the permanent ones. These are now with Bryan – and are due for delivery  on Thursday.
The inner door bottom strapping will be used as a cutting jig for the other corner doors,hopefully. We assume the RUDD , being originally one of a large batch, was not hand built.
Harry and Steve on with electrical work on the Coles 15 T crane – Electro- mechanical brake, BIS switch and the fitment of new ( Land Rover) red marker lights. The latter fitments are slightly larger than the holes in the bodywork, so require filing out. One unit completed so far, but yet to connect to the electrics , as the BIS switch is yet to complete.
The above brake requires new linings and copper rivets from Ryedale Brakes. Are YAG prepared to underwrite this cost? Harry working on quotation currently. 
Richard successfully completed the servicing of the grease points on the second bogie, after  jacking up the crane once again and dealing with very constipated grease piping runs…. and having to deal with a constantly rising tide in the pit.

Richards comments here:- Points successfully greased:

  • Both upper and lower center casting.
  • Radiator side, side bearer both.
  • Hand brake wheel.
  • Hand brake lead screw nut.
  • Cab side, side bearer both.

Initially both radiator side, side bearer grease passage ways were blocked with debris and hard grease.

Radiator side secondary suspension jack seized, secondary suspension G clamped. Chassis radiator corner jacked up to open radiator side bearer by 1mm. After soaking with duck oil behind nipple and between plates, grease gun finally forced out hard grease from both points. Chassis lowered spreading grease though out side bearer surface.

Both No2 bogie suspension stabilisation jacks are ineffective and show evidence of impact damage. Radiator side is seized half way down allowing only 10mm clearance, suspect thread damage. Cab side is free but threads jump and fail to take load. We may want to consider revising the maximum travelling speed to reduce risk of axle damage. Not sure about slewing with load if we can’t use No2 bogie suspension stabilising jacks !

Shaun and Paul on with  de-greasing and painting crane wheels and rope rigging parts.
Note that the crane jib is coming back tomorrow and Harry intend to fit it same day. 
Paid staff today lifting sleepers at Kingthorpe. At close of play, they are back as far as the public footpath crossing south of MP 9. Darren is confident that they will will finish the job of lifting tomorrow.
Thurs / Fri 13 – 14th  Relaying of sleepers and rails started.
The frost was enough that the concrete sleepers were pulling up about 3 inch depth of grass, twigs and soil or if the sleepers were stacked on top each other a full G44 sleeper held only by the frost.
How heavy is a G44? 275kg? That frost is quite strong.
Sun 17th – Just Gerry working on 73250

Just me again this Sunday the rest were track laying at Kingthorpe.

The first thing I did was to remove existing compressor then after looking at all the spare units in the shed I decided to use the newer one off 214. After putting both compressors side by side I could see that the difference was the fan and the oil pump. I looked at all the spare fan blades in the shed and they are all for clockwise mode, so it was a case of change the blades over. If you see any about on your travels it would be good to have a spare.

I then set about changing the pump round. To match the existing I turned the inner and outer body half a turn, the turn the outer back half a turn. It then looked the same. Can you check with your fitters if that is correct.

After dinner I had to re-weld one of the adjusting lugs as it broke off when I was removing it (poor weld). By mid afternoon all was back together, run up and made air OK.

It seems much less noisy that the other one. I had a quick look in the book for a non-return valve but was unable to see one it must be fitted to the water separator as on the side is the safety valve. This had a good clean last week so should be OK.

Tues 19th
The Coles crane jib is now back in place and pinned. Pity that the contractor ignored our painting instructions and sprayed it the wrong colour gloss.
Not to worry as there were one or two bald patches, so it is to receive a light sand off and a coat of the correct plant yellow gloss, before it is re-roped.
Harry on with the jib brakes  and Steve completed the fitting of the rear marker lights and installed the new BIS switch. Yet to test as the battery was flat again.
Steve has taken away some homework this week, to make a connection piece to wire up the new lenses to the crane wiring. This is necessary as the lenses had an electrical connection fitting to marry with a Land Rover wire harness, which the crane does not have of course.
Rod and NC fitting the new domed  bolts to the RUDD door, all requiring an element of dressing up first.  After this task, Rod and Harry started burning off the rivets of the centre door, in preparation for replacement.
LOWMAC  B905100 now in the depot for brake test and minor repairs. NC refitted the south end vacuum hose which had come loose and cleaned off the timber floor to assess for partial re- timbering. We may have sufficient long enough timbers in stock.
Shaun called in to day to say that the Council have axed Paul’s funding, so there will be no more help from the Wilf Ward Trust.

Sun 24th

Just Gerry again working on tamper, the rest of the staff were relaying.  I first spent an hour looking through all the box’s upstairs for for a replacement fork for the lining trolley but in the end went for a used one from parts in stock. Recovering two so we have a spare in cab. I then ran up the machine after doing daily checks and moved outside into fresh air to carry out the repair. After trying the tape method as you suggested I found the tape did slide along so I then got some mole grips to nip the wire and touching the fork. The fork was then replaced and after tightening the grips removed.

I left the engine running for about four hours to prove the compressor and also ran the heaters to dry out cabs. During this time I gave the main cab a good clear out and clean. I also swept out the tower cab but this needs some further work as there are lots of wires that still need tidying up.

I dipped the fuel tank and this is about 2/3 full so enough for one or two shifts.

After stabling back in shed I spent the last hour removing the two storage box’s out of 214 ready to fit into 250.

The rocker cover gaskets have not yet been fitted they are on the welding bench where I moved them to when changing compressor last week.

Next week I will do some more tidying in the tower cab.

Track relaying at Kingthorpe continues.

In general the relay rate is between 4 and 6 lengths per day depending on staffing and weather conditions.

The procedure is generally, ensure next length of formation is wide enough and reasonably level.

Place marker rail and mark out sleeper centres at 650mm along the rail not forgetting first and last of 325mm.

Bale in sleepers with 4 sleeper bale. Ensure sleepers are square and lined.

Lift in rails, Ensure correct joint gap, Drill bolt holes, plate up, then move forward, check rail overlap and off any excess inside rail square with the outer rail. Repeat.

Clipping up follows on. As these are new G44 sleepers the fastenings are Fastclips.

In our case the fittings are all separate so must be fitted by hand. Pads and insulators are fitted beforehand, the clips are loose fitted then pulled in to the withdrawn position which holds the clip clear of the rail but retained on the sleeper. Once the rails are fitted then the clips can be fully pulled home.

Tues 26th Jan
Steve today commissioned the rear marker lights on the Coles 15T crane, together with the BIS switch and the two position cab switch for the rear marker lights and the front lights. He also prepared the way for  continuing work on the jib lights next week.
( I have ordered a label for the bodywork for this. Unfortunately not one of the standard tamper labels we have upstairs, as I went through both boxes today,just in case.)
Richard was working on the crane brake cylinders and mountings. Today’s unexpected discovery was that the holes in the bogies for the mounting brackets of the cylinders, are individually drilled and not jig drilled. Hence all the brackets are individually hand fitted . This was only discovered when four of the six set screws would go in, on the first of today’s fittings, but not the other two. So, out came the cardboard to make a pattern, to check where all three brackets that require fitting,do actually go.
Rod (assisted by Steve and Harry) burning off rivets on RUDD door number two.  This job is just about done, as only another seven rivets to go.
NC needle gunning and cleaning up RUDD and crane parts, painting RUDD and crane bits and stripping rotten timber from the floor of LOWMAC B905100. We have two timbers of the correct size in stock, and these have been cut to length,but are yet to trim to fit eth lashing rings.
We will need four more timbers, which we may have to order –  I will make a final check of the timber stack, just to be sure.
One or two part timbers to replace but we can cut these from shorter spare timbers, spare from LOWMAC 217315.
Fri 29th Sun 31st Jan – Kingthorpe relay continues.

Gerry and Graham working on 73250 -Graham and I were working on tamper today, the rest were relaying with Martyn.

We first tackled the wiring in the tower end with spi-rap, cable ties and trunking where possible, Graham did most of the work in the cab while I did the under frame by the bogie. Its all looking more tidy now. After lunch we tested the banks up and down and clamps working OK. I did not have a play with pressures as I was not sure where the adjustment is,I remember you doing it on Levisham straight but could not remember what you did so you will have show me again.


Tues 2nd Feb – Harry on with re-roping the Coles 15T crane today. There’s now more space on the west wall of the shed as a result of new rope being utilised.

Richard , after pumping out the pit as per usual,  installed the  relevant overhauled brake cylinder and the refurbished second set of brake rigging on the crane. One of the handbrakes was then connected.
As Harry had burnt off the last of the rivets on RUDD door two earlier in the week, and had removed the wasted door skin, this enabled a rapid start to be made today on fitting the new door.
Rod & NC cleaned off all the fittings, then squared up the new door skin and  temporarily bolted it in place, before spending the rest of the day drilling holes and then permanently bolting up hinges and strengthening pieces.
(A shunt round in the depot before today, has resulted in the RUDD and SEACOW changing roads. Both sides of the RUDD can be worked on now, and as the wagon is opposite the tools , work proceeds at a faster pace!
Main gang at Kingthorpe today – only the closure rails and a bit of clipping up left to do tomorrow.

Fri 5th – Nick spent the best part of the day preparing and fitting bolts to the new RUDD doors – in order to catch up with Rod’s high hole output mag-drilling from Tuesday.

Where necessary, the  slightly short M16 60 bolts have now been replaced with new M16 75 stock, though of course we now have  the displaced bolts available to go back in where less strengthening material is required.
Harry had welded  a new piece (best and straightest bit cut out of scrap door two)  into door three earlier in the week, so I have now ground  this something like flush and all today’s bolts and surfaces now in primer.
Various crane parts painted and the load indicator sanded off and undercoated.
Bryan out checking pegs at Kingthorpe most of the day, though on his return he fitted the outstanding SE corner bodywork panel on the Cole crane and took away the accumulation of paper and cardboard .
Jim Kay had a spare hour after lunch, so he started work on removing the four remaining rotten timbers on LOWMAC B905100. He has some more spare time coming up, so this job has been left for him for next week etc…
We have decided ( Bryan’s suggestion) to half- lap join and bolt the slightly short timber we have, over the longitudinal framework, to complete this repair job at nil cost.
Ballast arriving by road all day ,mostly in the run up to going home time.

Sun 7th -Graham and Gerry working on tamper today, Duncan was loading ballast with Martyn in the morning then came to help us in the afternoon. The rest of the volunteers were at Kingthorpe.

The first job was to fit two extra lockers that I recovered from 214 which involved bolting on two brackets then welding up the connecting bar to form a carrying shelf. The lockers were then bolted into place.

I then gave Graham some instruction on how to start the machine, make air, charge the brake system and move machine out of the shed. We then positioned the lifting clamps for greasing, checked the twin disc oil level and did general greasing ready for next Sunday’s tamping at MP8 to Hunting bridge crossing.

After stowing more parts in the stores Duncan cleaned out the tea boiler and tested ready for use next week. We had a go at adjusting the chokes on the tamping bank lift cylinders but were unable to move the one on the LH side, not wanting to force it we decided to leave it for now in case we damaged it. The RH side moved easy but its no good having one working slower than the other. I  suggest we sort this out after the relay has been tamped.

As far as I can see the machine is ready for work although the top window in the tower cab door still needs finishing.

Tues 9th

Coles crane.
Richard has been modifying the brake block hangers for the second bogie. On bogie one; he has freed off the handbrake and whilst it was stripped down, took the opportunity to split the bearings for the ( heavy) brake shaft. As this was devoid of lubrication , no doubt the cause of its stiff operation in the past, it has now had a hole drilled through it , and a grease nipple fitted.
We were short of five brake block keys for the new BR1 brake blocks for this vehicle. C & W came up with some for us.
Steve has been working on the crane lighting. The plug in connection to the front of the bodywork has been found and connected up to the relevant panel. The wiring to the load indicator spotlight has been tested tested and  a major fault found in the wiring to the jib light. As a result half of this has been removed for replacement, which Steve has in hand.
Rod and I worked on the west doors of the RUDD. All the necessary holes on this side have now been drilled and a considerable number of bolts fitted. Only 34 still left to fit, before work can start on burning off the door skins on the east side.
Most of the old skin of door two did not make it as far as the scrap bin, as Harry has cut it down today to complete the fabrication of a new steel pallet bin for track parts.

Fri 12th

Earlier in the week, Harry  burnt the rivets off the skin of door four –  and removed it. Thanks Harry!
Today Bryan cleaned up all the door hinges and strengthening plates etc. and removed all but one of the rivets from them.
One piece needs straightening – all the rest now in primer.
NC spent all day fitting bolts to door two and painting crane parts.
Jim Kay spent the afternoon extracting rotten wood from LOWMAC B905100.
Sun 14th – Tamping training session on a previous relay fronm the 8mp to Hunting bridge crossing.
The site will eventually be tamped through into Hunting bridge straight and Kingthorpe.
Purpose of today was to test the new computer system and check for faults.
From the sound of it none were found and the results on the display seem to confirm this. Nick and Bryan followed up behind as usual cleaning up and tidying the ballast.

Mon 15th

Bryan and I initially regulated the recent Kingthorpe auto ballast train drop. This was slightly heavy at the south end  and light on the shoulders north from the greaser beyond MP 9, so in the afternoon Martyn dropped another train load over this section which we then regulated.
Still quarter of a mile at the north end or so requiring more stone, prior to initial tamp ( shoulders not centre).
Martyn hopes to get this dropped tomorrow ready for a prior run through with the regulator on either Friday or Sunday.
We also regulated Hunting Bridge to MP 8 3/4 . This section OK to tamp now – though the 200 yards from the 3/4 MP to the start of the Kingthorpe relay could do with a dribble of ballast at some stage.
The regulator performed well, only suffering from poor rail adhesion at times ( i.e. snow covered) whilst pushing stone uphill round Kingthorpe curve.
Working air pressure maintained without recourse to independent charging and there was no leak by of air into the train pipe system ( gauge on zero throughout). Winter routine maintenance is paying dividends.

Tues 16th

Coles crane
Today Steve fitted a new central section of  Hi-Performance Automotive/Marine cable and new circular connectors to the jib, together with a new jib work light ( from the mez. floor spares ).
The load indicator was refitted (I’ve still a small amount of painting detail to do on this) in order to connect up the light on this unit, into this wiring. All subsequently tested as satisfactory.
Only some weather proof sleeves for the joints to be fitted next time, by Steve, to complete this work.
Richard fitted a grease way and nipple to the north bogie handbrake shaft bearing, refitted the unit and adjusted the handbrake efficiency. The final two new BR1 brake blocks on the north end bogie were fitted and keyed in.
This completes the braking system refurbishment on the north bogie, other than opening the split pins after a thorough system test of the complete braking system.
Rod and I fitted the new skin to door number four. Many holes drilled and enough bolts tapered and fitted to position all the door fittings. As Rod can drill holes far faster than I can taper and fit bolts, we have some catching up to do next week.
More short bolts on order, which I’ll collect from Hawk Fasteners tomorrow.
Various RUDD and crane parts painted.

