This report covers the period from 25th May to 15th June 2023; quite a lot happened!
Steam was raised in the boiler on several occasions to ever higher pressures. This revealed a few snagging problems which were dealt with by the boiler shop team, and by 15th June it was completely leak free and ready for the boiler inspector’s examination.
The view inside the firehole during a lull between tests, showing the leak free appearance.
The manifold (from the top of the firebox backplate), front, and superheater header (from the top of the front boiler tubeplate), rear. Both have been hydraulically tested, the manifold complete with its fittings.
Unfortunately, the fireman’s injector steam valve proved to be porous and failed. This is a long-standing problem but the previous repair (seen below the nut) did not hold up this time. A new valve base is already being cast.
Some of the fittings that have passed their hydraulic test, mostly connections and shut-off valve. Left is the regulator valve lubricator and right, the ejector steam valves. Behind are the cooling coils for the regulator oil supply.
The chimney is in gloss black paint, ready to fit. On top is the petticoat, not its final home(!), to direct exhaust steam into it; behind is the ejector ring which fits to its lower end.
Where the main steam pipes emerge from the smokebox, they do so through lenses to ensure the smokebox remains air tight. A pair of new ones to the BR Standard specifications have been made; these are a different size and fitting to the former LMS type and some modification is needed to allow them to fit.
The SMF working party continues with its tasks, and these include preparing and painting sections of running plate which will fit beside the firebox once the boiler is installed.
The gaps each side looking forwards. The firebox brackets sit on top of the frames and slide on runners to allow for expansion and contraction of the boiler as it heats up and cools down.
Both cab sides have been rubbed down and a coat of primer applied.
The cab roof has been removed and currently sits inverted on the floor, where the painting of the underside in white, started some time ago, has resumed.
The tender meanwhile has been moved into the paint shop where Ronan gives it his full attention. The sides and rear have been flatted and two top coats applied; here is applying the insignia . . .
. . . as seen here during the early stages.