General news from the RHEC team...

General news from the RHEC team…

As well as the recent event, there has been a certain amount of progress on other fronts, not least Samson and the Bread Van.  The Boat Tram has also been readied for its voyage to San Francisco, shown later in this post.

Below: The water pump chamber mounted on Dave’s Smart & Brown lathe, fitted using a screwed stub mandrel to secure it in the chuck.  This was to enable the internal thread to be cut into the casting using a boring bar, seen on the right (with the black tape indicating the maximum extent of the cut).  In total, the machining plus finishing of the rough cast body to a smooth texture, totalled some 37 hours – effectively a working week.  This gives a very good indication of where the costs of replacement components really lie – the casting itself being well below £100.  A skilled engineer might command around £30 per hour, so it can be seen how quickly the costs mount up – if you consider an ex Barry Scrapyard standard gauge locomotive, devoid of all of its non ferrous fittings (probably weighing in the tons) and the colossal cost of restoring steam locomotives can readily be appreciated!

boring valve box for SamsonBelow: A couple of close ups of the finished pump valve body, including its rough position on the boiler, mounted on the reverser/regulator pedestal.  Note also the main pump ram chamber which is incorporated into the pedestal – no mean feat of pattern making and moulding!

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Below: Dave has now set up the cylinder block for boring, as well as facing of the ends to take the covers.  Setting it up is almost a shift’s work in itself, requiring some ingenuity to securely clamp it to the bed.  A Kearns boring machine is being used here, and this will face the block as well as bore it to one datum – future generations who may need to re-bore the cylinders please note – the front face is the datum to work from!  Once these cuts are made, the rear face will be tackled, for which the whole bed is rotated.  The boring tool seen here is not the one being used on this job.


Below: Tony and Matt have set about building up the roadside chaldron waggon in earnest, this being something that will advertise Beamish on the main route towards our front gates (on the A693).  Once completed the box chaldron will be tackled and then the workshop cleared ready to receive Sheffield 264’s lower deck.  Here the chaldron’s main frames are seen being assembled, surrounded by refurbished metalwork which will be erected as the timber is prepared.


Below: By the end of the afternoon the main frame was assembled, ready to be turned tomorrow for fitting of bearing blocks etc.


Below: Routine work continues – the ex Blackpool Tramways Thornton Gate PW yard wooden derrick is receiving some attention to the lower reaches of its worn paintwork.


Below: 233 has been subject of the tramway staff attention as they prepare it for departure (we still have not been informed when however).  It was agreed it would leave no earlier than the 9th September, to give us time to remove the tower etc. and this work has now been completed, as seen here.  It is now stored in Road 1 awaiting removal.

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Below: The Bread Van has now been completed, and was rolled out of the workshop today.  The second van is also advancing and we aim to have this out of the workshop shortly too.  Here the ex Birmingham Coop vehicle is seen outside the Erecting Shop.

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Andy Martin created a couple of his tin-type images over the weekend too – see earlier posts for the method by which these wonderful images are created (note, these are snapshots of the finished photos, whence the reflections):

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Finally, here is a short film showing No.18 making its first movements on Sunday…