Sun 28th Feb –RUDD

  • The last M20 bolt on the west side has been fitted. Just this one and two M16 bolts on the original door skin to disc cut and hammer over, to complete the west side.
  • West side is now in grey undercoat throughout.
  • East side door four – another 15 bolts tapered and fitted. Only 14 left  to do on this door, which includes reaming out two M20 holes previously drilled.
  • Harry ( on Friday) burnt out the rivets on the strengthening pieces and fittings of door six, so I’ve now cleaned them all up with needle gun, grinder and sanding disc and given them a coat of red oxide. Just as well, as Harry has begun stripping the centre door and I don’t want the parts of the two doors to get mixed up. All now ready for Tuesday, to offer up and fit the NE corner door skin.
Also minor paint jobs continued on the Coles 15T crane and the LOWMAC.
Nick has also started painting the new batch of whistle board posts, setting up a production line at the back of the shed.
Tamper 73250 – Just Gerry in the morning working on tamper but after lunch Duncan came to help, he had been on shunter training with other volunteers in the morning.

Nick was working on the Rudd, Bryan, Martyn and the rest removed the point work from the main line ready for the new turnout.

The first job I did was to change the LH lift cylinder on the lining trolley after Harry pointed out it was leaking last time we were out. On close inspection the piston rod was bent which may have happened when it was lifting up on the tight curve last week. I found a new one upstairs and fitted that.

I then started up and did an air leak test in travel mode as I noticed the train pipe was dropping of on tick over. This was due to the tower brake valve bypassing air when the handle was set to charge in the main cab. Duncan and I changed this after lunch with one from stock. We also changed the base as the wire filter was shot in the existing one. After this was done the train pipe held up.

We then tested the working air and found the leak under the tower cab which was a split hose. This was shortened and made good. We also noted that the LH lift cylinder on the tower measuring trolley was passing air but it was  too late in the day to change so will do this some other time.

1st March Tuesday
Just Richard and Nick today.
Richard has upped his work rate to two shifts a week for the time being, to push along the brake overhaul of the Coles 15 T crane.
As a result, as of today, all the brake rigging of set three is now in place and set four is being prepared for fitting. No bits short and nothing left over fortunately ( other than a spare rubber boot for the brake cylinders).
He estimates it will take two more days to complete the task – except for opening up the split pins, a task to be done after we’ve proved that everything is working.
To avoid asphyxiating everyone, our mobile compressor is going to be connected up to provide the air supply to test the brakes, rather than the crane engine/compressor.
Harry working on the crane ropes today ( amongst other jobs) .
I painted sections of the load indicator and also touching in new bolts.
All the new bolts for the SE corner door skin are now fitted ( bar the two M20 ones that need reaming out).
The west side was rubbed down and most of it is now in black gloss.
LOWMAC 905100
Jim Kay and Mark spent some time today digging out the  rotten timber at the south end.
Peter, Darren & Mark with assistance from Nigel T  have dug out the formation and put the correct fall into the new turnout site and started backfilling with clean ballast on top of geotextile .
Class 66 and five auto ballast wagons on site today. Maybe a bit of a heavy tip at the south end?

From Martyn:-

The new pointwork has now been installed at New Bridge, it is not connected to the GF. For the time being the points at both ends are permanently clamped in the crossover position and must remain that way. Movements may be made over the crossover at walking pace. On Saturday morning the tamper will be inside the shed, with the regulator outside on the same road. There will be the facility to swap the order of the machines within the yard and to stable as normal at the end of Saturday. At the end of Sunday I plan for the machines to stable out on the running line ready for use on Monday. During Sunday I will also stable the Class 08 and hoppers on the running line ready for Fen Bog on Monday. Whilst the machines are out on Sunday I will be partially dismantling the new turnout ready for the welders to have an early start on Monday.

Sat 5th March
Track machines working on the 2nd pass on Kingthorpe renewal site today (Saturday 05/03/16).
Alistair, Bryan, Duncan, Gerry, Nick and John in attendance.
Bryan, Gerry and Nick first took out the Regulator to prepare the ballast that was dropped by DBS earlier in the week.
Afterwards, they returned to Newbridge to allow the Tamper to then go out ahead so that the Regulator could follow and plough/brush afterwards.
First, the Tamper was used in ALC mode to perform Lining Only on a very short piece of track on the 2nd curve to deal with an existing short wavelength large lateral error.
Afterwards, The Tamper then performed a measuring run several lengths prior to the renewal to a point several lengths after the renewal, Full Tamping with ALC was then carried out.
After a long day, both machines performed with no issues at all, and the whole site 2nd pass was completed in 1 day!
A point to note.
The 1st curve now sits at an average radius of 246M
The 2nd curve now sits at an average radius of 210M
It is not currently possible to increase either curve radius due the the rails under pressure, the fish plate gaps have closed up on the curves and any further attempts to slew the track downhill to increase the radius results in large amounts of “Spring-Back” while Tamping than cannot be overcome, as it is trying to make the rails longer which are already too long. This will need addressing before the weather starts to get warmer as a risk of buckling as it stands.
It may be an idea to invest in more temporary clamps to relieve this in future then rails can be adjusted after the 1st Tamping pass? (just a thought).
From Gerry 6th and 7th March Sun – Monday

Just though I would give report with more detail now I am recovered from the shock of getting up early three days on the trot.

After our long day on Saturday Duncan, Graham, Nick, Bryan and I turned up intending to go to Fen Bog but were soon informed by Martyn that this was not possible as it needed ballast and he had planned to do this on Monday thinking that we would still have work to do at Kingthorpe. He had jobs to do on the new point and had already given permission for Wombles to have a trolley on. After a short discussion the Wombles were contacted and our passage with tamper and regulator as far as Levisham was agreed.

The new plan was to tamp the site just north of the station where new rails were installed before Christmas. On arrival at Levisham we stopped at the inner home signal as instructed and phoned in to get permission to move through the station which was now a work site controlled by Dave Torbet. When this was given the stop board was removed to allow us to move to our work site at the north end.

Once on site the machines were uncoupled and the tamper set up for the measuring run. Bryan produced paper work showing cants and went ahead marking them and signal wires up. We then did the measuring run with all having an input during computation at the end. Standard Q9 was selected (100mph) and when all agreed with lifts and slews we moved back to the start point to start the tamp. Duncan, Graham and I working the tamper and Nick and Bryan on regulator. I started off on the peddles until I was sure things were OK then let Graham have little go followed by Duncan who did the rest. As we had plenty of time we even stopped for lunch. When finished a post measurement was taken and all agreed a good job was done.

After packing away we had tea with the Wombles and returned to Newbridge.

When back at the yard we were told to stable outside on main line as welders would be in early next morning and Martyn wanted to put his ballast train out on top of us ready for Monday. Both machines were locked up for safe keeping.

When I arrived on Monday morning the welders were hard at it. Nick, Graham and myself were joined by Peter, Mark and Martyn. We started both machines after the usual checks then coupled on to the ballast train so the formation was tamper leading,regulator, shark, two hoppers of stone with 08 shunter at the rear. So off we went with Peter driving tamper, Nick on regulator and Martyn driving 08. Mark left us at Levisham as he was to trackwalk back to Newbridge.

On arrival on site at Fen Bog the machines stood clear while the 08 dropped one hopper of stone. It was just after this that Martyn informed us the 08 had failed and would need pushing back to the yard. We decided that we could carry on and do the machines work first so Peter and Graham set up for the measuring run.

After two minor errors with our computing we completed the measuring run and did our computation then moved back to start point and started the tamp. The twist fault could clearly be seen on the screen and with Peter working the peddles I was able to watch the lift being put on by the ALC and make sure that all was OK. In the end it did another good job this time to Q5 (55mph). Nick regulated and tidied the ballast then we did the post measurment and could the resaults of our labour on the screen.

After packing away the second hopper was run out on the shoulder using the two machines then the train put together and propelled back to Newbridge at slow speed. When back at the yard the tamper was put back in the shed while Nick shunted the yard for Martyn ready for the P&C tamper to arrive next day.

Tues 8th March –

Coles 15T crane
The installation of the brake rigging and blocks is now complete and has been tested utilising the New Bridge portable compressor to charge the system. This is more environmentally sound than starting the crane  engine indoors and it means you can hear for any air leaks.
The tests proved that the overhauled brake cylinders (done years ago by Ryedale brakes) work and that the recently freed off and serviced brake pedal functions fine as well.
Richard on today with freeing the second bogie handbrake shaft bearing and installing a grease way into it, just about the final task to do underneath.
Rod and Steve working today on installing the new  NE corner door sheet, drilling lots of holes and preparing bolts and fittings.
As well as keeping the RUDD team supplied with parts and fittings and also painting bits of crane and RUDD, Nick was also tasked with shunting the yard with the regulator for Peter, in the absence of our sick 08 shunter.
As a result, the Plasser crane is now accessible so can take over this stand-in role for the rest of the week.
The VolkerRail S & C tamper arrived and sorted out the New Bridge FB turnout.
I’ll pick up the rest of the new bolts required for the RUDD from Hawk Fastenings tomorrow.
Following the failure of the 08 at Fen Bog yesterday –
Harry says that Bob Fussey is coming over on or by Friday to have a look at the 08. Fingers crossed.
In the meantime GR5077 (up till now) and and the Plasser crane ( from tomorrow) are covering as yard shunter.
No chance of borrowing the C & W  08 as they have their hands full.
Richard is pleased that all his careful work on the crane brakes has worked out well, brake cylinder and brake pedal travel are minimal with plenty of adjustment available if and when necessary.

Friday 11th March

We were only slightly distracted by the big green machine yesterday.
Bryan and I spent the day measuring and cutting timber replacement boards for LOWMAC B905100. Not all of the joints could be cut by machine, so exhaustive hand sawing had to be resorted to.
The aftermath is all too apparent this morning.
We have enough spare boards of the right thickness from other re-flooring exercises to complete the job.
Other work included further painting jobs on the Coles 15T crane ( load indicator, replacement bolts etc.).
Note that for next Tuesday – the crane will be parked outside for the day, due to the electrician working (presumably with a tower) on that side of the shed.
Also, due to the threat of invading Flying Scotsman watchers, please remember to shut the yard  gate behind you next week. It worked yesterday.

Tues 15th –

Rod & Steve drilled out all the holes on the new NE corner steel door skin and prepared and fitted many bolts.
Harry has burnt off all the old rivets on the hinges and thus stripped out the old skin of the outstanding centre door space.
I lettered the west side, before assisting with the bolting up.
Coles 15 T crane    
Richard , assisted at times by Harry, fixing newly discovered air leaks and adjusting  cranks, to improve the working of the air brake system.
I painted small parts ( bolt fastenings mainly) and lettered the crane runner.
Ballast Regulator
Richard took the driver/operator part of the floor up to map the train air brake system. This is to answer questions from RBS (purpose of fourth inlet port) to do with  potentially overhauling the train brake valves.
Electrician on with preparing the new shed lights for installation tomorrow. Bring your sun glasses in future – they are very bright when switched on at ground level! Hopefully a bit less so when suspended from the ceiling.
Sun 14th – 

Just Gerry on tamper today. I first got machine outside in the sun and onto a level spot to check the cross level on the lift frame. The last two jobs tamping we have struggled to get lift on the RH side. I thought this could be due to the feeler rod repairs on that side but after checking level rails, skates and top of transducers I found them to be OK. However the pendulum was showing about 3mm out so made a small adjustment on the bolts. It was then noticed that the galvo was showing off to the right. I think this needs your attention as I am not sure which screw to adjust.

I also found the RH lift cylinder piston rod had screwed itself almost out so screwed back in tight. Also filed a bit off the LH bank slew lock so this now pulls out better.

I also filled greaser and greased clamp assemblies.

Peter / Duncan can you prep machine in morning and top up fuel? I will be in at 08.45.

Mon 15th – Monday morning Peter and Duncan prepared and fueled the tamper. We then took it out onto the main line where Peter and Duncan did a training measuring run each with computation between MP 7. 3/4 and Hunting Bridge and MP 9.1/2 and MP 10.

After lunch John came out and training was done between Farwath and Levisham with many questions answered regarding computation and clearing mistakes and faults. John also looked at the the two jobs we did last Sunday and Monday on the computer making minor comments on how we could have improved these. One out come was the cross level error which was found to the pendulum being 8mm out, partly due to my adjustments on Sunday being the wrong way.

Fri 18th – After some shunting, Peter, Harry, Bryan, Nick and myself took the machine out to measure Saddler house but we decided to actually Tamp It (good job we calibrated the crosslevel on Monday!).

Peter took Harry through the daily checks, starting up, driving, brake tests and setting the machine up on site, we used ALC through Sadler House and it did a good job with no real issues, still a very slight wave one way but much improved, biggest crosslevel error was about 20mm before but reduced to 3mm, a bit short of stone though at that 20mm point. Peter did all the Tamping.
Then took the machine to Newtondale Halt for a long measuring run so Peter could experiment with lift and lining designs and constant areas.
All in all, a good day out with 5 mugs of coffee delivered to the trackside by Andrew Scott at Sadler house!
A few minor faults afterwards
A small oil leak somewhere on the inside of the RH bank.
One of the middle feeler rod lift pneumatic cylinders has an air leak, or a fitting or hose to it.
Lining Trolley lock pneumatic switch bottom half has fallen off (just had to put hand under it and push it upwards to wrap the machine I up, think it has done this before?).

 Tues 22nd –

A very busy day with lots of progress on all fronts.
West side lettering/numbering completed.
The final replacement door skin has been trimmed and bolted into place. All door furniture has been straightened where required and fitted, but another day’s worth of bolt fitting and drilling still to do.
North East corner door skin – all outstanding bolt holes drilled and all bolts fitted and primer painted.
LOWMAC 905100
Minor painting and lettering refurbishment carried out.
COLES 15T crane
All bogie brake gear now fully complete and split pined-up. Richard K happy to sign it off once an on the road brake performance test has been carried out.
An air leak on the centre pin to bogie connection investigated. On dismantling the fault was found to be as diagnosed – a split seal. The fitting of replacement O rings cured it.
Crane Runner .
Harry carrying out patch welding repairs to the centre section floor. Front section now cleared of all rubbish/spare fittings and a start made on application of anti-slip deck paint.
If, after deflection testing tomorrow, can the hook  be left resting on the newly painted section please? That will enable me to finish painting the front section on Friday.

