Today (Sunday 26th April 2009) saw 45305 out in the sunshine for the first time in about a year. The occasion was a chance to split the engine and tender so that the engine can be lifted to allow us to check and service the axleboxes.
Gary oiling round before the engine is moved.
Splitting an engine sounds easy, but in reality if the draw-bar pin has been in place for a while it can prove difficult to shift. In which case the only remedy is to squeeze the engine & tender between an irresistible force and an immovable object to ease the pin enough that it can be shifted with a big hammer. In our case D123 was the irresistible force and a line of locomotives and cranes was the nearest thing we had available to an immovable object.
D123 was available for this operation because it was a diesel weekend, so the engine was in traffic anyway, and as a bonus, because so many of the other diesel locomotives were also in traffic, No. 3 siding was fairly empty, making the shunt to collect the Five much easier than it would normally have been. By coincidence, while the Peak was busy helping to split the Five, the Class 33 was standing on the next road waiting for a signal to go off shed.
Having removed the main draw-bar pin, 45305 was shunted back into the shed where the safety link pins were removed as well, meaning that the engine and tender can be drawn away from each other at our leisure. We also took the opportunity to move all of the fire-bars and pipework which had been stored in the tender coal-space, meaning that we can more easily clean out the tender and give the coal-space a new lick of paint.
While 45305 was having her trip into the sunshine, Tone-the-Clean was busy on Lamiel again, shining up parts which had become dulled. Tony is a stickler for clean engines and likes nothing more than to see a beautiful engine shiny and gleaming. As we like that as well, we are very grateful to him for his efforts to shine up the Arthur while she isn’t in traffic.
As if having both diesels in traffic, carrying out a long-awaited split on the Five and having the attentions of an expert in locomotive gleaming attending to the Arthur wasn’t enough, we also had people working on the support coach: Gary put the first coat of green paint onto the parcel doors on the corridor side, and had a major session fitting and filling the threshold strip on the vestibule door and Hugh cut out the last couple of patches of rust from the body side ready for welding – all we need now is a set of patches cutting ready for welding in – anyone feel like a day out with an angle-grinder; we have the plate already!