Winter maintenance is now well advanced. A lot of the small jobs have been completed and the steam test is booked for March 3rd.

Tysley have been down and given the firebox the once over to caulk up the weeping seams etc. The firebox should now stay tight.

In this winter period we have modified the ashpan further and she now has three sliding hopper doors that allow the ash to simply drop out the bottom of the ashpan. This has been quite a large job but we are hopeful that it will make the end of day process of getting rid of the ash a simple and easy job.

The engine and tender is undergoing a fill B examination and will also have all her axles weighed on the new weighing kit fitted to the internal pit. This may lead to some axle adjustments owing to the weight of steel attached to the ashpan.

The work to the Vacuum pump is now all done. The cutter that John Hancock designed and Dave Mumby made worked an absolute treat. John H then made new valves and the whole thing put together with some faces being lapped in. It will work now!!!!!!

The tender coal space has been given two coats of bitumen to protect it and we will be doing some final painting around the footplate area.

Once all the inspection and winter work is finished we will then do a wash & brush up to get rid of the winter dust and make her ready for the start of the new season!

Generally we are where we need to be at this time of the year but still with plenty to do.

John Cruxon

Locomotive Manager

The new ashpan doors half open and fully open which should make end of the working day somewhat easier