Fri 25th – 

Bryan out with his thermometer at Kingthorpe in the morning.
Duncan dong stuff with the spare tamping bank in the shed and will , no doubt , be specifically reporting later on in the weekend.
  • Centre door skin –  all the pre-drilled holes left over from from Tuesday, now have bolts fitted.
  • East side other two doors have now been de-greased, rubbed down and a second coat of primer applied.
  • An assessment has been made of  nut & bolt requirements to complete. I bought an additional 20 M16 nuts yesterday as a rough guess, in preparation.
  • We have (just!)  enough flat washers and spring washers to complete and enough M20 nuts and bolts but we are one M16 domed bolt short. I suggest we drill one hole to M20 instead, as we have a few of these left over fortunately. Otherwise we could use a non-matching M16 hex bolt. To decide on Tuesday.
Coles crane runner    
  • Lettering/numbering completed.
  • Remainder of the front section of the floor painted in anti-slip deck paint. Thanks to Harry for dropping the hook clear on Wednesday, onto the previously painted surface, thus enabling this task to be completed.
Coles 15T crane
  • Minor jib and ladder paintworks.
plus usual incremental work on new whistle board posts
LOWMAC B905100
  • In the afternoon, Bryan cutting and trial fitting more replacement floorboards.
Sun 27th – Plate oiling Grosmont.
Tues 29th March – 
Coles 15T crane
Richard & Steve today methodically working their way through the fittings and wiring of the SLI, armed with schematics, wiring diagrams and testing equipment. As a result Steve is going to acquire some new parts including control desk parts (warning bulbs & holders etc.) Some of the requirements were sourced upstairs on the mez. floor.
As a result of today’s session, much has been learnt about the SLI system .
The crane and runner are now deemed to be fully painted, other than minor touching up after the SLI has been attended to and all maintenance panels replaced.
LOWMAC B905100 
All last – weeks trial fitted replacement deck timbers  ( now marked A -E ) have now been through a three part preservative treatment and have had their ends dipped for the recommended immersion time.
Bryan – these timbers are now stacked up on the wagon, ready for drilling and fastening down. The exposed chassis parts have today been painted in preparation.
Rod  drilled all the required holes on the final door skin. All our remaining stock of domed bolts then profiled and fitted. Unfortunately not enough to finish the job. Seven bolts still required – due to yours truly forgetting in the estimation that the centre doors are slightly wider than the end ones and have more fastenings. We have enough nuts and washers though. I’ll get the bolts next time I’m at Skippers Lane Industrial Estate.
Grey undercoat applied to the other two east side doors.
Wed 30th March – 
Richard in today instead of Thursday. Good news the SLI in Free mode is now working.
With key on the cab is now quiet and all contactors are operable. On overload, the bell rings, red light is on and derrck out and hoist contactor feeds are dead.?

Faults found, mechanically sticking Bell relay and a high resistance cable ?.

Bell relay is now 99% reliable. A tad slow sometines on picking up, as the red light flashes and the bell twitches when key is turned on. Contact fingers are just on the edge of not breaking. This may explain why during testing the bell stoppped when relay was tapped.

The high resistance cable between the connection blocks at either end of the contactor cabinet, was repalced.

SLI work outstanding.

1) Fit green Free mode and blue blocked mode indicator lights.

2) Fit Free/Blocked mode change over switch.

3) Re-solder wire onto mystery control panel light.
4) Re connect to schematic the Blocked mode SLI micro switch.


Plan is to have the crane ready of test lift and inspection on Tuesday 12 April

Thurs 31st March
The main reason for switching days was to attend a meeting with Eddie Knorn, NYMR Traction Engineer.
However, Nick also got round to fitting the last of the domed coach bolts to the centre door skin of the RUDD and then black gloss painted the outer doors.
Tidied up a bit inside the wagon. The new vacuum through pipe is now inside. It looks like it will be the exact length required, allowing for the return at the north end to get the vacuum hose on the correct side.
Did not have time to quite gather all the necessary collars and brackets, which are either on the mez. floor racking r/h shelf or on the left hand end of the painting benches on the shed east side wall.
Bryan stripped the chain hooks from the redundant shed strip lighting units, to retain them for future use, as apparently they are difficult to get hold of now.  The electrician is returning to fit the new lights to the other side of the shed next week.
Sun 3rd – April
Sun 10th
Sun 17th
Midweek early shift 05.00 – 09.00 Rerailing to adjust rail end gaps at Kingthorpe 16 rails completed during the week.
 Fri 22nd –
Harry fitted the south end dummy bracket today and completed the fitting of the horns to the new vacuum pipe at that end.
Nick prepared and second coat primed the east side centre door and then lettered and numbered the east side outer doors, before other minor painting works on the Coles crane and whistle board posts.
Bryan cut,drilled  and fitted further replacement floor timbers. Nick gave Bryan’s work from the previous week, the timber preservative treatment.
Tamper banks and bits
Alistair had a few hours spare after attending the work on Kingthorpe curve early this morning, so he helpfully volunteered for shed work.
His eyeballs are now sunburnt after spending the time carefully applying a second yellow undercoat to all the tamper bits bits on the LOWMAC plus the banks themselves. 
Sun 24th

Tues 26th –

Bodywork paintwork now complete. Vacuum through pipe and fittings now complete.
West side air brake release handle made and fitted ( by Harry earlier in the week).
Wagon swept out and all spare fittings returned to stores.
Just minor lettering to do now, followed by the vacuum through pipe leak test to carry out and then the inside steel work to prime after steam cleaning.
LOWMAC B905100
Replacement north end timbers bolted down and the north end headstock wire brushed and patch primed.
Wagon deck cleared up.
SEACOW DB982667  
Completion of the RUDD has enabled Rod & Harry to return to patching the north end hopper.
Coles 15T crane
Richard & Steve on with final tweaking of the SLI , waterproofing electrical conduit and fitting a handle and magnetic catch to the drop down cab window.
It was discovered that the heater hose was leaking, which probably explained why the radiator was low on water.
Richard took it to bits, cut back  the perished hose ends and rebuilt it.
Radiator now topped up ready for full crane test tomorrow.
Harry on with final patching of the steel floor of the runner wagon.
Other jobs – Steve drilling holes in the floor to permanently mount the grinder and pillar drill. One or two problems to resolve with the rawlbolts involved.

Fri 29th – 

LOWMAC B901500
 Today, Bryan and Nick completed the cutting, drilling, preservative treatment and fitting of the remaining replacement boards.
Remedial work to the headstock paintwork also completed.
This wagon is now deemed to be complete, other than removing the vacuum cylinder for overhaul by C & W.
With this in mind, the central cover plate has been left loose on the wagon to facilitate removal of the cylinder.
Now outside awaiting steam cleaning of the new steel plate inner surfaces.
(Rod – you missed trimming two bolts on the base of the old NW corner plate where it was patched.)
Tamper 73214
Now inside the shed behind tamper 73250. The dismantling of 73214 is the next major project, in tandem with on-going work on  Seacow 982667.
Once 73214 is out of the way, Harry has proposed that we bring the ballast regulator in to do the CCTV installation and work off the long list of faults.
Coles 15T crane
Harry made a new ( more substantial) engine stop unit today.

Sun 1st May – 

Just Gerry today on tamper. As there were no other staff in the shed I carried daily checks and ran engine for one hour. I tried the wipers at the tower end as they did not work last time we were out. More work is needed as would only wipe when assisted with a broom. I think the air motor is knackered.

The rest of the day was spent taking bits off 214 in the shed. Harry, parts removed on small trolley at back of shed along with a number of pipes.


Tues 3rd May –

Tamper 73214

Harry and Darren continued the stripping.

Coles crane

Steve and I managed the following:

  • Engine temperature gauge connected and tested.
  • Wiper blade from 73214 fitted.
  • Coolant system tested. Ambient 13C. Thermostat opened at 90C, but only after 1hr running with rad air flow blocked off. Consensus is the engine is over cooling. 3/4 sized radiator curtain to make and fit for use between Oct-May.
  • New Bell relay fitted and tested.
  • Small HP fuel leak on top of pump. HP connections nipped.
  • Derrick and Hoist brakes adjusted ready for yard load test Thursday.

Fri 6th May –

LOWMAC 905100
Bryan heroically spent the day stripping the necessary brake gear from the wagon, to get at the vacuum cylinder.
After much effort , dealing with sheared nuts and rusted in split pins,the nuts holding the cylinder mounting trunnions, have either been removed or loosened ready for cylinder removal.
Parts tied up, and release valve removed, ready  for safe transfer of the wagon to a solid part of the shed floor to enable the cylinder to be lowered .
Coles 15 T crane   
Nick completed lettering /numbering of the crane – it now sports its BR departmental number once again, so that the accountants can find it on our asset register.
ON/OFF handbrake castings touched in.
Minor touching up of jib gloss paintwork and the rope pulley system (primed by Harry earlier in the week) is  now in first coat yellow undercoat.
Martyn  – there are on or two small patches that can only only be got at with the jib partly raised. Next Friday possibly? Just needs a coat of the correct gloss yellow.
Crane runner  anti slip deck paint application, now  completed. As recommended, the part of the jib cradle  providing a foot step for oiling the jib end pulley, has also been painted in anti-slip.
Final lettering done – ‘ICD’ .

Sun 8th May – 

Just Gerry again today on tamper.

I decided to try to sort the window at the tower end but after trying to pull it in with the new sucker and some fairy liquid, just as it was almost there it suddenly came right through into the cab. After that I needed an octopus to get it back so had to leave it. Harry how did you get it in in the first place.? I tried with rubber in the frame and on the glass but no luck. I ground a little off the top and bottom right corner but no matter how I tried I could not get it started. The glass is still in tact so left it on the computer.

The rest of the day was spent taking bits off 214.

Tues 10th May –

SEACOW 982667
After sorting, cleaning up, trimming and racking the recovered timber from the old rail motor hut,  the area this material previously occupied behind the wagon has now been set up as a fabrication work space.
Further welding in of new plate and preparation of more parts then took place. A bit frustrating for Rod, as the welding set kept tripping the RCD out.
Coles 15T  crane
Steve and Richard working their way through the ever diminishing snagging list. Jib lights now plugged in, ropes cleaned and greased, poorly performing cable connections remade etc.
While the jib was partly raised to allow this to take place, Nick used the opportunity to gloss paint the bits not able to be reached when the jib was down.
Electrical access side panels now refitted. The cab cab windows have been washed and given a good going over with car windscreen glass polish, with beneficial results.
Engine stop linkage now sorted out.
Dry greasing points attended to.
Ready for crane examination tomorrow.
LOWMAC 905100
The vacuum brake cylinder has been lowered out of the frame, utilising the fork lift and a sling.
Other jobs
All the Levisham scrap on the Regulator has been re-dumpy bagged and on the deck alongside. Peter is to shift it with the fork lift.
Some tidying up of the west side wall area and the painting work benches. A bit more to do on this yet, which will end up with occasional stores ( filler,knotting etc.) being put in cupboards and labelled where it is.
Thus leaving more room for painting parts on the benches themselves.
Tamper bank small parts  have been given a coat of gold cup gloss.
Plus the usual whistle post and board painting.

Wed 11th – 

Coles crane inspection

Passed with no major A issues, a few advisory B issue additional jobs.

But it did not bathe itself in glory.

  • Flat battery in the yard, twice. Suspect starter motor and poor battery +ve terminal connection
  • Headlights and tail lights not working !
  • The Load cell then came out with the crane by delivering a flat battery.

Advisory B jobs:

  1. Hoist brake not fully releasing.
  2. Fuel leak on fuel pump, middle to upper body joint.
  3. Air leak in central pivot brake cylinder air supply rotating connection.
  4. Head and tail lights not working.
  5. Slew brake, armature gauss disc missing.

Overall a good day.

Fri 13th May – 

LOWMAC 905100
All timber boards that were removed to assist extraction of the cylinder, have now been replaced.
The new steel plate extension was ground smooth and the whole plate cleaned and metal primed. Vacuum cylinder trunnions also cleaned and primed.
These parts left on wagon floor.
Replacement hex bolts for the trunnions and countersunk bolts for the steel plate sourced and these are now in the red box of parts for this wagon ( on the left hand painters bench) .
The vacuum release valve and rod boxed up ( by roller door) ready to go with the cylinder to C & W for overhaul.
BORAIL B946060
South end Stumec crane tin shield given its second coat of gloss
Harry – the new operating instruction sticker for this unit can go on now.
Tamper bank bits on trolley
Final gloss paint application for these parts done.
Sorted through our timber stocks for potential material for new kick boards.
Some pieces from the dismantled New Bridge rail motor shed deemed suitable, as not far removed from the right specification. A start has been made on trimming and shaping these to fit.
Note – we have a ‘library’ of several short specimen profiles of kick boards and these were tested on the wagon first, to establish the best fit profile.
Vacuum cylinders outside – labelled up as to their current status.
Coles 15T crane
Cab dash inspection panel fixing ‘adjustments’ given a coat of metal primer.
Anyone – Can this be grey undercoated then aircraft grey glossed next week please?

Tues 24th May –

Tamper 73214
Steve has now removed all of the glass- some were cracked unfortunately. Also continued with removing pipework from the east side.
Coles crane
Rod & Harry completed the fabrication and installation of the new crane body rear access ladder and have made a start on the rear chassis access part of the ladder.
Spacer pieces for the drawbar springing improvements cut.
Richard greasing up and working on the alterations to the new tie rod for the braking system.
Most of the access panels now  refitted by Steve and the large sloping panel at the front shoe horned into place and loose bolted.
Nick painting whistle board posts & site pegs, minor paintwork on crane , tidying up more of the painters benches and sourcing fastenings for the team.
USA S160 6046 and tender delivered today .
The two box vans delivered yesterday , collected by C & W this morning. Destined for accommodation on the former fishing lake complex site at Pickering.

Thurs 26th May – 

Bryan, Richard K and Nick in today.
All working on the Coles 15T crane.
Bryan  drilled and then fitted all the outstanding body panels. Considering that several pieces have been extensively rebuilt, it fitted together remarkably well,with no obvious gaps. Metal fabricating members of the team, take a bow here.
We think that the designer of the engine compartment assumed that all maintenance staff have thin double jointed arms, as reaching inside to fit new nuts on bolts proved awkward.
Richard completed the greasing  of the various components under the engine compartment covers. Some of these required stretching out on a carpet inside the engine compartment,holding the grease nipple connection in place, while I operated the grease gun handle outside,standing on the new ladder on the counterweight. Not an easy job.
He has also cleaned out and serviced the brushes on the various electric motors. Some brushes had free movement, some less so until eased and some (west side) are stuck and will require further work next week.
New brake rigging tie bar now fitted.
I needle gunned and sanded the two new ladders on the rear and gave them a coat of metal primer.
(Jim Kay is going to undercoat them tomorrow) .
Various small tidying up paint jobs done  in the cab, on the roof, pulleys and runner deck.
Other work – more tidying up of painters benches which, as a result, now host lots of site pegs undergoing refurbishment ready for the next relay.
Paint stocks have been consolidated to provide another secure cupboard for PPE. As a result all our donated PPE is now in covered storage-but it still needs cataloging.

