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SVR wagons 2020

Discussion in 'Heritage Rolling Stock' started by olly5764, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Happy new year everyone!
    My new years resolution - do a thing then tell you about it rather than saying nothing for months!
    It seems I have been talking about 101961 and 98480 since the dawn of time (They were in my report this time last year! However, 101961 is out in the sunshine having her bottom end finished off, and Saturday saw Kevin and Nigel making inroads into this job. With most of the rest of the fleet at either Arley or Kidderminster, and there being a bit of a gap between us and the Kidderminster ones, once the line s fully open we may have a couple to release back into traffic in fairly quick succession.
    98480 has been undergoing some serious surgery, however, one of the bigger bits of new steelwork is in place. There is still a lot of work to do, but the new south end headstock is in place. It was one of those jobs! If you can imagine a problem, we had it, issues with oxygen pressure, the compressor knocking off repeatedly, the normally reliable riveting gun jamming, it got to the stage where we ran out of swear words to aim at the equipment and had to start inventing new ones to suit the situation.
    Kevin managed to get some very nice pics of the work going on, with some very dramatic shots of the rivets surrounded by fire in the hearth, right through to images of sheer brute force imparted on the rivets by the jammer and the gun.
    We spent most of the day with Mark heating the rivets up, Stuart "Chucking 'em in" with Graham cutting the rivets to the correct lengths and learning the delicate (?) art of jamming, a process which seems simple on face value, until you realise that very little on a wagon is designed to accommodate a riveting Jammer, and some inventive use of scaffolding poles, and other implements to try and gain a good purchase on some angled bits of steel work, is needed. Finally, I spent the day flitting between attempting to persuade the wind motor to turn a bridge reamer to align the holes correctly, while it tried its hardest to persuade me that not turning the reamer but turning me instead would be more fun, and operating the riveting gun.
    Hopefully next weekend will produce some more activity for you to read about (And another report!)
    See you soon,
    Ian
     
  2. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    20200111_135628.jpg 20200111_135643.jpg 20200112_135012.jpg
    Two weeks, two reports, and some photos too!
    In the first pic we see 98480 with her new headstock fitted, and all of the riveted parts attatched, obviously the buffers and draw bar need to go back on in due course.
    While we had the riveting gear out, as the second picture shows, we reattached three of the four brake hangers, the fourth not being done as we need to do more frame repairs in that area. These caused some fun as doing them with the wheels in means someone has to get into a rather awkward area. 2 of the three were uncomfortable, but with the third one, there was a realisation that there was a significant amount of the brake gear in the way.
    The question of "are you comfortable there?" As I lay over the top of a wheel, one knee on a chassis member, the other foot hooked over the north end headstocks, holding a riveting gun, was answered with, "not entirely, and judging from how wet my underpants now are, I appear to be lay in a puddle!"
    Oh the things we do for the enjoyment of railways!
    The third pic shows a worn brake drop link against a repaired one. For the avoidance of doubt, the reconditioned one is green! Note the gap around the 0.875" pins, and the competitive size and shape of the 0.750" holes for a demonstration of why this repair was necessary and how worn they all were.
    There was supposed to be a fourth photo of the drop links and brake blocks in situ on the hangers, but my Broadband appears to have other plans on that subject so you'll have to take my word for it that they are there.
    Inside the shed, work is also progressing on putting the interior panelling back on the Mica B, which, we have now decided, will get it's Zinc covering back as well.
    It will be good to see this back in service as the "white van" has become rather an iconic part of SVR goods trains.
    I may or may not be able to provide a report next week as I have a driver's re-rules, so how much time I get fixing wagons depends on how that goes, but I shall be back soon,
    Ian
     
  3. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Well this week proved a mixed bag of jobs.
    One was freeing of a pair of buffers to replace two dammaged ones on 98480. These had been lay in a van for donkeys years, and were well and truely seized. So how do you un-seize a self contained buffer? Well, the solution seemed to involve, a pair of trestles, a length of steel bar, the 4, 6 12, 15 and 28 pund persuading tools, the oxy-propane set, extreme violence and a selection of swear words. we did start of trying to get them to move whilst stone cold, until the gaffer suggested getting them hot (We had been reluctant to apply heat to a casting incase we cracked it) but having got it hot, on the first biff with a hammer the offending buffer coughed up a load of scale, with some more heat and a couple more swift belts she coughed up some more then moved easily. So some work with a Wizzy wheel and some oil followed, before some of the lads went off to try and find two better springs for the same buffers. This probably also involved some interesting language.
    Meanwhile, inside the shed, one of the ice tanks on the Mica B got re-fitted, and the other one removed, or to be more accurate, the south end one got taken out, and while we were holding it, turned around and put in the north end (Presumable with the plan of putting what was the north end one, back in the south end when work there is finished.
    Removing the zinc cladding from the south end, it was noted that the plank that all three of the higher set of steps bolt through to, has a crack running a cross it (Mica Bs have a series of steps up each end to give access to the ice tank)
    Today, a minor modification to 98480s brake mechanism took it's first steps, the plan is to change the set up of the brake push rods, which currently only have two, very worn out holes in them, to the "Swiss cheese" type which have six or seven, to give finer adjustment, although as the main bulk of the rod is still on good nick, the plan is to cut off the last 8" of the rod, and use some electric glue to stick a new end on.
    Catch you soon,
    Olly
     
