C2 Project News

June 2017

Summer is Here!

The end of June C2 Working Party was preceded by a mini working party a week before. All the C2 Project members were in Wales that weekend for a social event, and so the opportunity was taken to hold a project financial review and planning meeting, as well as carrying out a day or two of work.
Paul inspected and measured the existing locomotive brakegear components, and used this information to design a revised arrangement for our 1'11.5" gauge engine. Carrying out design work with the locomotive in front of you is much easier than doing the work at home.
Andrew has been working on the coupler head components. He used Bob's weld prep machine to cut weld preps on the drawbars. The hand held machine makes a neater job than an angle grinder, and in many cases is much quicker.
Dave 1 finished cutting weld preps on the tender chassis frame in readiness for attaching the chassis top plates. He also finished removing the mill scale from the top plates. With the weather then becoming too hot to carry out much more physical work, he then started measuring the flatness of the chassis top plates, and started to work out how they should be clamped when it comes to welding them on.
The main C2 Working Party was held at the end of June as planned.
Colin reduced the length of the locomotive brake weigh shaft to match the reduced width of the locomotive frames. This involved turning a new bearing journal onto the shortened end. He has made a very nice job of this.
Dave 2 tidied up the bases of the locomotive brake hanger brackets, and reshaped them so that they are now all the same. After removing most material with an angle grinder, he used the linishing machine to square up the edges and make them straight.
Dave 1 finished removing the mill scale from the locomotive rear buffer beam. This was a job which had been 90% completed at a previous working party, but which had been hanging around ever since. It is done now.
James and Zoltan arrived Saturday lunchtime, just as we received a telephone call from Harbour station requesting assistance with a minor crisis. The first Ffestiniog Railway train of the day had hit a fallen tree at Tan-y-Bwlch, and was running late. It was threatening to delay the early afternoon departure for Blaenau Ffestiniog, which was carrying a large party of passengers hoping to make a connection onto the Conwy Valley Arriva Trains Wales service. Thus we all leaped into Robco's Land Rover to be whisked across the Cob to help turn round the late running down train. With eight people available, the locomotive was coaled, watered, oiled and run round its train in seven minutes, while the engine crew took a brief tea break. Teamwork at its best!
After all the excitement things returned to normal. James started inspecting the tender suspension components, while Zoltan removed the mill scale from the final piece of tender chassis platework.
On Sunday, work on the tender suspension stared in ernest. Zoltan spent the day with a wire wheel, removing all dirt and corrosion from the spring hangers. This allows us to see what condition they are in, and what work will be needed to recondition them. James carried out some careful measurement of the cleaned components so that we know the variation in dimensions we are dealing with.
Colin measured the holes in the locomotive frames, the existing brake weigh shaft bearing castings, and looked at the drawings to see what diameter the bearing castings should be. Needless to say, we ended up with three different dimensions! After a brief discussion, a dimension was settled upon, and Colin started to turn a new brake weigh shaft bearing to replace one of ours which is broken.
The new component will be fabricated from two parts instead of being a casting as was the original. Dave 2 found a piece of suitable plate to make the bearing flange, cut it to approximate size, and then reduced it to the correct thickness using the Bridgeport milling machine.
Dave 1 got out almost all of the works' G-clamps, as well as a long parallel, and completed measurement of the flatness of the tender chassis top plates. After some minor grinding of the chassis frames, we now have a clamping plan, and are ready to weld the top plates onto the chassis.
Due to track work carried out over winter to add sidings for Sied Gwlyb, level access (for trolleys, etc.) to the C2 shed has been very limited. At a previous working party we fabricated a couple of point mechanism cover plates so that we could at least get a wheelbarrow to the shed. Unfortunately one of the plates had become bent, so Dave 2 straightened it for us.
Most of our planned tasks had been finished by mid afternoon on Sunday, so what better way to round off the working party than by going out for a ride on the train. A quick tidy-up meant we were ready to catch the 15:50 train. The weather, which had been grey and damp for most of the weekend, finally cleared, and so James, Zoltan, Colin and Dave 1 had a most enjoyable journey up to Blaenau Ffestiniog through the beautiful Snowdonia scenery on the train.
No photos this month - use your imagination!
July 2017