Sun 29th May –Just Duncan and Gerry working on tampers today. Duncan has finished off one of the banks from 214 refitting pipe work and oil pots. Attention from now on will focus on the other one. All the spare grease pipes have have been used so there is a shortfall to fit on the other bank.

I took more bits off 214 including solenoid valves off the top with help from Duncan to lift them down.

Tues 31st May –

Tamper 214
Rod assisting Harry in the removal of the three drive shafts.
Nick trimmed the last of the protruding bolts and , on Harry’s advice, applied recovered hydraulic oil ( ex tamper 214) to the new and old internal door skins and ends.
This completes the outstanding work on this wagon.
Coles 15T  crane 
Richard pushed on with his inspection regime ,which has now covered all but one of the electrical machines, cleaning out the carbon deposits with a long artists brush and hoovering out.
This inspection revealed that one motor next to the radiator grill has suffered from rain (or snow?) ingress in the past.
On Richard’s suggestion, Rod made and fitted an internal  metal blind for the relevant part of this grill to cure this problem. At 30 %  of the surface area, this should also help the overcooling of the radiator.
Tamper 73250  
Nick started work on repainting the south end of this machine. Roof section, guttering and rust spots disc and orbital sanded and then primed.
Start made on preparing the cab front for painting.
Unlike the north end, there are no serious corrosion problems.
Plus usual session of whistle board posts and site peg painting.
Fri June 3rd.
A varied programme today. Bryan and I in attendance.
New west side kick board fitted and the parts of the footboards giving access to the verandas given a coat of anti slip deck paint.
Tamper 73250
South end roof section given a first coat of white gloss paint.
South end – further paint preparation work.
Tamper bits
Duncan – The two blue pan lids  have been sanded , patch primed where required and are now in first coat yellow undercoat.
Coles 15T crane
Rear ladder painting in white gloss now complete.
Bryan (eventually) successfully found a suitable place ( in fact as it transpired, the only safe place) in the cab to fit spring clips and extensions, to retain the emergency electro mechanical brake release lever.
Brake van E246710 
The west side now sports 1960s style overhead warning flashes. Investigated the mineral felt anti slip mats on the footboards. These were installed as a temporary measure last winter for site work at Kingthorpe.
They are acting as reservoirs for damp, so I have started to remove them and apply anti-slip deck paint to the boards instead.
Rest of this work ( east side),though a minor fill in job,  will have to await until the BV is in the yard rather than parked next to the running line in the head shunt.
Another whistle post/board assembled, further posts painted and the usual crop of site marker pegs refurbished.
Wed 8th June.
Coles crane
Starter motor windings repaired by Electrodiesels and refitted by Harry Tuesday.

Covers fitted and now in yard available for use.

Plasser crane
Now in shed. Train pipe emergency application pilot valve removed, plunger freed, cleaned, lubricated with Silicone grease, refitted and tested with test cart.
Cab Train Brake application plunger now working as designed.
Slight blow by to exhaust from another valve, picture attached.
John, is this the Relay Valve ?Tamper 73214
In yard. Coles crane used to remove Nth end cab and many other heavy components.
Fri 10th June.
We said our farewells to Harry this morning.
It was nice while it lasted and we got a lot done.
SHARK – outstanding east side kick board manufactured and fitted. Wood treatment applied and anti slip paint applied to the relevant bits to match the footboards.
Tamper 73214 – Bryan stripping wire out this afternoon. We now have a dedicated dumpy bag for this recyclable stuff .
We also re-commissioned the spindle moulder. I now have some profiled edging material for the next run of whistle boards.
Ballast Regulator  –  descaled ,sanded and primed the rear of the machine, part of the  preparation for fitting the CCTV cameras.
Tamper 73250   – descaling, priming and preparing part of the east side for painting.
Tamper bits – the two ‘pan lids’ have now had the second coat of gloss yellow applied and are thus complete.
Tues 14th
Tamper 73250
More preparation work and then first yellow undercoat applied to the SE side sheet ( the tatty white one). South end cant rail now in signal red safety stripe, to match the north end.
Ballast Regulator
CCTV monitor connected up to 24/12v power supply. Live feed taken from the ‘umbilical’ clipboard light –  we knew that one worked. In the absence of wiring diagrams, to help locate another, it was the only way to go.
Running the two lengths of co-axial cable end to end took some doing. We had all the engine bay bonnets and floors and dash panels up, in order to pass the cable along and through the wiring looms wherever possible.
Both of us have had to almost hang upside down to achieve this.
Bryan – we have used a lot of your spare black flexible conduit ,in various diameters. There was enough to cover the co-axial all the way from the camera mounting frame to underneath the cab.It has made a very tidy job.
The cable has been tie wrapped in the harnesses in the engine bays, but, as yet, still has to be permanently fixed alongside the rear platform.
Work to continue next Tuesday.
Thurs 16th June
Tamper 73250
Busy with the P38 car body filler on the east side today, followed by lots more preparation and further undercoat painting on the south end and east side.
Ballast Regulator
Richard had a very successful day removing the defective train brake unit  and sourcing and assembling a replacement one from tamper parts.
The new one will have to be mounted slightly higher than the old one, so Richard has made a suitable mounting bracket.
Only one minor spare part issue John – Richard will be reporting on this separately.
Further paintwork preparation carried out on the rear of the machine, in advance of camera installation.
All the stores parked  on the ‘clean’ work bench tidied away this morning, as it is now the brake unit assembly bench.
Plus usual round of whistle board post and site peg painting.
Sun 19th
Martyn and 3 off plate oiling near Pickering today
Gerry and myself at Newbridge removing bits from 214 all day.
Richard – I have taken off a number of sections of air hose and left it near the blue roller bench in the middle.
More wiring removed plus a number of various Air valves and fittings.
Brake actuator removed and some air pistons.
Sleeper collection trains working out Monday – Tuesday evenings, finish about 22.30.
Next up Thursday.
Tues 21st.
A late report tonight, as I’ve been out this evening digging in new whistle boards either side of Hunting Bridge crossing, making the most of a lift to site on a Kingthorpe- bound sleeper recovery train.
Ballast Regulator
Steve today permanently wired up the monitor and the cameras. They worked fine on test. Unfortunately the monitor then stopped working – subsequently traced to a blown fuse on the lighting circuit.
This posed the question – where are the fuses?
Gerry – I heard you mention them sometime in the past – are they under the dash panels? We could not see anything,on looking down through the hinged console.
Richard has already reported today ( to some) on the successful installation of a tamper type train brake,on the driver’s side.
We though about overhauling the removed original Westinghouse one, and possibly refitting it to the other side for two reasons:
1. We have discovered a new air leak from the other side train brake valve.
2. We do not have enough of the correctly configured tamper type train brake parts, to do a similar conversion on the other side.
Tamper 73250
South end and east side  painting continues.
Duncan – try not to get it dirty this week, on your evening training sessions, as I’m almost ready to gloss paint this area!
Tues 28th June.
Steve spent most of today on his back, gazing up into the dusty innards of the control desk of the regulator.
We found the two fuse banks eventually, after removing all the front panels.
The previously suspected blown fuse on the cab lighting ( and CCTV circuit) proved not to be so. All the ceramic cone fuses tested OK.
Steve then removed all the redundant cab radio wiring looking for another  positive lead, as an alternative power source for the CCTV to.
Eventually he found such a circuit. Without any wiring diagrams, and working in a very crowded environment,  its all down to trial and error. As it happened, it proved to be the headlight circuit – but only the rearward headlight part of the switch.
On reflection, I suppose that makes sense as you need to illuminate the rear to see what’s on the cameras.
So, we powered up and the monitor then kept switching itself off. Further tests then showed that a wiring fault with one of  the cameras was throwing it out, as the screen was ‘no signal’ stable  when isolated from them. .
Steve is to continue next Tuesday.
At least , now having removed the left hand seat,the way is now clear to change the train brake lever on that side, on Thursday.
In between assisting Steve, I managed to machine plane more edging timber for whistle boards and completed the painting and installation of a new wall shadow board.
Also, the regulator south end has been first coat gloss painted, as has the south end of tamper 73250.
Tues 5th July.
Tamper 73250
The south end paintwork is starting to head towards completion now. Note the new 1960/70s pattern OHL warning flashes. The extant holes matched the pre-drilled signs exactly, so it must have been fitted with this pattern originally.
Three more sections of roof panel have been descaled and prepared and given a first roller coat of metal primer. This was done just in time, as there was widespread rust but only on the surface so far and fortunately not pooled or pitted.
I cannot go any further along the roof, from here,as the bodywork slopes in,so cannot use a ladder.I will have to wait until we get the new access towers.
Coles 15T crane
Starting problems investigation done today. Richard put it on battery charge this morning. Steve and Richard looked at it after lunch. Result – would not start ,being stone dead. Various metered tests and head scratching followed etc.
Found that a battery lead clamp, even though fully screwed down, was only parting the wires and not making reliable contact. Offending item was then copper sleeved and tightened down again. Started straight away.
The team’s observation is that ,at idle speed, it is not charging the battery at all, hence the unreliability problems ( in part).
Recommendation is that the idle speed is increased slightly. Long term solution, might be to fit a smaller pulley.
Rainwater is coming in through the roof glass and dripping on the control panel. Any solutions?
Ballast Regulator
An ‘interesting’ day with the continuing saga of the CCTV installation.
Basically, when the ignition was depressed ( marker lighting panel not touched at all) and the CCTV switched on, the cameras power up and the rear red marker lights glow from dim to bright, then the CCTV monitor cuts out ,or rather the 24/12 convertor cuts out.
Steve is now talking about ,next Tuesday, using another live feed and earthing to the chassis to stop this feedback into lighting circuits.
Richard tidied up the hoses to the changed train brake controller  and removed one of the floor pedals that was leaking air.
We now have three prepared bolts to blank off various fittings, connected with this work, but they require brazing. (Duncan or Rod – could you do this please, whoever is in next ?).
Bolts are on the welding bench marked up ready.
Richard also had the rest of the floor up, to investigate the air braking system to amend his schematic, looking at the 2 bar trapped air problem , mentioned in previous reports.
Fri 7th July
Bryan and I in today.
We devoted the morning to a general tidy up in the centre aisle – general preparation work for the arrival of the new access platform.
The spare crane hook has been sticky tape wrapped and stored, the shrink wrapped motors from Rugby have been stored in the blue container and the chest of studs and fittings from the green shed, sorted and put away.
Large piles of redundant tamper wiring have been bagged for scrap, redundant hoses sorted into re-usable ones or not and a stout wooden chest provided for those that are.
We also sorted the tools that Steve brought on Tuesday.
 Steve- thank your mate in the pub please, some of the spanners filled gaps on the shadow board and all the power drills work fine,including the battery one.
After lunch Bryan carried on with stripping stuff of 73214.
Richard- as a result of this work, there is a small pile of air fittings on the ‘clean’ bench. Can you assess as to keep/scrap on Tuesday, please?
I spent the afternoon painting – whistle board posts, tamper 73250 south end and cab and regulator south end.
Following the complaints from the picnic party last week, I managed to clean up and first yellow undercoat the back of the jib radius pointer on the Coles crane, just seconds before C & W came to collect it. Still cursing myself for omitting to paint the back, when it was on the bench.
12th July
Tamper 73250
Three roofs sections have today received a second coat of metal primer . Next roof section de-rusted and received a first coat of primer.That takes us up to the first flexible rubber strip,which is in tatters.
South end cab sides de-rusted and primed. One section pin holed underneath the rust, so that will need patching at some point. (SW corner window). I’ll gaffer tape it for now to save the rain getting in.
Ballast Regulator   
Richard today removed the outstanding (and redundant) leaking floor pedal. Following a teach-in by Rod on brazing, sufficient plugs were then made by the pair, to complete all the outstanding train air brake system pipe refurbishment work. System then tested with the compressor/ test cart – no leaks. Floor then reinstated so that Steve could complete the work on installing the CCTV wiring at the control desk end.
Following the problems experienced last week, Steve got round the problem today,by running a clean power supply straight from the ignition switch, rather than via a lighting circuit. The cameras and CCTV screen now work perfectly. 
Rubber mats and front panels on the control desk were then re-instated and the fuse covers refitted. 
Seat then refitted.  
As a result, the regulator is now mechanically complete again and (after a systems test) available for use.
The CCTV cameras are now permanently wired in, but not as yet permanently fixed to the rear of the machine. Rod, this afternoon , made a combined mounting sheet/camera hood ,which has been sanded and undercoated.This will be glossed later in the week and thus ready for permanently fixing next Tuesday. 
Other work 
Usual whistle board posts and site pegs painting .
 Rod permanently mounted the loose vice, which was on the corner of the welding bench.He also found the box of R clips, which are now on the fitters bench.
Richard has inspected the air fittings removed by BB from tamper 214 last week and has taken the BIS switch ex-214 away to refurbish at home.
Fri 15th July
Tamper 73214 
Remaining air tanks dismantled. All the remaining control units taken out of the operator cab, plus the seats.There’s also a chest (rope handles) with manuals in it,now in central aisle. Gerry – to sort?
Tamper 73250 
Three roof panels that were second coat primed on Tuesday, are  now in first white top coat.
Various prep. work and yellow undercoat applied to south cab ends.
New brake system engraved instrumentation labeling fitted, cab innards hoovered out and completion of south end paintwork, including the final gloss black top coat to the new CCTV camera hood. This item is now ready for fitting next week.
Tues 19th July.
Tamper 73250
Three roof panels are now in top coat of white gloss. The east side panels and engine bay door that are to receive lettering and numbering, are now in top coat yellow gloss. DR 73250 decals ( four sets),of the correct 1970s pattern, are now to hand.
Ballast Regulator
Steve today completed the permanent installation of the CCTV wiring, after Rod bolted up the new mounting frame/hood for the cameras. The cameras were then zeroed in over the top of the buffer heads. Everything now works a treat. Steve then removed instrumentation from the previously removed panels from 73214,and is looking at a couple of hopefuls to fit to the regulator.
Rod removed a set of steps from 73214 and has started to adapt it to be added to the west side of the regulator, as a new lower bottom step. Hopefully this will help to ease on the pull on arm sockets, whilst trying to climb on the machine on high cant, in particular. We are being careful to ensure the new step remains within gauge.
Richard made a new brake cylinder cam adjuster to replace a worn one and duly fitted and tested it. The spare BIS switch from 73214 has now been overhauled by Richard, and is labelled up on the relevant rack on the mezz. floor.
Talking of the mezz. floor, Rod’s ex work mate John called in today at coffee time for a conducted tour of our facilities. Rod has successfully head hunted him to take over the organization and documentation of our stores floor. As an instructor at technical college, he knows his Whitworth fastenings from his metric and has the gauges to measure them, so will be a distinct asset in this task, once he has joined up.
Tues 26th July.
Today Richard changed the defective driver’s side shunt brake on the Regulator  and fashioned a new support bracket for under cab floor pipework. This was necessary, as previously it was the recently removed foot pedals that provided this support.
A temporary bung has been placed in position where the 3-way valve is to be replaced,once the new ordered parts are delivered.
Richard then assisted Steve in overhauling the air delivery system to the regulator ‘s four air horns. This maintenance item has been long on the ‘to do ‘list, as the sound volume has been below par for some time.
Stripping off the fittings proved difficult, as they were full or paint. It did make a change from tracing wiring though. Once this was done, the east side horns proved to be remarkably clean inside,including the steel diaphragm discs. The horns were tested on the bench with the compressor and tuned accordingly, but failed to work when connected back up to the machine.
The delivery valve inside the cab was then removed, and once a substitute ‘c spanner was fashioned to get in, it was discovered that the filter was blocked solid. Once cleaned out and re-connected, a loud resonance ensued, before the filter blocked up solid again.
It was duly observed that dust was coming out of the,as yet untouched, west side horns.
The next session will involve stripping out the delivery pipe out  blow through to remove any residual dust/rust, before re-setting all four horns.
Tamper 73250 has received more paintbrush attention today, particularly on the east side. In addition, the double arrow symbol on the engine bay doors is now applied (only red undercoat so far,though we do have some rail red gloss in stock for the top coat) . Fortunately I realised that the central position for this symbol, is orientated with the doors in the down position, rather than the way they have been left in the up position,so corrected accordingly.
You’ll see what I mean when the doors are wound up.
Fri 29th July
Brian  and I in attendance today.
First task, was a priority job from Martyn . Yesterday the GUV chassis from Pickering, was cut up into three pieces and loaded away from the yard at New Bridge. The bogies were loaded to a PLATE wagon , for return to C & W,  and the remains of the concrete floor put into a specially provided skip.
There was a lot of empty space in this skip, so the first job was to cut up the large fibreglass roof section from 73214 and load it in, followed by the remaining fibreglass pieces that were still lurking in the back of the central aisle of the shed.
Bryan then tackled the pipework for the ballast regulator air horns, working back from the centre roof line, where we left off on Tuesday. At various stages we coupled up the compressor and blew the system through. The western pair of air horns have been loosened from the roof, but the union attaching them to the pipework needs warming up on Tuesday to enable them to be parted and the central cores cleaned out.  However,at this stage we charged up the system and pressed the horn button – and were rewarded with a beautiful loud four horn chord. I pressed the button a few more times just to make sure it was not a fluke!
 Bryan then removed more stuff from 73214.
I prepared and painted more of the east side of tamper 73250. It now has number decals ( two sets ) on the east side and a completed double arrow symbol.
Other job:-
We had a look at SEALION DB 982595 this morning. All the side chute doors and the south end central door opened and closed very easily. Some you could spin one handed. Only the north end centre door appears to be detached from the control wheel column, so would not open. The wasted hopper plate work is far less severe than that on our current project, SEACOW 982667.
The partially refurbished 5 x centre door set is coming back  to New Bridge on Tuesday 9th August. We can discuss options for progress on this wagon then.
As regards the SEALION, we discussed this with Martyn this morning, and now plan to give this wagon sufficient of  a mechanical and vacuum brake overhaul to enter service ahead of 982667,to enable us to enhance our shoulder  tipping facility, initially only part loading it, to check on potential door binding problems.
It will enter the depot after 73214 has been cut up and  GRAMPUS 988228 and  LOWMAC 905100 have received vacuum cylinder changes. We will steam clean it thoroughly outside first though, whilst awaiting depot space.
Tues 2nd August.
Ballast Regulator
Steve completed the dismantling and cleaning out of the west side roof horns and loosely refitted them before we tested them with the compressor. After recovering  from the successful full blast, everything was fastened down with new bolts and then tested again – OK. One job of the list!
Richard – we left the floor up just in case of snags with the three way valve fitting next Tuesday.
Rod completed the fabrication and fitting of the new lower step for the west side. A nice bit of up-cycling from part of the north west steps from tamper 73214. The new installation was then check measured against the track standards clearance diagram, then descaled and primed.
Steve fitted a replacement temperature gauge to the instrument panel . We looked at other oil pressure instrumentation from tamper 73214,as possible replacements for the blown ones on the regulator,  but they does not appear to be hydraulic.
John- any idea what B or V on the back of the instruments signifies?
A start has also been made on preparing the sprung (trip hazard) veranda deck plate for removal and re-drilling and fastening.
Tamper 73250
The roof ventilator has received corrosion treatment and spot primer applied. Most of the rest of the east side of the machine has been sanded down and then received a coat of yellow undercoat. There were one or two uncharacteristic deep pockets of corrosion which needed some attention.
Other tasks
Attending swiftly to Audrey’s complaints, Steve sorted out the non-functioning office printer, earning valuable brownie points in the process, before continuing the stripping of air pipe from tamper 73214.
This was after repairing both small (triangular pad) power sanders for me, after they both packed up this morning.
1) Can someone in the know please advise on what is left for us to strip from 73214 on Tuesdays. We’ll extract all the air pipe (possible through piping of SHARK,DOGFISH). The  Interior ceiling mesh and door draught excluders seem a good bet – anything else?
Tues 9th Aug.

