A Caravan Related Injury
As some of you may have guessed, the Class 45 Diesel D123 suffered a “Caravan-Related Injury” recently during the filming of BBC Top Gear’s railway special at the GCR. But before anyone gets upset let me say that it was all discussed before hand and agreed by the association, by our engineers and, more importantly it fitted in with planned maintenance: for some time the Peak has been in need of bodywork repairs and a re-paint, so to have Messrs Clarkson, May and Hammond offering a hire fee was too good a chance to miss. Once filming was finished the peak went to hide her bent nose in the shed until the programme came out – it was all hush-hush until it aired, since which time the team have been busy with filler, grinders, sanders and assorted other implements of restoration. At the moment she’s in possibly the most unattractive stage – all rubbed down and covered in patches of filler, with a few holes in the bodywork waiting to have patches welded in. Give her a little while and she’ll run out of the shed resplendent in her new livery. New Livery? You’ll have to wait until she appears to find out exactly which livery will be applied, but one thing’s certain: she will look a lot better than she has done recently.
The Brit (No. 70013, “Oliver Cromwell” Pride of the National Collection) is still at Southall, having recently received attention to the valves and pistons: a routine inspection revealed bits of ring in the cylinder drains, closer inspection showed that not only did she need new rings, but the piston rod needed attention as well, easily sorted. Well easy if you like dismantling huge unwieldy bits of metal, manhandling them onto a van, transporting them to Loughborough, shifting them down to the machine shop at the far end of the shed, lifting them onto the lathe, doing the “magic bits” with the machine, and then reversing the process to get the piston back down to Southall and re-installed on the engine. I’ve talked about “easy” jobs on here before, haven’t I? Having been re-assembled, 70013 is due to leave Sunny Southall later this week heading for Crewe where she’ll join the ‘Crewe Pool’ for her Summer work.
Meanwhile, the Arthur (30777 “Sir Lamiel” also pride of the collection – I can’t admit to bias now can I?) is at the Wensleydale railway – I’ve just had a report through from one of the other support crew volunteers, so I’ll post that shortly.
45305 is, as I type, hopefully working her way from Preston to Carlisle and back on the Mersey Moorlander. I haven’t had any news to say otherwise, and I hope to get a report from one of the support crew in due course, or at the very least one of 5305la’s famous laconic “The engine did what it had to do and we got back”.
14055, the third support coach is progressing at the back of the shed: the roof has now been fully painted and someone has been busy with a cutting disk removing the rotten bits of body skin ready for welding in new patches, it looks drastic, but it’s a big step in the right direction.