  4. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Has it really been a month since my last up date? Rest assured, just because I have been AWOL, doesn't mean the lads have been idle, in fact far from it.
    More wood has been removed from the Mica B. despite many of the bolts having rotted entirely through or snapped off flush with the steel / timber on attempting to remove them, judging from the use of Anglo-saxon, the lads are being reminded of the huge adhesive properties of rust, although the whole south end river side quarter is now de-planked, and awaiting the addition of new / salvagable timber.
    Meanwhile outside, 98480 has been having more surgery, while Graham has been fabricating a new draw bar surround, the first two brake pull rods have been rebushed, the bushes electric glued in for added security, the holes reamed out, and refitted. The process involved here being, ream the holes in the rod, find where you have previously left the crank, fir the crank to the drive shaft, alighn the rod, attempt to put a pin through it, fail, swear, realise you havent reamed the hole in the crank, swear some more, take it all to bits again, ream the crank, and try again!
    With that done, attention turned to the end with the long drive shaft on, and to attempt to work out what is going on with the ratchet, whose release arm keeps coming off its drive plate and slipping down the side. The method here involved my favorite tools, a spanner, the Oxy set and a hammerwith most of it now in pieces on the floor, I can confirm the ratchet is worn out. There will be much turning, boring, milling, hammering, welding, grinding and swearing to come but I have a plan on this one. The 'V' hangers are also shoping their age, so they will be receiving some attention to build them back up too.
    Equally important, Mark has given the tin shed a much needed tidy up. Something we have all been guilty of it finding a slot for whatever we have been working on rather than sorting everything out and making a proper space, meaning we were running out of dumping space, so I am rather thankful for Mark's efforts here.
    Hopefully next saturday will bring more progress and hopefully a pic of two to show how work has been proceeding.
    Regards
    Ian
     
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  5. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Great to have your updates back again Ian!

    Keith
     
  6. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Thanks mate. I'd been on holiday / awayvon other duties hence the absence but I shall try to make it as regular as I can.
     
  7. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    20200223_174510.jpg 20200229_125201.jpg 20200229_133111.jpg 20200229_160949.jpg 20200229_161032.jpg only a week late, I wasn't there this week so technically this is last week's update.
    Here we have a series of pictures demonstrating the repair of the Dean-Churchward brake ratchet off 98480.
    The first pic shows it's very tired, worn state with hugely oval holes, worn teeth, badly beveled release arm plate, and generally looking a bit sorry for itself.
    The next pic shows it in the 4 jaw chuck, with a skim having already been taken out of the hole to get a feel for the tool position in order that it can be bored out to 2.5" for some bushes to be inserted.
    The third pic is an action shot of the holes being bored out, while the fourth is one of the two bushes, ready to go into position.
    Pic 5, almost finished, the bushes are in place, just waiting for some splodges of electric glue, and final machining.
    Elsewhere, 98480's north end head stock is now off, waiting for a new one to be made, meanwhile in the goods shed, the Mica B is having a new timber frame made for the south end bodywork.
    The wagon is constructed by bolting a timber frame to the steel frame, then the inner and outer skins are screwed to that. This framework needs to fit around the contours of the steelwork, and numerous rivet and bolt heads. It's a case of shave a bit off, see where it fouls, take a bit off there, see where it fouls this time and repeat until it fits.
    Hopefully there will be a further update next week.
    See you soon
    Ian
     

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  8. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    For very obvious reasons, my updates may be a bit hit and miss for a few months, so this report may be a little different.
    Last weekend saw the lads in the goods shed fitting more of the timber frame to the Mica B. Hopfully the new timber, and the removal of all the even slightly shakey looking bits will go some way to combat the rot problem. We will still need to look at some sort of ventilation or protection to see if we can cure this properly.
    I was over in the machine shop finish machining 98480's brake gear while Graham was working on the two headstocks.
    With the coronavirus advice, the over 70s in our group are now staying away. Volunteers are still permitted to attend but, of course, have to maintain a level of seperation, Graham has been there this week, fabricatinga Draw hook backing plate, which I will need to machine at some point. I myself have stayed away this week, and will make the decission on whether to attend on the day, based on government advice and to what extent I consider it wise.
    One thing that I am already missing is the conversations in the mess van, Watching Kevin go off on a rant at the mention of certain political topics, With Nigel, Mark and Martin throwing in witty comments, and seeing Reg sitting at the end of the table, his shoulders shaking as the conversation gives him the giggles. Winding Stuart up about how many years he worked for Landrover compared to how many years he actually attended, or simply watching a craftsman at work with Steve's signwriting, so if any of my colleagues are reading this, see you on the other side, lets hope its not to long.
    Now I've reduced myself to tears, I shall do my best to keep people up to date with anything that does happen, many preserved railways will need our help to recover after this, and the income they bring also brings trade and jobs to the surrounding area, while this will be a testing time for us all, please dig deep and do what you can to help us survive.
    See you soon,
    A very tearful Olly
     