Today, Richard  fitted the YAG funded new three way air valve to the ballast regulator. The whole system  was then thoroughly tested for leaks. A few small ones needed parts bedding in, fortunately some of this could be bench tested using the compressor.

Following on from this , static brake tests and a simulated catastrophic air brake failure and recovery were carried out. All proved satisfactory, so the floor was put back in and the seats reinstated.

Richard confirms that, as a result,  he has now ‘signed off’ the braking system on this machine.

Lots of new parts and reliability modifications, all part of our ongoing On Track Machine mantra!


Rod freed off the veranda checker plate  (or is it chequer plate?) on the same machine, that was causing a trip hazard. Underneath lurked a bubbling mass of interface aluminium and steel corrosion.

I then attacked the aluminium plate with wire brush drill attachments to polish off the light corrosion, and then set to with the new (YAG funded again) Clarke needle gun on the steel plate underneath. Whoever chose the spec. for this tool – well done! It is very light to handle and very efficient in operation. The steel bedding plate cleaned up beautifully and was then given a coat of metal primer, before the aluminium plate was dropped back on top, for Rod to start re-fixing it.

There are still a few more bolt holes to drill, as the work is hard going and at times, snappy, if you get my drift.


There was good news from Peter Smeaton at lunch time today –  his brother-in-law has completed the Seacow doors and was intending delivering them this evening.


So, armed with this information, Rod spent some time cleaning up door linkage pins and extracting sheared off split pins from door hinge pins , in preparation.


In between assisting the others, I  managed to complete the preparation and yellow undercoating of the east side of tamper 73250.

Fri 12th Aug.

The long awaited refurbished doors for SEACOW 982667 were returned on Tuesday evening. A close observation, revealed that refurbishment is a bit of an understatement as all that is left of the originals, are the cast end brackets. They look a good job though.


After the excitement died down, Bryan and I set to on preparing the assemblage for refitting.

All six doors have been laid out beside 982667 in correct alignment and order.

The centre doors have had their bearing surfaces dressed with files, emery and flapper wheel.

A few fittings have grease nipples.  

All the sawn off locating studs have been tapped out .

All the new structural work (except the inner door faces and brackets) has been metal primed.

All the end and centre pins , mounting brackets and relevant washers have been sourced and set out – proving that after eighteen months of being in a dismantled state, we have not lost anything.

Rod- as requested, I visited C & W this morning on my way in and obtained a couple of handfuls of new correct size linkage pin washers.

Having had another look today, we will have to weld in new metal to repair the corrosion in the south end gusset plates around the door pin castings, before we can install the doors.

 More gloss painting carried out on the east side of tamper 73250.

Tues 16th Aug.

A good day was had by all.

Ballast Regulator

Rod completed the bolting down of the front deck area checker aluminum plating.

I fitted a flat bar support to the new three way Engaged/Isolated valve. Flat bar was recovered from 73214.

Whistle board bolts
As requested Steve undercoated the above.

Tamper 73214

Steve recovered all the roof mesh from the cab.

Seacow 982667

Rod cleaned out and tested the grease nipple of the south end center door pivot socket casting and also drilled out solid ballast fines from the 6mm angled oil ways in all of the door pivot castings. Remainder of the pivot socket castings also have clear 6mm oil ways.
Long discussion on the virtues of both grease or oil lubrication of the door pivot bearings. Conclusion was that oil is less likely to hold abrasive ballast fines. So where no grease nipples are fitted we propose that the original oil lubrication system is used, but instead of leaving an open 6mm oil way hole to collect ballast fines we fit a shortened 6mm split pin to cap the hole. (Also when I was at Ipswich C&W no grease was ever used onwagon door pivots or brake gear, only axle box oil).
Proposal is to oil twice a year, beginning and end of the winter season.Side doors can be oiled from the side shutes but center doors have to be oiled from underneath.
Rod and I made progress on cleaning door casting pivot bolt holes, cleaning linkage pins, removing remains of sheared key way pins and gathering suitable split pins for the door end pivot pins (We may need to purchase some new split pins).
Shark not started.
Wed 17th Aug.

Tamper 73250

Remainder of the roof sanded, vacuumed  and washed down. The area adjacent to the engine exhaust proved particularly difficult. There was a solid ¼ -1/2 inch of carbon deposit extending over eighteen inches of the curved roof section. Presumably most of it was deposited prior to the exhaust pipe being deflected to the side of the machine.

It finally came off after chipping, sanding, washing in white spirit and lots of elbow grease.

 The air intake/cooling hopper sections had no surface rust, so they have been given a first coat of white gloss .

The remainder of the east side is now finished to at least first yellow  top coat standard. Areas to repair excepted of course.

 The new access platform is now in the shed – in CKD form.

Sun 21st

Follow up Stone tip, Regulate and Tamp at Kingthorpe.

Following arrival of last train approx 19.00 Tamper and Reg ran through site, Martyn and Peter did a small stone tip from the Dogfish, Reg did a profile to spread stone.  Tamp and Reg then ran back to start. Tamper set off on measuring run while the Reg was in use as a mobile work platform for Ian Wallis on tree clearance duty. Tamper then set off on tamping run with Regulator doing a final sweep. CCTV was in use and seemed to work OK once you got used to the totally reversed screen output. (For VOLUME read EMULOV) Work planned to be suspended around 01.30 with return to yard at 03.00. To continue the following night.

Mon 22nd – Tamper failed before starting at Newbridge. Work abandoned for the night.

Note from Gerry.

After Martyn had set off to Levisham to take possession of Goathland section we had done oil checks and started engines on both machines to move out of the shed ready for when he returned with the veiw of going out first. It was at this point that Duncan spotted an oil leak on the turbo priming pipe so we decided to fix this before going into possession.

Martyn by then had possession so he and Peter went with 08 to drop stone at Kingthorpe. Duncan then thought there was fresh oil round the hydraulic tank so we decided to run things up to see if we could see a leak. It was at this point that I notice the system pressure was hunting badly indicating that pressure was venting back to tank. After trying a few operations to clear the fault with no success we phoned you. With still no success and time going on and no sure idea that we could tamp without causing further damage we all agreed to cancel the nights work in favor of investigating the problem next Sunday.

Tues 23rd August.

Due to the failure of the tamper the night before, the pit road was empty first thing, so this rare opportunity was grasped by the full Tuesday squad  to clean out the pit and adjacent aisles.

Much use of sawdust was made to remove the ‘secretions ‘ from the dismantling of tamper 73214.

All the dismantled  tamper spares were moved to storage in the blue container and the area left in pristine condition (well almost)  in order to move into position,  the newly acquired working at height platform unit.

 The ballast regulator was then run up outside, to investigate the minor faults that appeared during Sunday ‘s night shift.

The non working fuel gauge wiring was checked, all appears to be in order. Could be an issue with the circuit board, aligned to the failure of the cab lighting perhaps?

The non-operation of the R/H side outer plough blade was investigated.

Firstly, all other blade functionality checked from the control desk, all works OK.

Bizarrely, only the L/H outer blade could be operated externally with the emergency handle, although all the other five pistons could be freely pulled with the device.

Richard then opened up the air feed above the relevant piston and that was clear.

Thoughts then turned to the desk controller. All the four quadrant pistons had free movement.


Gerry- this controller is an odd one, being taller than the rest. Was this a one off replacement for one of the originals?

Are the three spare ones under the seats ,ones that were u/s and  replaced out of the stock of four new ones that you acquired?  


Next time, Richard and Steve are going to  switch air feeds to the suspected faulty unit, to investigate  what is not functioning. At present, whatever you do with the control handle in the gate, it only moves the R/H inner blade forward and backward. There is no evidence of the hydraulic hoses to the outer blade jumping.


Shark – Richard has loosened and checked the rigging from the vac. Cylinder. It is freer than it was, though it was not particularly stiff, though reported as such.

The reported stiff plough mechanism is to be tackled next Tuesday.

Fri 26th Aug.

Just Bryan in today. Trial erected the new work platform and assessed the required items to enable split into 2 work platforms. Then making up T+G planking for the interior of the Snowplough.

29th August
note from John L re tamper failure.
Duncan and myself on the Tamper this morning.
We got the machine outside and tried the hydraulics and the fault was apparent.
Playing with the hydraulic Unloader and Accumulator stop cocks gave me the impression that the accumulator was at fault and not holding backup pressure.
Up-stairs we found an original accumulator test guage/nitrogen charging kit (must have come from Jarvis) so we hooked this up to the accumulator schrader valve to find the accumulator had only about 2 bar of residual pressure as opposed to 85 bar of Nitrogen that it should have.
So wondering if the schrader valve had failed by exhausting the nitrogen to atmosphere, or the accumulator bladder had burst, we removed the 2 hydraulic hoses from the bottom of the accumulator, then brought the mobile compressor outside and connected it to the schrader valve on the top of the accumulator.
This should charge the bladder with air, but the air came straight back out of the accumulator where the hydraulic hoses fit.
So the fault is that the bladder has burst inside the accumulator! This explains why there was leaked oil on the top of the tank as the 85 bar of highly compressed nitrogen would have escaped into the hydraulic tank causing a huge pressure bubble forcing oil up through the tank breather!
Martyn, as the Accumulator is only about 3 years old, do you have the original PO to contact the supplier to see what options we have? The Accumulator has a 10 year ticket but not sure if this 10 years extends to warranty. If not then the best option would be to see what they will charge for bladder replacement and re-charge of Nitrogen, I am guessing a couple of hundred quid so cheaper than £1k for a new accumulator.
The accumulator needs to be removed, I left early to avoid the bank holiday A64 traffic. Duncan stayed back to look at removing the roof section above the accumulator which will make it easier to change the accumulator.
So hoping to remove the accumulator next Sunday, then get it sent to the supplier for repair if Martyn can arrange this, then we should have the Tamper up and running again pretty soon.
I also dropped off the 3 fire sensor probes for the fire system. The Tamper has had the removed hoses blanked off so the engine can be started and driven around, but I suggest not using the hydraulics till repaired.
Tues 30th Aug.

