Since our return from the Nene Valley Railway diesel gala, the spotlight has shifted back to Sherwood, and the result of the last few weeks of progress now sees the loco up and running again after its 3 year engine overhaul. We originally thought it would take about 18 months, but as usual there have been distractions along the way. Anyway, it is finally coming together for 2015.
The engine assembly was completed with all coolant and oil pipework fitted, and the valve tappets set up. The inlet manifolds and exhausts were left off for a test start and the triple pump run for about 20minutes to circulate the oil and check the pressure was holding. With finger on the engine-room start button and the rack held open, the engine turned over a couple of times and it fired up – obviously keen to get back in business, deafening the bystanders with the exhausts blasting straight out the top of the cylinder heads! It was pleasing to see the exhausts quickly cleared and the engine was running smoothly. Even more reassuring was no sign of water leaks from the liner seals and transition bushes, but a few external leaks from pipe joints that needed tightening.
Over the following weeks the inlets and exhausts were refitted, and two troublesome water drain valves stripped and re-seated to stop leaks, as the engine will soon be filled with expensive anti-freeze.
Carl has spent many weeks meticulously rebuilding the headcode box mechanisms for No 2 end. These have a complicated gear shift to wind each blind, and the whole lot easily seizes up with corrosion and lack of use. The mechanisms have been fitted into the housings and the fronts re-glazed after removing the domino dots. Finally a tangle of wiring was sorted into order thanks to a wiring diagram and the front of the loco was illuminated in time for Christmas.
Jacob and Reuben came to the rescue of one of those jobs that was started and left unfinished for the last two years. The noise of needle-gunning in the roundhouse is not popular at weekends, so some hours were put in mid-week to strip one side of No2 bogie of 50 years of paint and crud. Three more sides and two ends to go…