Most people will be spending a lot of time with their loved ones at this time of year. It’s true of 5305LA as well; we have been seeing quite a lot of activity at Loughborough recently as our volunteers have been coming to the shed to spend time with their favourite engines.
The main focus of activity at the moment is in trying to get the support coach ready before the start of the next main line season. The coach is progressing, but this is not the time to get complacent. We only have a short time before we need to have the coach up and running ready for the spring work and there is still a lot to do, so if you can spare some time to come and help us it will be of great assistance. We really don’t want to be hiring a coach again next year; it’s a bit like renting a house instead of buying. So please come and help.
The main visible sign of progress in the coach is that we now have a couple of kitchen units in place in the cage area and the “5305 LA Woolworth Memorial Clock” (Alan was fed up of missing tea breaks so he’s bought a clock).
The Woolworths Memorial Clock (Woolies in Loughborough closed this week)
Most of the other work which has been done in the last couple of weeks is far less photogenic – cable runs, cable joints, scraping and painting the underneath and lots more coats of varnish on the panelling – most of which doesn’t show up on the photographs.
Varnishing panelling in the corridoor
Other recent 5305LA work includes more paint layered up under the cab floor of the Five ready for the installation of electronics. (It is essential to get the paint in place before the electronics are installed because once they are in place it won’t be possible to paint there and we need to protect the frames). This isn’t the ideal weather for painting, but this is an area which won’t be seen, so if the frost “flattens” the gloss it really doesn’t matter too much.
I can almost hear people asking the screen: What about the Five’s Boiler? You haven’t mentioned the boiler in ages! What is happening with the boiler?
Well, I’m pleased to say that we have some excellent news: The copper stays have been installed (about 80 of them) and one steel stay has been put in as a trial. The boilersmiths are happy with that one so we have ordered the rest and they will be arriving shortly. We don’t have a date for completion so please don’t ask – we never promise dates. But it is a huge step forward.
Finally 70013 has been receiving attention to the valves this week but is expected back into service soon. This was planned maintenance – something which Kevin and Tom have been wanting to do for some time.