Steve, Rod and John P in the shed today.

John had his New Bridge induction briefing with Peter and then began getting his head around the nuts, bolts and fasteners collection on the mezzanine.


Rod removed a step from 73241 and formed it to fit on the East side. Not clamped and ready for drilling. Does anybody have a key for the cupboard that holds the mag drill ?


I reconnected the brake gear. The gear now free enough to be operated by hand. The reserve stroke of the Vacuum cylinder was Zero. Brakes adjusted giving a reserve stroke of 4″. To get the pin into the next adjustment hole the linkage had to be removed and bolt holes cleaned. Linkage lubricated and refitted. Handbrake applies within 6 turns.

Both ploughs raised and lowered. Both ends have similar hand wheel resistance, locking pins can be easily removed by ensuring plough weight is taken on lifting screw. Both hand wheel oil ways cleaned of debris and all bearings, threads and nuts lubricated.

Tamper 73250

Peter and Darren removed the roof ready for the accumulator to be removed this weekend. Tamper now back in the shed.

Tues 6th Sept

Steve, Rod, John P and Richard in the shed today.


Rod and John removed the original steps and drilled the holes for the new lower step on the pillar drill. New steps fitted. Final finishing off to be done next week.
The Mag drill was not used as there was not enough room to get it onto the step.

Steve and I continued to investigate why the front right outer plough is not working. (Hold on to your hats)

  • With engine shut down, air system charged from the shed compressor and using the cab joystick, the relevant front right outer and inner plough spool valve stems were observed to be operating and moving correctly.
  • With the engine running and using the cab joystick the front inner plough operated correctly, but the outer plough refused to move with no viable pressure related movement of its hydraulic hoses.
  • Front right inner and outer plough’s use different spool valve blocks. These spool valve blocks have separate hydraulic supply/return circuits. The large middle right side plough and the front right outer plough share a common hydraulic valve block and supply/return circuit.
  • With engine running the large middle right side plough was operated from the cab several times and observed to move against its lock pins, proving that this valve blocks hydraulic supply/return is functioning albeit with a loud hiss now coming from the valve block. The front right outer plough was then operated from the cab, and it functioned correctly !!!
Conclusion is there was a hydraulic blockage in the valve block that supplies both the large middle right and front right outer plough’s.
This blockage or foreign object may have moved and now be causing the loud hiss from the valve block ?
Suggest we do a though test of these hydraulic rams in the yard.
If the hydraulic filter has not been changed recently it may be worth changing it and having a look at whats in it.
John L, we will need your guidance on doing the filter change as my practical experience of hydraulic systems is limited.

11th Sept

Work on the Tamper, Gerry, Duncan, Richard K, Bryan, Alistair and myself in attendance.
Repaired accumulator fitted (bladder had burst on it’s last outing), then the following hydraulic filters replaced with items we had in stock.
1x Main PALL pressure filter.
2x Hydraulic return filters.
2x Hydraulic suction filters (changed last week).
1x Hydraulic tank breather filter.
Only remaining filters are 2x servo pressure filters, 2 “Bog Roll” filters and 2 gearbox filters that we don’t have in stock, however we think we have identified these to acquire, Bryan took details (can you forward to me please Bryan).
Hydraulic tank toped up with the remaining Panolin Enviro oil we had in stock, so the tank is now full and cleanliness of the machine hydraulic system should improve.
Machine ran up, hydraulics tested and warmed up, everything appears to work now for the Monday night shift, the repaired Accumulator is now holding pressure.
Had a look at the Ballast Regulator with Richard K, Bryan and Gerry, we learned a lot about the hydraulic and traction systems on it so looking to perform a similar filter service in the near future and put together some documentation/schematic of the hydraulic and traction systems. But for info, below is a summary of the hydraulic system.
The machine has 2 large (sauer) traction pumps with electrically controlled (proportional) variable swash angle for traction speed control. In working mode, it is believed one of these traction pumps then reverts to supply of oil to the ballast brush when in working mode. Each of the 2 traction axles has a traction motor (sauer) that have a 2 position electrically controlled swash angle, this provides for “low or high” speed (transit or working drive).
Another single pump below the engine (and belt driven) provides the oil supply for the ballast cross conveyer, this is mechanically actuated with 2 pull wires connected to the cab cross conveyer control lever.
A double pump is fitted direct to a PTO on the engine, this provides oil supply for the general hydraulic controls (brush up and down, ploughs etc). As a double pump we think 1 output for the LH general controls and the other output for the RH general controls. We will carry out a more in-depth investigation in the near future and produce documentation and service instructions.
Due to the large turn out, a lot was achieved today.
After the Tamper has done a few shifts, it is planned to replace all filters again as we don’t know when it last had a full filter change or if the filters were blocked and in bypass mode, this will give us a clean sheet to move on with improved maintenance. I will add the filter details to the draft machine service instruction documentation.
Quite a rewarding day.

Meant to include that with the roof off Bryan removed the joint strip plus beading from the north end of the roof section.

Then stripped back the rust and old paint to bare metal and primed it.

However it seems we are out of Red Oxide so had to use the non ferrous primer instead.

Do we also have any suitable rubber sheeting material to use as new joint rubber?

Existing is about life expired and the only rubber I could see, in the shed by the lathe, was about double the thickness.

13th Sept

A good day despite the heat, particularly on the mezzanine floor.

 Ballast Regulator  

Rod completed the outstanding work on the new east side lower step.

Richard & Steve removed some of the failed hydraulic oil gauges to assess the thread sizes to enable us to source potential replacements.

(Steve reckons on £10 -15 each).

Initially the lower pressure ones will be changed  (hydraulic working pressure left & right, brush motor oil pressure and hydraulic drive oil pressure.)

This will give us an insight into the general health of the hydraulic system.

They also looked at the failed hydraulic gas struts on the engine bay access doors . One has been removed to source potential replacements.

The non working air water separator blow down valve was also removed, stripped and the fault identified. Richard cured it with a new miniscule o ring.

This is great news – no more wrestling to remove the whole glass bowl each session, to tip the water out!


SEACOW 982667

The centre of the shed has been cleared of tamper bits (all now in the blue hut) so that welding equipment could be moved down to the SEACOW .

Rod has started cutting out and welding in further replacement sections in the north end hopper.

Rod and I have agreed a plan of action to complete the work, in this wagon. It has got off to a good start, because the welding set is behaving itself and not cutting out. We reckon this is because there is a better power supply on the other side of the shed to that used previously. Fingers crossed!


Nick ,in between running after the others, scraped and sanded down  some of the failed bodywork paint and primed.

 Stores floor

John got stuck into further re-organising the stores, creating much needed floor space and starting on assembling further racking. He has already given us some good tips on improving efficiency in this area.

 Discussed with Martyn proposed positioning moves within the depot.

Tamper carcass to come out in  couple of weeks, LOWMAC and GRAMPUS to go in for vacuum cylinder changes.

Regulator to go behind the plough on the extended siding, so that we can run out the side ploughs, to investigate the valve problems,  without fear of blocking the yard, if they stick.   

 Thurs 15th Sept

Kingthorpe foot crossing whistle boards

Bryan and I installed the two new LNER pattern boards this morning. They are both now at the correct distance for 25 mph running ,as advised by Operations.

They should have been at 135 yards from the crossing but we had to install them slightly further out, at 145 yards, to take into account  issues  with clearance and ground levels.

The old ‘W’ boards were taken out ( with difficulty as these ,unlike all the others of the type , had square baseplates) and are now on the floor for collection in due course.

 Tamper 73250

The perished flexible rubber jointing strips and securing bands have been taken off  from either side of the gap left by the  roof panel lifted to get access to the failed accumulator. The adjacent area has been descaled, cleaned and primed. The lifted roof panel and the one on the south side of it,  are now in second coat metal primer.

(I’ll acquire some new rubber sheeting this week ).


Further stripping of failed paint and follow up patch priming.

 Ballast Regulator

New step extension primed, and attention to tidy up the paintwork at the front end.

 The balance of the York Area Group funded new working at height platform system was delivered today. We have split the unit into its two parts now and it is already in use on tamper 73250. What a difference it makes, as regards ease of access and being less tiring than ladders .

Tues 20th Sept


All patch paining now up to grey undercoat stage.

 Tamper 73214

Jim Kay has spent some time today helping to clear the last bits and pieces from this machine.  

 Tamper 73250

Both the grounded roof panel and the last one on the machine, that were in  red metal primer, are now both in first coat gloss white.

All other roof section paintwork on this machine is now complete.

 Ballast Regulator

Today Richard measured up for new engine bay struts and started on evaluating and notating hydraulic pipe runs. A minor leak, due to a missing Allen key bolt ,was identified on one of the motor pumps, during the course of this work.  Fortunately an odd bolt of the same type/length, that could be die cut to size was found in a bin of  completely different fixings, on the white shop display unit . Problem solved!

Whilst opening up the engine bay I found the missing bracket for the non existent gas strut on the east side, lurking on top of a chassis member.  A bit of trial and error eventually identified where it belonged. This helped with the replacement specification calculations and saves us having to make a new one.

The new east side steps and  more of the front end steel work are now in final coat undercoat.

 Seacow DB982667

Today Rod has been preparing and welding in more new steel plate work in the north end hopper. The MIG welding set is behaving itself and this is reflected in the quality of this refurbishment work. I feel that we now have at last turned a corner with this wagon’s overhaul.

Thurs 22nd Sept

Ballast Regulator

Following the recent receipt of further technical information from the suppliers, Richard K called in today to re-measure the bonnet distances for replacement gas struts.

A detailed spec/costings will now be worked up.

Bryan has taken away one of the defunct air/hydraulic controllers with a view to YAG purchasing a couple of replacements for future use, similar to the four that Gerry purchased some time ago. This is part  of the programme to improve the reliability of the side ploughs.

The new east side steps and front end partial repaints were completed today.


Patch paintwork completed today and for good measure, the south end broken locker lid was repaired. The person who made replacement lockers at the last refurbishment, skimped on the size of fixing screws, causing it to come apart. Longer ones have now been  fitted and I have had words with myself as to the specification lapse last time.

This wagon can now be rolled out  and replaced with GRAMPUS 988228 due for a vacuum cylinder change.

 Tamper 73250  

All roof panel paintwork (both on the machine and on the floor) now complete.

Today Bryan trimmed new rubber sheeting for the roof panel joints and drilled the panel ready for pop rivets. Unfortunately all our rivet sizes are not long enough for this task, so Bryan is to source for next time.

Tues 27th Sept

Steve, John, Bryan and Nick in attendance today.

Ballast Regulator

Steve fitted four new hydraulic oil pressure gauges, which required some prior modification to the mounting brackets. The machine was run up in the afternoon, to check that they worked OK. They do, which now gives us a fascinating insight into the interdependence of the controls. Its not quite as translated from the Dutch, but close.

(These gauges were u/s when we acquired the machine).

Regulator now in the front of the shed ready for plough tests on Thursday .

 Tamper 73250

New rubber flexible strips riveted to the dismantled roof panel, by Bryan. This is now ready to go back onto the machine.  The two aluminium cover strips to accompany this panel on the roof, have been descaled and primed, ready for riveting once the panel is bolted back on.

 Tamper 73214

The remainder of the dismantled parts from this machine are now in the blue container. 73214 is now in the back of the shed, picked clean of loose parts .

 Mezzanine Floor

John has completed a new section of racking today and this space has now been instrumental in enabling him to start clearing the floor of boxes and sacks of fixings.

There is now emerging a method as opposed to the chaos that exited before.

The new house rule is that if you take stuff off a shelf to get at other stuff, you have to put what you don’t use back in place.

It gets noticed if you don’t now that the aisles are clear.

 GRAMPUS 988228

Now in the depot in front of the old tamper, ready for vacuum cylinder change on Thursday. We have found all the small parts for this job, thank goodness.

 Other work – Bryan disappeared to Newtondale Halt for a time, to measure up in advance of surveying for the forthcoming MP 16 reverse curve relay work.

29th Sept

A day of mixed fortunes.

Bryan, Richard and I in attendance.

 Ballast Regulator

The machine was driven alongside the Portacabin and  the hydraulic equipment tested.

All front ploughs now working reliably.

Note though, that the front left hand piston is weeping hydraulic oil under gravity. A small pool had developed in the shed since Tuesday. Richard K thinks it is fairly easy to unfasten (two pins to knock out) ,to remove the piston, but the hydraulic oil feed  hoses will need blank ends putting on temporarily.

Needs new seals – a job for the place near York?      Preferably before we need the machine this winter,

 The brush box hydraulics work OK and this is reflected in the reading on the relevant new gauge.

 A different story with the right hand side plough though. We took out the side pin, then attempted to lower the whole unit under control, but it just crashed to the deck. We got it to go back up eventually by use of the emergency handles engaging with the side and front spools .

I then attempted to pack the brush gear away by raising the unit (a dedicated control lever). This resulted in the unit correctly deploying, but at the same time, the side plough crashed to the floor again.  It may have been a coincidence.

The end blades move OK though.

Diagnosis is air pressure from a faulty controller permanently on the top of the relevant spool, forcing the plough down. Blocking the spool upright with wood results in the unit promptly coming up again.  Faulty controllers?

We did not attempt to test the left hand side plough.  

The machine has been left behind the portacabin for now.

 GRAMPUS 998228

Old vacuum cylinder removed,  with the usual level of difficulty in removing  bolts and split pins. Some burning off required.

A C & W workshops overhauled cylinder was then lifted into place, after much wrestling and shoving, to weave it round various obstructions. This was not helped by a recalcitrant lift trolley. This operation took three of us and a lot of wood packing.

It was only after the trunnion was bolted up, and the release valve offered up to fit underneath the cylinder, that we realised that  the cylinder was the wrong way round. The flange for the valve was on the outside, rather than the inside and thus out of range of the flexible pipe connecting to the vacuum through pipe.

Hopefully, having gone through the considerable effort of getting  the cylinder up to this height , it will be a fairly simple matter to build a wooden packing platform underneath and just bar it through 180 degree to orientate properly. A job for next Thursday.

We wont make this mistake again hopefully.

 4th October 

Steve, Rod and Nick in attendance today.