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  9. D1039

    D1039 Well-Known Member

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    As the Italians are saying: “Andrà tutto bene” – everything will be all right", but it will take a lot of help from everyone. As one that looks on..kudos. The team are right in playing safe. Take care

    Patrick
     
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  10. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    indeed they are, hopefully everyone at least enjoyed the little look into the social side of our department.
     
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  11. Bikermike

    Bikermike Member

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    Hang in there...
    As someone who has previously only considered wagons as mere payload (or operational issues at a model level), it's been great to read your stuff.
     
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  12. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Many thanks, I appreciate the kind words
     
  13. mdewell

    mdewell Well-Known Member

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    This is all very well, but what we really want to know is. . . what are you going to do with all those lemons now there are no trains and other guards to wind up? :D
     
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  14. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Lol, thank you! A much needed laugh, right now my two Dragons, Idris and Cinder are keeping the Lemons safe from their children as I plan to conserve my milk supplies a little by taking lemon tea to work.
    The lack of people to wind up is a bigger concern.
     
  15. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Well, over the years, I have given the escused of holiday, firing, driving, guarding, ill health and lack of motiation for a lack of updates, but I never thought I'd be siting a global pandemic as the reason I have been quiet, so under the circumstances I'm sure you'll understand.
    So in the absense of any news, I thought I woud talk about how I started on wagon.
    I joined the SVR as a volunteer on may 5th 2001, that seems a long time ago, and went onto the loco department. I wanted to get on the footplate, I knew it was a long road, I knew it would be hard work, it was all I wanted and I would do whatever it took. I very quickly realised that between the engines leaving and the first one comming back, there was a lot of hours with little happening on Bewdley loco, however, the site was teaming with activity, and most of the depot staff were assisting the Wagon dept with changing an axle box on a ballast wagon.
    In the works at the time were ballast wagons 60906 and 80225 as well as the mogo. At the time, the SVR were still using the ex-GWR ballast wagons, some of which were already approaching their century, for P.way work and transporting ash, leading to the corrosive effects of the ash litterally disolving the floors and sides, and also general wear and tear. The dammaged axle box on 60906 was a common fault, as the normal way to lower the heavy doors on any balast or open wagon it totakethe pins out, stand well back and drop it, allowing the dropsprings to do the rest. Of course, over the years, like any metal, these springs wear and becom deformed, not a huge issue for a wagon with a single centre door, as wht rather sturdy brake 'V' hangers and cross shaft would then take the blow, but for a steel door dropping onto a cast axle box, the results can mean a smashed axle box face, and this is indeed what had occured.
    Finding that there was almost always someone there on either a saturday or sunday as was the case at the time was ideal for me, as it meant whenever I was there I was never short of something to do, be that machining new parts (as seems to occupy most of my time these days) riveting, painting or just sweeping up, and being a small team, I felt that one person was actaully making a difference.
    I became a guard primarily because I wanted to be able to trip wagons to Kidderminstar as required for turning and to act as shunter in the yard, as we had drivers for both 08 and steam, firemen, and signalmen to assist the move, but no guard on the department, it was after that I discovered how muchnI enjoyed guarding, so without the wagon department, I may not have stuck around at Bewdley owing to the long, otherwise empty hours, so may never have acheived my ambiton of driving, I certainly would never have become a guard, the stories I occasionally post in the bullhead memories thread would never have happened, my presence on here would be greatly reduced, and there are a lot of great friends who I would never have really known, and all because I wanted something to do.
    I'm sure most railways will have a Covid-19 appeal going, and some of you might have seen the video Chris Eden-Green did of one of my peoms to raise money for the railway, but if anyone wants the address to donate to the SVR's recovery appeal, it's www.svr.co.uk/FightBack of course, I entirely understand as well,if the financial pressures of this time mean your money is needed elsewhere.
    Many thanks,
    Olly
     
