10th November 2022 proved to be an unexpectedly productive day, and excellent working relationship with the John, newly appointed to the 2968 team from the SVR staff, was established. John provided the working party with a number of tasks for the day, all successfully completed
While the boiler is complete various parts need to be added to allow the hydraulic and steams tears to be undertaken, and the regulator rod from footplate to smokebox is one of them. This is the smokebox end with spindle (upper) which engages with a bush in the front cover of the superheater header. The two lower spindles engage the valve itself.
The other end of the rod has already been refurbished: the turned brass section is where it protrudes from the stuffing box on the boiler backplate while the square is the mounting for the handle.
You might think that the handle is simply that but it includes a catch to prevent its weight from closing it while running, and this is being overhauled. Meanwhile, the handle has been refurbished in the correct BLACK – not red – paint. The reverser wheel will also be so painted.
More work is ongoing with the ashpan. Following some minor modifications, the full mechanism for the hopper doors has been fitted and proved to work as designed. The SVR suffered from many lineside fires during the summer and action is being taken to prevent these by the use of spark arrestors. This is the wire mesh seen in the lower right corner with its supporting steel frame, yet to be attached, in the damper door opening.
John asked us to bring all the components of the backplate cladding out of storage, ensure that they were all present, in good condition, and then assemble them on the ground to ensure they fitted together with all bolt holes clear. This is an early stage with the parts, including some extras which had nothing to do with the backplate, as initially laid out, Note the book of photos to provide clues, but unfortunately not many.
Even with the photos, assembling the jigsaw required some trial and error. Robin and John try various options of where it all went and which way around, as you do with any jigsaw puzzle.
Success, and we didn’t have so much as the lid from the box! This is how the footplate will look when all is back together again.
The next thought was to again dismantle it and return the separate parts into storage but another idea occurred: keeping it together against the wall had advantages in ensuring that no parts went missing, and although it will have to be dismantled when it is fitted to the engine, there won’t be a time lapse when things are forgotten. John used the new overhead crane on our engine for the first time to store it against the wall.
The assembly firmly secured to the wall, awaiting the boiler to so it can be finally fitted.