 Ballast Regulator

Steve removed the two defunct forward and reverse drive oil pressure gauges and replaced them with new gauges.

The engine was not run up today as the machine is in the middle of a line of wagons, so forward/reverse drive could not be engaged, to test the fitting.

Consequently the control desk front panel and seat have not been refitted as yet, until we have had an opportunity to do so.

 SEACOW DB982667

Rod has been welding in more replacement  plate work in the south end hopper. Steve joined him in the afternoon to  disc cut further pieces of steel, to Rod’s pattern. ready for welding.

Disc cutting had to be resorted to, as the acetylene has run out.

 Martyn – new bottle required please. Propane not deemed suitable (RS) as it is not hot enough for cutting this thickness of steel.

Tamper 73250   

I spent the day descaling and priming various parts of the west side of the tamper. Some yellow undercoat applied.

This job is so much easier, utilising the new working at height platforms.

The roof joint straps were given a coat of white gloss.


Next up- Thursday .

Planned work to include completion of vacuum cylinder change on the GRAMPUS, removal of the regulator west side piston and installation of one or more doors on the SEACOW.  

6th October

Richard K, Bryan and Nick in attendance today.


Following the good advice Bryan received on a restoration forum, following our last session on this wagon, we successfully rotated the innards of the new vacuum cylinder, to get the vacuum release valve to the correct side.

The brake gear was then reconnected, new flexible hose and strings fitted and new nylock nuts fitted to the trunnion.

Wagon now available for vacuum test and return to traffic.

 Tamper 73250

More preparation and undercoat painting on the west side.

 Ballast Regulator

Richard’s ‘simple’ task today was to remove the left hand front plough piston for assessment and seal replacement. The left hand end was soon freed, but the right hand end pin refused to come out, despite it being quite free to rotate and move up and down in the socket. Brute force and even a rail jack refused to budge it. The jack worked OK but lifted the front end of the machine up instead.

Collective opinion today is that the pin is somehow bent in the middle. Solution suggested for next week – cut off the top of the pin and hope it then drops through. If not mag drill the remainder. Then ask nicely of the MPD to manufacture a new pin.  (Richard has already measured up in anticipation).

 Other work

After Bryan had marked up this morning, the three of us string measured the proposed winter relay site south of New Bridge level crossing.

 Following Duncan’s tutorial on the MIG welding set, a training session on opening the access door was undertaken by Bryan this morning. It really is very easy – how come we made such a hash of it on Tuesday? Anyway, the good news is that the wire reel inside fills almost the whole of the cabinet, and it is at least  half full.

11th Oct

A day of  mixed fortunes – not helped by Rod dropping his entire lunch all over the Portakabin floor.

Anyway, we now have a new propane cylinder and spare oxygen cylinder. Unfortunately the propane cylinder has a large collar, which restricts the regulator action. It needs an elbow to clear the collar – Richard, can you spec. up on Thursday please?

We got round it today by using the small spare propane bottle.

We then found we did not have any propane cutting nozzles. Rod went with Jim to the propane supplier to get some. We found we already had some propane flame traps which are now fitted and also that we had two propane burners. These might come in useful for the regulator job – but unfortunately they are female threads, which match the burning gear handles. Something else to spec?

Rod has now fitted out the two drawer steel cabinet with all the welding bits and pieces.

 Seacow DB982667

Further trimming of corroded areas in the north end  hopper and new steel cut to match and tack welded into position, ready for final welding next week. The MIG welding drum decided to day to come off the tensioner, so this is to sort next time, before we start.

 Tamper 73250

Further areas of the west side descaled, primed and yellow undercoated.

 Other work

 John has  been tidying up the mezzanine walkways between the shelving and constructing new racking, in between assisting Rod in acetylene to propane conversion.

 Steve has tidied up and consolidated the next section of bench/shelving on the west wall, dedicating this to electrical work. As a result, the small electrical stores dotted around the main shed, have been brought into one place.

13th Oct 

Shed very  busy today  – plant fitters from Gosmont servicing the Fork Lift and Site Dumper and loco fitters from Grosmont attending to the radiator oil leak on the resident 08 shunter.

 SEACOW DB982667

Bryan spent all day inside the north end hopper working through Rod’s list of jobs from Tuesday. As a result, all Harry’s gas axed edges are now ground flush, adjacent steel now bright and the two areas on the west side marked up for trimming, now have neat straight edges.

Note – despite what we used today, we still have plenty of large and small disc grinder grinding and cutting discs in stock.

 Tamper 73250

I spent the day preparing, priming, undercoating ( and a small amount of glossing) the centre third of the west side.

 Richard- the gas struts for GR5077 have arrived and are on the bench.

Steve- the four outlet 110v yellow box ,that you queried on Tuesday, is just that. The red stop button is for a lookout man, so that he can warn (say) track workers who are wearing ear protectors whilst using electric Kango ballast hammers , of an approaching train.

Apparently it is designed to not be easily got into.

Tues 18th Oct


Rod was pleased with the standard of the  preparation work carried out on Thursday last. So today, more new steel plate was welded in the north end hopper today and a pattern prepared for the next piece to be cut. The MIG welding unit behaved itself today apart from a couple of trips.

Rod today also  devised a solution for the north end center door socket. As a result, this has now been  re-bolted into place. (As we are short of the correct diameter bolts for the remainder of the sockets, I have taken an example of each of the two  lengths involved  and will go to Hawk Fasteners tomorrow to get a dozen of each.)

 Tamper 73250

Another chunk of the west side prepared for painting and yellow undercoated. What I thought was crazed paintwork turned out to be old Fablon type signage underneath the paintwork. It took some removing though a bottle of Kleeneeze sticky stuff remover helped a great deal.

 Thoughts for Thursday ….

Rod would like some hopper doors putting in to provide a proper floor ready for working with the heavier end panel renewal work.

Hardboard patterns to make for the curved side end pieces.

Following on from  the Gerry/Duncan/Alastair Sunday last  roof section replacement, there is some pop rivet and rubber strip work to finalize.

Also a critical path analysis discussion needed on what work/when we are going to do on the Regulator before it is required towards the back end of November.

20th Oct

Richard K, Bryan and Nick in attendance today.

 SEACOW DB982667

Something different today – we  tackled the refitting of the doors. The north end centre door went in first . It was a bit of a struggle, but the refurbishment work carried out by our sub-contractor was accurate, as it only required a small corner to be ground off to finally ease the door into place.

It was then pinned up and the linkages fitted and the operation of the door tested, which went  OK. We used one of the new  hinge pins and castellated nuts ( made at the MPD) so it proved the accuracy of their work as well.

We then tackled the NW door and proved that there are 14 ways of hauling the door up through the side chute, but that 13 of them result in the door jamming in the chute .

We had to admit defeat in the end as time was pressing, but we have formulated a plan ready for next Thursday, based on today’s trial and error.

 The door dropped through the side chute when we removed it originally , so it must go back up the same way.

Everyone else today on with drilling hardwood timbers for new FB base plates, ready for the bridge 14/15 relay

 Sun 23rd Oct

Gerry, Duncan, Alistair and John on the Tamper.
Work progressed on an oil and filter service to the Tamper.
Twindisc Gearbox oil and filters renewed.
Work drive gearbox oil renewed.
Diff Box oil renewed.
Drive joint tube oil renewed.
Both drive axels oil renewed.
Plus various other issues such as replacing/cleaning sight glasses and an ill fitting bogie drain plug that requires more work.
We ran out of time to get the correct oil levels on the Twin Disc and bogie axles, so please do not run or move the machine until this is rectified (hopefully next Sunday).
As enclosed picture, the Twin Disc gearbox filters were way overdue, the 2 old filters on the left were so clogged and had actually swollen outwards (compared to a new filter on the right) and forced the bottom end caps off both elements, so has been bypassing for some time!
25th Oct

Rod, John & Nick in today.

 SEACOW DB982667

Everything set up for part two of the north end side door refit saga on Thursday.

Having a permanent floor in place inthe middle, is much appreciated by our welder.

The last  replacement  steel for the side of the north end has been cut out and welded into place today.

Yours truly was on almost permanent manning at the distribution board to deal with ‘outages’. Apparently we have been working the mig welder almost to capacity today.

 There is a small curved angle piece to be welded into the east side of the centre division. This was forged into shape today and only requires minor tweaking next time.

 So basically, as far as the north end hopper is concerned, this now only leaves the three long end pieces to be cut and welded into place.

 Additional racking on the mezzanine floor  completed by John and the remainder of stuff on the floor by the east wall rough sorted and shelved. It’s amazing how much easier it is now to walk around and see what we have (and have not) in stock.

Thurs 27th Oct

 Bryan, Richard K and NIck in attendance in the depot today.

The morning was occupied lifting, positioning and securing the NW side door in the north end hopper of  SEACOW 982667.

It is a close fit all round, but now spins open and closed with one finger on the hand wheel. Here’s hoping it will do the same when fully loaded.

After lunch we tackled the second door (NE side) at the north end, which went in slightly faster, as we were higher up the learning curve, but bizarrely it had to be angled in through the side chute from the opposite end to the first one.

It was gratifying to find that we had all the relevant bits, despite the fact that it is exactly two years since we dismantled the doors in the first place ,and the parts have been moved around the depot several times since.

 Picture from Bryan shows that the new doors are not quite water tight, but OK for stone ballast. You can see the curvature of the doors just clears the rebate in the gusset plate across the centre by no more than a mm or two. All credit to our contractor for getting the replacement door skins that accurate.

 Tues 1st Nov

Only Nick in today (other than Liz Parkes poking her head round the door at lunchtime).

 Started off by sorting all the boxes of fixings that had accumulated over the last two years on the south deck of the Seacow, the purpose being to ensure that we had enough fixings of the right size to complete the door refitting. We do now.

I brought a redundant three drawer pine cabinet with me today. It now contains all our equipment manuals, stationery and transfer collection.

Small stationery, pens & pencils  etc. is still in the desk lid on the clean bench, next to where the pine chest has been located.

 SEACOW DB982667  

North end wheel bracket now sign written ‘OPEN’  (with arrow) as it was pointed out to me on Thursday last, that that particular wheel did not have the instructions cast into it, unlike the other two on that end.

Then followed today’s minor drama. I decided to push on with the gloss painting of the wagon, now that more panels are deemed free from the potential of welding burn marks. Starting a new tin of olive drab required a good paddle stirring with an electric drill. It’s a large paddle so I selected a reasonable sized 110v drill. Vivid blue and yellow flames and clouds of smoke erupted from the start. The drill is now in quarantine with suitably terse label attached The label so easily found now that the stationery is sorted tidily!

 Second drill proved OK so most of the wagon is now gloss painted. Just two side sections left to paint, plus the new material once it is in at the north end.  .

 Rest of day was spent applying gloss yellow to the west side of tamper 73250.

Thurs 3rd Nov

 Richard is compiling the technical report for the work we did on the ballast regulator today. All I did was to keep starting the machine up and operating the equipment to order, but in between times, I fine sorted out all the regulator spares in the seat lockers ,on the lookout for parts  to assist with our work.

The new CCTV screen is now hanging on its wires – seems like the peel off stick on mounting does not. Something to fix permanently next time, I think.

Newly completed and painted  whistle board number 17 was drilled and bolted to its new post. Not decided where it is going yet, but intend to take advantage of the winter renewal trains to get it to a suitable remote site.

Bryan went out installing and marking up site pegs at  Yorfalls, after failing to make much progress with riveting the banding strips on the recently replaced roof section of tamper 73250. The concertina rivet machine refused to work – a bit of a mystery as no one has used it since Bryan last used it successfully  couple of weeks ago.

Richards report – Regulator hydraulic testing and assessment Thursday Nov 3 Nov.

East side side plough

The original rotational motor cab controller is unreliable and is supplying a permanent air supply to the rotational deploy motor pilot valve.

To prevent this, the air supply to/at the pilot valve has been blanked off.             

Also the north lateral retract ram cab controller is not supplying air to the retract pilot valve and the side plough was not fully retracted.

To fully retract the side plough the spool valve was manually held in the retract position. Again this is an original controller.

It is proposed that both these controllers are replaced with a proven alternative from a local supplier.

 East side front outer plough

When tested the plough again failed to extend from the cab controller, but did extend when the spool valve was manually operated. It then continued to operate without fail from the cab controller. A foreign body within the hydraulic system is suspected.  

It is proposed to renew all the hydraulic system filters.

Both of these jobs are currently planned for after the winter trackwork season.

Tues 8th Nov

Rod, John and Nick in attendance today.

SEACOW 982667

The final north hopper  side wall angled strengthening pieces  heated, bent to shape and welded into place.

A hardboard template has been cut  and trimmed to fit, in preparation for cutting the  new north end sloping side pieces. The Shildon workmanship was obviously up to scratch, as the template, when reversed, fits the opposite side exactly.

 Ballast Regulator

Need for a manual locking device for the side ploughs. Rod had a look at this subject today and has come up with a solution, which enterprisingly involves robbing more parts off tamper 214. A start has been made on cutting metal.

 In between assisting Rod in the work above, John has been installing more shelving on the mezzanine floor.

 We had run out of ¾ inch spring washers , so I called in at C & W this morning and got some more . After mentioning it to John, he then turned  up a lot more today, skulking in a box of slightly bigger ones.

This store keeping work is starting to pay dividends – at least it has saved a trip to Hawk fastenings for more.

Thurs 10th Nov

Bryan, Richard and Nick in attendance today

Tamper 73250

Bryan used the new rivet gun to complete the fastening down of the previously removed roof sheet.

 SEACOW DB982667

Bryan trimmed up the edge of the north end side plate to ensure a close square fit for the hardboard  pattern for the new steel  replacement.

Also, the stud remains of the cage on the north end bulb rail end were ground flush.

 Ballast Regulator

John Potter (whilst store keeping) had previously found a box of  brush rubber hoses that had been mislaid, eight in total.

These were duly fitted today, leaving one spare for future order purposes.

Richard took apart a previously replaced hydraulic control handle, to see how it compared to current available items  – his technical report will follow.

Richards report – An interesting day. Dismantled one of the original controllers and can confirm it is not the VP04.

Picture attached shows the four internal spools and top poppets.

The controller was easily dismantled and had one stuck poppet and spool. The stuck poppet and spool were contaminated with corrosion products that came from the cast body. The spool and poppet surfaces had no corrosion pockets and were easily cleaned. Although difficult to examine, the casting internal bearing surfaces looked smooth. All items paraffin cleaned, air blasted and lightly lubricated and reassembly attempted.

It was then discovered that the spools and end bearing seals are numbered and not interchangeable. This was compounded by previous repairs/overhauls leaving only two pairs of matching numbers !

After several attempts (over 3000 possible combinations: bores, spools and end bearing seals) the items were finally reassembled into a functioning controller.  O rings on poppets and base plate yet to be renewed.