  16. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    And just like that, we are back, well, almost. We have been allowed to return to work, however there are a lot of restrictions on the number of people allowed in any part of the railway, no access to the whole site to the public (They aren't allowed back on the trains until August 1st and probably won't be allowed into the down yard for a long time yet.)
    We have had to split into two groups based around the paid staff shifts, to keep below our maximum numbers on site at any one time, and we are not allowed to move between teams, so the Last of the Summer Wine gang plus Steve will be doing Wednesdays, with the rest of us there on Saturdays, Sunday is a possibility but there are extra provisions that we have to make, so I may put them on hold
    I also should add that things may go at a different pace, the railway hasn't got the money to throw at wagons at the moment, and while we are used to running on a shoe string, we may have even less than ever, the group and the railway will be glad of any donations especially of the financial sort.
    One of the up sides to the current situation is that Kevin has been banned from re-using teabags, every cloud and all that........
    The prolongued break has caused a couple of ammusing moments. I passed comment about going to see if I could remember where I had left all the parts I had been working on.
    "I dunno about remembering that," Mark replied, "I'm having trouble remembering what needs to be done."
    "Oh, I'm quite ok with what I need to do and how far I am through it," I replied, "Just can't remember where I left any of it!"
    Having sorted out what was happening and where it all was, I was off over the machine shop, to my natrual habitat, while Graham made a start on 98480's north end head stock, with good ammount of drilling and reaming, mean while my project for yesterday comes under the category of "All you need to do is....." (Reguar readers will know exactly what that means!)
    All I had to do was put a hole in a fabrication which Graham had made to replace the cast draw bar surround on 98480s head stock, which was badly broken. The problem is, while as a casting, I'm sure it is quite simple, but to machine, it's a bit awkward, as there is a rectangular base plate, with a rectangular hole, which is offset to the base plate, which in turn, is attatched to a malteese cross, which is also off set, with a cricular hole to accept the draw bar, the outside diameter of which touches both sides and the bottom, but not the top, of the rectangular hole. Bad enough if I could hold on the malteese cross as I would be able to see down the hole to line things up, but I had to hold it the other way around, so was working totally blind and had to hope the calcualtions worked. After much head scratching and swearing, it transoired that all the offsets cancel out and the hole runs straight through the centre of the malteese cross.
    The second job was remachining a part that I managed to break on the last day before lockdown, and get Graham to electric glue it together for me, followed by a spacer to replace the stack of washers between the pull rod and ratchet on the brake mechanism, partly to make a nicer looking job, but also to hide where I dammaged the rathchet! The good thing about being the man fixing it, is you can hide your own mistakes.
    Sorry if this report seems centred on one person (Me) but I'm sure you understand the reasons for this.
    It's good to be back.
    Olly
     
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  17. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Great to hear the wagon group are back in action

    Keith
     
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  18. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    20200725_114758.jpg 20200725_133249.jpg 20200725_161031.jpg 20200725_162230.jpg
    Hello again from Bewdley. On Wednesday, we welcomed back the 'Last of the Summer Wine gang' who I see, kicked off their return to the railway with a trip to AJ's Diner in Kidderminster (A worthy establishment and fully recomended for a good breakfast by the way) before continuing their efforts on the Mica B, installing some of the lower side planks to the repaired body frames, and drilling holes to let the water out from between the double skins, and air in, a process which was continued by Graham and Mark on Saturday.
    Mark and Graham are currently modifying the design of the end vents to prevent the worst of the rot occuring again, as this is the second heavy overhaul this wagon has needed, due to rot in the body, in 7 years. Obviously, if we can make the body last longer, this will save valuable funding. The modification will not be visiable from outside and is entirely reversable.
    So outside (Or into the macking shop) to 98480, and the first thing I have to say is that I am doing well, we have been back two weeks and I haven't taken the machine shop keys home and washed them with my jeans once yet!
    The top photograph shows a worn out 'V' hanger with the hole partly machined out, the original plan being just to machine a recess and turn a 'Top hat' shaped bush, but on closer examination, boring the hole right through and a plain bush was seen to be the better option.
    The second photo is an action shot, showing the outside diameter of the bush being turned.
    After Graham's attention with the electric glue, we come to photo number three, where the whole lot was given a quick skim on the miller to hide the repair, which will be almost invisible once it has a coat of paint on it, this being the outboard 'V' hanger, this is the side where any scars will be seen by everyone, especially shunters as it is right by the brake handle.
    Finally we see the current state of the wagon, with several pieces still missing, although we are now slowly but surely putting bits back on, although we are still at the 'Put two back on and take one off' stage, as there are still a lot of worn out bits needing attentin, but a slowly growing collection of repaired or renewed parts ready to put back on. In the background is one of her sisters, showing what this battered and bruised 98 year old veteran what she should look like and how she will look when back in traffic.
    Next week we are hoping to Nail 98480's north end headstock back on, so lets hope for good weather!
    Olly
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020

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