The big project in the workshop at the moment is the rebuild of the decks of the gallopers, to be followed by the rounding boards. This certainly dominates the space, but lots of other work is progressing too…
Below: Built by Savages and, somebody unkindly observed, torn apart by savages!!! Not so as Tony, Shaun and the team have lavished their skills and patience on the production line of work for the decks, seen in this sequence of photographs shows. Some of the panels have now been completed, and so the whole process is seen here, from stripping the old panels to the assembly of the new. They remain to be painted.
Below: Also related to the Fairground, Chris is well into his stride manufacturing a new, steel, top rail for the swing boats. The original hangers are reusable and are being both bolted and welded in situ, to provide strength but retain an authentic appearance (when viewed from above, so probably only by the odd seagull!).
Below: Outside 280 has settled into regular operation, seen here before the numbers were added (painted on Friday).
Below: Darren and Mark are currently levelling the ground outside the new Colliery Stables in order to lay a two foot gauge siding here. This will eventually serve a hay store and manure heap and give the pit ponies somewhere to pull tubs about on. It is unlikely to be locomotive worked, though might see Samson as a guest engine one day!
Below: Puffing Billy is receiving attention to its leading tender axle. The lubrication hole in the frames has ‘healed’ and so reduced the lubrication, resulting in a worn bearing and scored journals, all of which will require attention by a contractor (as we cannot fit these wheels on our lathes).
Below: R025 has had some commercial attention lavished upon its clutch, with the flywheel and drive plates being re-lined and the clutch plate itself replaced with a new disc in spring steel. The drive plate (upper) and flywheel (lower) linings are seen here. Modern clutches have the friction material on the clutch plate (itself sometimes made of two plates, with springs inserted around the centre aperture to dampen gear changes – no such luxury on a 1920s crash gearbox where engine and transmission/road speed have to be matched by de-clutching).
Below: A comparison of old and new clutch plates. The original is quite badly scored and the segments have distorted in places. There is also evidence of overheating of the plate, all of which suggested a replacement would be prudent. This was supplied, in spring steel, within a week, along with the relined components.
Below: The team has also removed the crankshaft for overhaul, revealing the crankshaft bearings in the process. The oil pump has also been removed – in an earlier post we looked at the single cycle of oil through the engine, being a total loss system, though of course any drained oil from the dry sump could be filtered (or not!) and poured back into the oil pump.
Below: A closer view into the crank chamber showing the cylinders and also the camshaft (lower).
Below: Back in the machine shop where David is working on the cylinder block – the safety valve casting now being secured on top and the valve chest also ready to assemble. The cylinder liner is on the lathe, the last big component to machine in this particular collection of pieces.
Below: Here is a sneak peak at Sunderland 16’s new Binns adverts, seen being applied by signwriter Phil Anderson – no vinyls or transfers here! Revised side adverts are also being applied, along with touching up of lining, numbers and a full re-varnish. The tram was not fully varnished previously and had adopted something of a dull matt crimson hue. The areas treated so far are bright and vibrant so 16 should look fantastic when the refurbishment is completed.
Finally, on the subject of Sunderland trams, do have a look at the link below, filmed on the system in 1904 and taken from the BFI archive – it is absolutely fascinating. Lots of tramcar interest, plus a tower wagon (horse drawn) evident. Spot the motor car too – a real rarity at that time. http://player.bfi.org.uk/player/watch-tram-ride-through-sunderland-1904-150655366/kxYTQzaTrrpAiEdYyTJInsJlBOZpG8JV#assetDescription
You can link through this site to other tram rides around various towns and cities in the UK. Really amazing stuff!