Rather than test the controller on the Regulator it is proposed to make a test rig from material available at New Bridge.

Tues 15th Nov

For various reasons, only me in today, though Nigel T turned up at lunchtime.

I was half expecting the contract electricians as they said they were probably coming today, when I spoke to them on Thursday last. Darren and Peter set up the scaffolding tower in anticipation this morning. They did not turn up however.

So, only small jobs done today:-

·         Minor sign writing and painting on the Seacow.

·         Seacow north end  replacement steel plate template drilled and fitted with positioning bolts.

·         Tamper 73250 – as it was very mild today, I rubbed down undercoated areas on the west side, cleaned off recent operator oily boot marks  and applied the remainder of  a tin of gold cup gloss. No point in leaving this amount in the tin,  as it would have gone hard by next spring.

·         The pile of recovered site pegs on the bench de-nailed, cleaned up and painted.

Thurs 17th Nov

Richard has penned a separate report  on the regulator controller saga.

It has been amazing to discover  how many bits and pieces he was able to find upstairs and in the blue container, to enable a permanent test rig to be put together.

Just a few odd unions need to be purchased this week, to complete the inventory necessary for final assembly of this useful piece of kit.

Whilst this was going on, I carried on with the endless ‘nice to do’ list on the ballast regulator : –

·         The  CCTV camera hood has been cut back either side  of the central hand rail stanchion, to now allow  the link fo the screw coupling to be hung up out of the way when necessary.

·         The CCTV screen stick- on mounting  ( that unfortunately did not) has now been drilled and permanently fastened with bolts to the front of the cab. The head lining behind has been made good.

·         Talking of head lining. A start has been made on re-fixing the bowed pegboard roof head lining panels.

Tues 22nd Nov.

A very successful day today.

Initially Steve sorted through the electrical items on  the quarantine rack .

The dead 110V transformer is now back in service following repair, but the Makita NB001 110V drill is now history though suitable parts were salvaged for potential spares for the other one of this type.

Fault book duly updated.

Richard – leafing through the book showed up several ‘outstanding’ regulator items which you have dealt with since. Can you sign them off next time please?

 Rod and Steve then tackled the north end of the SEACOW. Both new curved side end plates were cut from the previously carefully crafted hardboard template, dropped into place (without needing adjustment!) and  seam welded to hold them in place.

After careful measuring and a bit of compromise , both sides pieces were successfully cut out of one sheet. This meant that we had enough steel sheet, left in stock ,to cover the central section at the end.  The biggest piece of this has been cut to size, ready for fastening next week.

The edges of all three pieces, where rivets existed before ,will be drilled and bolted to the frames.

We have no suitable dome headed bolts upstairs so I’ll be paying a visit to Hawk Fastenings, again, later this week.

Shildon ,in 1973, must have been mixing metric and imperial as the clean rivet holes take a 14mmm drill exactly. Cannot imagine that 9/16ths was a standard imperial rivet size, so I’ll try for 14mm bolts.

We may complete the north end hopper next Tuesday so it could potentially be available for ballast train duties if required later on.

We may have enough steel sheet left over to do what is required in the south end hopper  ( door skins excepted), so we can then cannibalize a Shildon rebuilt 21T hopper body for the next wagon refurbishment, in order to save expense.

In between assisting the above, I boxed up the Regulator control panel, refitted the seats  and tackled more of the loose head lining.

Thurs 24th Nov.

Richard and I in today.

Richard will be doing a separate report on his test rig.

SEACOW 982667

Rod’s flame cut new end central steel panel from Tuesday has now been dressed . I also ground off and dressed as much of the remains of the rivets on the reverse of the vertical end ribs, as I could. Even the small grinder could not get into some of the spaces, so chiseling will have to be resorted to.

(Suitable for ) 14mm spring washers found upstairs  – now on wagon end with all the other fastenings. I’ll go shopping for the bolts, nylocks and rotabroach bits tomorrow , hopefully all on site for Tuesday.

TAMPER 214 bits

Various areas of the shed floor cleared up of these bits and then put into the blue container.

Progress on the Regulator cab air joystick controller test rig.

90% complete.
 The test rig has three pressure gauges (one duplex and two single gauges ex Newbridge stores) one for each output port and two air cylinders (ex 73214) one for each pair of output ports, all are fitted to a board on the wall.
The controller to be tested is clamped to the desk, supplied with regulated air from the shed portable compressor and connected to the test rig.

Only the duplex gauge is currently connected, the remaining two gauges will be connected next week.

The controller operation and leak by can then be tested and measured.

As we have no documentation on the operation or performance of the controllers a test procedure will be put together from experience gained in testing the four spare controllers in the coming weeks. Calibration of the test gauges will be dependent on the requirements of the testing process.

Initial operation on the test rig of overhauled controller 7 and spare controller 9 have shown that they both operate without sticking but 9 has a higher leak by to exhaust. A fifth gauge may be required to measure the exhaust leak by using pressure over time.

As the controllers are individually numbered, a record book of defects and repairs for each controller is being kept in the draws to the right of the desk.
Tues 29th Nov

Ballast Regulator

Muttering something about ’ £40 an hour’ Steve quickly sorted out the dead CCTV screen this morning and then in a flash diagnosed a faulty switch on the starter and cured it. Big smiles of relief all round.

I took the loose sliding door to bits, cleaned the runners and re-assembled.

Bryan has completed an investigative  survey of the filters on the machine, cleaned the air filter and says he will report once he has had a look  at our stock of new filters upstairs.

Corrosion treatment has continued on the two engine compartment bonnets and on the west cant rail.

SEACOW DB9823667

Rod, assisted by Steve, has continued on with the new end steel sheets in the north end hopper. The side sheets have now been partially drilled and bolted in place and the big central steel sheet has now been trimmed to fit , lifted into place and drilled and bolted at the top ready for welding.

Thurs 1st Dec.

The machine started first pull and the CCTV screen worked fine. The heater, we still have to work on, but it was a fine sunny day, so no problems.

The right hand front plough frame was not needed to be lowered on this occasion, but testing it against the locking pin periodically during the day showed that it would have worked if required.

 After an initial  site appraisal run with both machines, we returned to bridge 15 to profile off a slight shoulder in the four foot that was foul of the rear two bogies once configured for an ALC  measuring run.

 We then followed the tamper between MP 13 and MP 13.5 ,generally filling most of the cribs apart from the  outside  of the curve by the distant . A reasonable shoulder was created on the inside curve and in general  the rail webs and fastenings were left fairly clear for stressing. Richard Kimber accompanied Bryan and me today, hand finishing a lot of the rail web clearing , in between monitoring the new hydraulic gauges – which did pose as many questions as answers!

 Both sets of breathers have been carefully cleared of stone where it should not have been.

 The only problem encountered was bridge 15 the east side upstand is foul to gauge over the brush conveyor chute housing (just) unfortunately. Due to lack of time we only partly hand finished this section, concentrating on the sleeper ends.

 Tuesday 6 – 12 – 16  Summit sign erected.

It went as smooth as clockwork. Nearly seven years in the planning and the execution.  

Martyn/Peter-thanks for a well prepared materials train beforehand.

Peter, Bryan and I were joined by Ian Wallis and Ed from the Goathland station Group. Special thanks to young Ed, a former JV,  for being the constant feeder of the mixer – it just proves that 17 year olds are a great asset when it comes to a need for constant energetic activity.  

  By 0930,under Bryan’s direction,  the structure had been slid along frost covered plywood runners into the upright position, after  a base scree of concrete had been poured in first.

Note that all the cement mixer operations were done on a plywood base, to avoid contamination of the site.  

On lowering gently, only a small toe at the bottom of the north trench had to be dug out, to get the baseplates to fit.

With the slings slackened off, the sign stood level horizontally and only needed a slight tweak vertically at opposite ends, to align it correctly.

We used all the aggregate and most of the sand to fill and tamp three quarters of the height of the four foot  trench, constantly checking all verticals as we went along.

Peter then levelled the site with the trench fill after we had cleared away all the building materials.

 Touch in paintwork with a roller on a pole will need to be done in the summer, but otherwise, Nick Hutchinson’s large metal work of art, is now complete.

It must be a work of art, as he has signed it twice – though you have to look hard to find them.

Thurs 8th Dec

It was probably wetter in the depot than it was outside in the pouring  rain today. Obviously the good insulation and the huge variation in temperature lately has a lot to do with it.

The planned painting of new steel work on the Seacow was therefore off the agenda.

 Richard completed the controller test rig and has thoroughly tested the controller that he had previously overhauled. It is now labelled up as fit for further service. Our plan is to fit it in place of the sticking r/h side plough fore and aft controller (old type) once the relay season is over. We have three other duff controllers we can test rig in the meantime.

 Bryan and I started the day by machining some timber edging for the next new whistle board, before he started on some remedial work to the snow plough paintwork.

I spent the day on tidying up the rear corner of the depot, improving the safety of the walking route, poking into rotten sacks and discovering a lot of useful sized brake pins and brake pin and door gear washers on the way.

 Having a second man on the regulator last week paid dividends as well, as Richard was able to closely observe the efficiency ( or rather one sided lack of efficiency) of the  track clip fingers . Several were splayed beyond effective use and others incorrectly positioned.

Today he took the two units to bits, re-orientated some fingers and fitted replacement ones, retrieved from underneath the machine, where they lurked unworn, as part of the side plough equipment, we think.

I also managed to find one brand new one in the limited stores that came with the machine. It will be interesting to see how this modification performs in service next week.

13th Dec 

Seacow  Steve today has been drilling more bolt holes in the north end new sheets and pattern making, drawing out and cutting filler pieces, as per Rod’s request, ready for welding up next week.

 Plough 18  All the new tongue t & groove boarding  for the plough end interior skin has received two coats of wood primer today.

 Ballast Regulator  Minor corrosion attention and undercoating carried out and a cabin general tidy up.   

 Depot  Alex (S &T) is spending the next two Saturdays updating the PAT testing of all our stuff. I have got everything out of the cupboards on the west wall side and put it all on the tidy bench. It is a huge pile especially when added to all the cables, transformers and  woodwork machine tools that we have.

Will do the same for the east side cupboards  on Thursday.

Anyone using any New Bridge registered power tools at  home ? I have one (sander for use on the whistle boards) . If so, they need to be brought in to get re-tested.

 So, to avoid any confusion over what has been PAT tested or not done, can everyone for the next couple of weeks, put power tools and cables back exactly where they got them from please, at the end of each day.

 The PAT tester course has not been forgotten, it is just that there is no money in this financial year’s budget to action.  

15th Dec – Yorfalls relay site 

Though we got the job done, the workload was at times quite high due to a few niggling faults.

Initially the starter switch played up – again.

Once on site Gerry and Nick regulated back from Yorfalls, building up a shoulder one each side and leaving what we thought was  enough for the lift during tamping.

The Webasto heater failed to ignite – again. Fortunately it was not that cold today.

Whilst the tamper as doing its measuring run, Richard Kimber and I hand shovelled and spread ballast under the check chair section, ready for tamping, as I could not drop the gear on that side because of them.


Once the tamper was working, we followed, brushing being sufficient to fill any voids up to The Grange, except for a small section south of bridge 14. This 12 sleeper section here is short on ballast. There is a stockpile alongside left over from the initial levelling, that looks uncontaminated. To be filled in by hand and wheelbarrow next time perhaps? – as it looks a lot less than a wagonload. We were not able to drag anything backwards for this site.

 Bryan then asked for more ballast in the  four foot and in the cesses of the steels. This was achieved by front outside plough gleaning half of the mornings piled up cesses on the west side and then brushing any excess into the holes on the east.

The east side plough frame was playing up by this time, so I did not want to risk using it.

Switching task from brushing to working to Bryan’s ballast spread request had an unfortunate consequence in that the brush box switching then refused to restart. I finally got it to kick in, after a spray or two of contact cleaner.

For the rest of the gleaning operation to fill the voids up to bridge 15, I kept the brush gear running in the background, which saved us having the problem of it not starting.

 Throughout the day, Richard was monitoring and adjusting the recently modified/replaced clip fingers. These now do a very good job, especially when tied in with the minute adjustments to brush height over the changes from wood to steel to concrete etc.

 So, overall apart from the small section mentioned above and the curve at Yorfalls,  there is a pretty good spread of ballast throughout.

 On the way back whilst waiting for the crossing at Levisham  ,we loaded approx. 30 fence rails and 5 posts which were dropped off at MP 9 ¾.

Ian – I propose to do the same at MP 9 ¼  at the next available opportunity. Let me know if you want anything different.

 Finally, just as we approached the yard, at 1830, the air filter warning light came on.

 We now appear have a full repair book for next Tuesday’s session. Fortunately Richard has offered his services on that day.

Tues 20th Dec

Seacow DB982667

Today Rod, with a bit of labouring assistance from me, has largely welded up the new end plates ,including welding in the fill in strips, prepared last week plus a few more .

He reckons there is one more tidying up session required at the north end to complete.

 Martyn – Assuming then that we can  make a start on the south end hopper second week of January, the wagon will need to be over the pit for a while, in order to  be able to access and repair the wasted gusset plate at the south end. Can we swop the tamper and Seacow positions at that time for a  short while? Once that is done, it can go back over the concrete again for the rest of the plate work to be repaired plus the three outstanding door lifts.

 Secondly, if we are to cut up the old tamper shortly, we will need a full size regulator for the large propane bottle that we have on site. We are still using the small one for cutting at the moment, but the acetylene type gauge set on that bottle is too short for the deeper handle of the big bottle. (Not sure if I have explained this correctly, but Rod can advise).  

 Rest of the time spent today spring cleaning woodwork machinery and further tidying up of stores alongside the west wall.

 22nd Dec Thursday

A day out in the Newtondale countryside yesterday, slinging sleepers off and then on wagons.

Over lunch in the nice warm brake van, with Martyn we sorted out a 2017 rolling stock refurbishment programme for New Bridge Depot.

In the meantime, Martyn is to shortly reverse the order of the tamper and Seacow in the depot, so that the south end gusset plate can be dealt with over the pit.

Thurs 29th Dec

Bryan and Nick in attendance today.

Seacow DB982667

Remaining pre-drilled holes at north end now fitted with bolts.

External welding seams and remaining rivet residue ground flush. The large steel end plates were then cleaned off and given an external coat of red metal primer.

During this work, we noticed that the naughty Christmas pixies must have been in the depot over the holiday , as we found a socket wedged firmly over a newly installed  nut and behind a rivet, in a very inaccessible place.

It took two screwdrivers, a hammer and two of us – sometimes hung upside down ( or nearly) to knock it out.  

 Snow plough  18 Dressing new interior tongue and groove boarding, easing the sticking east side door and burning off and sanding blistered paint on the plough end.