C2 Project News

Spring Bank 2015

Update from Spring Bank Holiday 2015
The plan for the Spring Bank Holiday working party was to work Saturday, Sunday and Monday. However, for various reasons, it didn't quite work like that.
Sam and Dave were available on Saturday, but tools (which Andrew was bringing) and materials were not. So after having a useful chat with Wol, the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway's chief engineer, Sam and Dave decided to go for a ride on the train to Rhyd Ddu including a stop for ice creams in Beddgellert. Perhaps not the most productive day, but most enjoyable!
Paul and Andrew arrived late on Saturday afternoon/evening, which enabled the working party to start making real progress on Sunday morning.
The tender frames were wheeled out of the the shed on our wagon, and Chris and Clare got started with the angle grinders. After cutting most of the tank floor away with the oxy-acetylene torch at previous working parties, there are many flame cut edges which need cleaning up. We also wish to neaten up some of the original frame edges, which were flame cut when the tender chassis was manufactured.
While work was progressing on the tender frames, Sam, Paul, Andrew and Dave took the opportunity to hold a technical meeting to agree the future direction of certain aspects of the C2 Project. We have a significant outlay on machining and bought in items (such as axleboxes and wheelsets) which needs to be carefully planned. Al was also available on the speaker phone for part of the meeting. This was a useful meeting, as we now know precisely what work has to be done in the immediate future, in what order, and by who.
On Sunday afternoon, while Chris and Clare continued neatening up the tender frames with grinders, Paul fired up a CAD package on his laptop and started sketching out a new design of spring hanger for the locomotive. We have two of these components, but due to modification of the suspension, we require four. The original items are forgings, but to get new forgings made is prohibitively expensive. Therefore, Paul has redesigned the hanger such that it can be machined from solid.
At the same time, Sam, Andrew and Dave located a couple of long steel sections which Andrew had ordered the previous week. These were too large to be manageable, so Sam got out the oxy-acetylene torch and cut each section in half (we need shorter lengths anyway). This enabled Andrew and Dave to lift the sections onto trolleys such that they could be moved into the Bottom Yard near the workshops.
Monday morning saw Chris and Dave continue with grinding work on the tender frames. Meanwhile Paul and Andrew carried out preliminary design work on the tender brakegear. It is necessary to have an idea of where the tender brake hangers and associated brackets will be located, as the new tender top plate will have to carry these items and needs to be designed accordingly.
During the afternoon, Dave and Chris moved one of the steel angle sections into the steel stores, close to the band saw, ready for cutting to the short lengths required for the tender horns. The two steel channel sections for the tender spine were loaded onto a bogie wagon (not easy when each weighs almost 1/4 ton) to move them to the C2 shed. With the wagon shunted onto 13 Road, the channel sections were slid down crowbars to ground level. It could have all gone horribly wrong, but with care and forethought the task was carried out safely.
Fortunately, Chris and Dave were able to extend their stay in Wales by a day, and so Tuesday became part of the Working Party too. The morning was spent cutting the steel angle section into lengths suitable for the tender horns. The material is much easier to move when in short lengths!
With all the materials safely stored in or close to the C2 shed, and out of the way of the staff at Boston Lodge, Chris and Dave returned to grinding work on the tender frames. By the end of Tuesday afternoon, most of the last traces of the tender floor plate had been cut off (the few odd corners remaining will be easier to remove with the frames the other way up), and the edges of many of the cut-outs had been ground smooth.
Finally Chris and Dave joined Emily and Gareth on the evening Fish'n'Chip train to Blaenau Ffestiniog and back behind Linda. A very enjoyable way to round off a surprisingly productive working party!
New tender horns in manufacture! - Chris Veitch 26/05/2015
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May Day 2015