Recent visitors to Barrow Hill Roundhouse will have been surprised to find it has almost been emptied out, leaving just five locos huddled together in one corner. All the other roads have been boarded over and the turntable pit filled with a steel frame to provide the base for the Jools Holland concert this coming Saturday (13th). While all this has been going on, work on Sherwood has continued unabated.
The new box headcodes have been away for zinc plating to provide long term protection against corrosion that was the weakness of the original design. British Railways realised this part way through the build and changed the design to mounting the boxes inside the nose, no longer needing the central section for end doors. Sherwood later had the boxes completely removed and the nose end modified to the plain marker light design, which remained until it was withdrawn. After preservation by the PDLG, the nose ends were modified back to the original design using boxes salvaged from 45053 and 45036. The new boxes will look identical, but with improved sealing and weather proofing.
Carl has also refitted the various brackets and grabrails to the nose end, applied two coats of undercoat and one coat of yellow warning gloss, to make the loco presentable for this Saturday’s concert and the Barrow Hill Model Rail Live Event on 27-28th September.
Meanwhile down in the engine room, the spanner gang have almost completed assembly of the top of the engine. The rockers have been fitted and connected up to the pushrods, and the valve tappets set with feeler gauges. Oil pipes are being refitted with new copper seals, and the replacement heat exchanger being prepared after its pressure test. Outside, the batteries have been inspected, topped up and cleaned, so this is a sign that we are not far away from pressing the start button!