C2 Project News

December 2022

Happy New Year

Our working party over the Christmas 2022 period was rather a quiet one, affected by the train strikes, weather and other travel difficulties. Nevertheless we made some useful progress on several fronts. Additionally there was some follow-up work in early January which is also reported here.
Paul started work first on the 23rd December. He re-checked the measurements of the various studs in the cylinders, comparing the Polish and Czech drawings and the variable Chinese parts. He also needed to consider the subtle design changes between the Polish and Chinese locos, including the front steps and lubricator brackets which require longer studs in some positions on the Polish design but are mounted differently on the Chinese locos. After some consideration he produced a list of the different stud dimensions required, and we can now get these ordered.
After a short festive break, Paul and Andrew reconvened in the C2 shed on 26th December. They marked out the holes that needed to be drilled on the cab floor frame, and scoured the works to find the magnetic base drill along with the required selection of chucks, taper sleeves, drill bits, taps and associated paraphernalia. Some final careful measuring and alignment ensured the cab floor frame was correctly positioned and clamped in place ready for drilling the fixing holes. By the end of the day we had even managed to drill a few holes!
Andrew drills the holes which will attach the cab floor frame to the cab support brackets we made previously.
On 27th we were pleased to be joined by Geoff, one of our occasional volunteers. He worked with Andrew to get the holes drilled, while Paul measured and marked up the holes for the cab steps, and tapped the holes in the rear bufferbeam which will fasten a cab support bracket.
Andrew drills holes for the cab steps.
The fireman's side cab step trial-fitted. These are refurbished Chinese parts and as such are imperfect - the holes and bolt heads may not be quite level but the step is!
Andrew drills holes through the cab floor frame and into the loco main frame - these will secure the cab in place.
Five holes drilled and tapped in the rear bufferbeam will mount a bracket to support the rear of the cab.
The 28th was occupied by the annual 'Cold Turkey' social event which this year was hosted by the W&LLR and gives an opportunity for the staff and volunteers of the narrow-gauge railways in North Wales to get together. After several years of COVID limitations, 2022 was very well attended, so much so that it required a heroic effort by the driver to nurse the Zillertalbahn loco up Golfa bank in driving rain with a completely full train of 3 bogies, a 4-wheeler and a freight wagon! Perhaps they would have been better with the raw grunt of a C2 rather than the large-wheeled Zillertal 'racehorse'?
On 29th, Paul and Andrew reconvened in the C2 shed. Our main focus was to finalise the dimensions and drawings for the wooden cab mockup. Our friends in the woodworking shop have kindly offered to make this for as at cost price, and we think it will be very useful for checking clearances to infrastructure, sightlines from the driving position, and the layout of cab controls and auxiliary equipment. So we want to make sure it's an accurate representation of what we intend to build in metal later. And if we decide that we need to make some adjustments, it's much easier to do that before we start making the final steel version!
Andrew returned to Boston Lodge in early January when our woodworking friend Rob was also available. After some discussion about the materials and assembly method, Andrew adjusted the drawings for the cab mockup so that Rob can use them for manufacture. Hopefully we can get this made in the next few months.
January 2023