Maybe not what teacher considers to be the Three R’s, but in the PDLG world that means lots of activity. 33035 made the running on Friday with a charter special on the EVR for a university professor celebrating his 60th birthday in grand style. His party of friends and family travelled in the Inspection Saloon for a couple of trips along the line, followed by a bit of driver experience practice between Wirksworth and Gorsey Bank. We understand that many of his party had come over from Switzerland, and so we hope they felt at home with the Sulzer traction.
In preparation for the charter, the heat exchanger had been stripped down the previous weekend to plug a leaking tube, which was causing some engine oil to leach into the coolant water. This was finding its way out of the roof vent and down the bodysides when the engine warmed up. We will probably have to overhaul another heat exchanger this winter to replace the one in the loco which now has quite a number of leaking tubes plugged up, and is probably going to fail again before long. The engine room was also given a quick clean, after the heat exchanger repair had deposited some oily gloop on the floor. Meanwhile the outside of the loco was given a thorough polish by the team, so that it positively gleamed for the charter.
Yesterday, the away team spent a day on 47484, sorting out some spares, and sanding down the ceiling in No 2 cab. Like some archaeological dig, the sanding revealed the original number and depot code, which would have been skillfully painted on by a signwriter when the loco was new. Somebody with a steady hand will have the challenge of restoring this when the ceiling is painted.
Today, the team returned to base at Barrow Hill, to continue work on Sherwood. The overhauled armature was collected from Bowers and awaits reassembly with the rest of the blower motor. The fan had also been to Bowers to be balanced, and this was painted in gloss red by Josh. A special guest appearance was made by Jonno, who learned the laborious art of lapping cylinder head valves – we have now reached head number 11, and it seems like every head takes longer to overhaul as we approach the end goal.
Carl got down to some serious grinding and welding on the nose crown, and this now looks ready for another 30 years service fighting the elements. Meanwhile our mini workshop reverberated to the tones of Oasis as Jacob continued to clean his dirty (engine) parts.