It must be the warmer weather and the promise of Spring which made us all so productive and positive this weekend. There was plenty going on at Loughborough: the Peak worked trains on Saturday and the Class 33 on Sunday. One of the Loughborough Cleaners spent Sunday afternoon cleaning the Arthur, making a big difference to her appearance (Thanks Michael!)
When a locomotive is stripped for any sort of work we generally try to keep all the bits and pieces next to the appropriate loco, or stored away safely somewhere. But as work progresses and pieces are cleaned and painted they tend to spread out, gradually getting further away in a search for a spot where they can be painted and left to dry without being in the way. This is not a problem so long as they are properly labelled and don’t get lost, but once the locomotive starts to go back together it can be frustrating for the team to have to search all over the shed for elusive little bits which have unaccountably strayed far far away. So every so often it is good practice to herd all the bits and pieces back towards their respective locomotives. Spring is a time for cleanups so this weekend we had a sort out round the Five, the N2 is going back together quite quickly at the moment, so returning her bits & pieces will help to speed up the job, we also herded bits of Fairburn towards Alan who was in full painting mode, so it’s good to think that the steam pipe cladding won’t miss out on a coat or two and delay the job. The side-effect of the clear up is to make it easier for us to keep track of our parts and to access the job when we are working on 45305.
Meanwhile, out in the spring air at the back of the shed, Gary was spot priming the coach while Mark was playing with cables, threading miles of electric spaghetti through conduit the length and breadth of the coach. His job was slightly frustrated by the fact that people were moving around inside, fitting bits back together and making the coach sway as he fed the cable. Just visible in the background, is the electric spaghetti and Hugh with paint kettle
Inside the coach Peter Maynard was busy cleaning the panels which cover the tops of the sliding doors, and then putting them up.
This photo shows Peter in the act of saying "Have you got 5 minutes to hold up the other end of this panel?"
There are four panels, two have light boxes on them and two are plain, and there are four compartments, two of which have lights over them. So in theory it should be a straight-forward job to put the panels back up. But... some panels have more than one number (sometimes one is crossed out, sometimes not), and the numbers appear to predate this re-fit, and may even pre-date the addition of the formica panels on the front, because there are screw holes on the back which are covered by the formica on the front, and none of the existing screw holes line up with the holes in the wood to which they need to be attached. We tried all the possible combinations, more than once! And ended up going for an expedition to 17099 in the yard to see whether there were some bits of trim which we needed to find – having another coach is nearly as good as a picture on the box, but not as convenient for a quick look! By the end of the day, after much head scratching we had all four panels up, but not necessarily in the places they occupied originally. But at least they are up, out of the way and that allows the job to move forward. It may not look less crowded, but the cage area is gradually emptying of panels, and acquiring kitchen fittings instead - such as a work top.
Tom has changed his days off recently, which means that he now has Sundays as a rest day, so he was able to spend some time with Kevin sorting out the bogies. This involved much looking at drawings, murmered discussions, and some use of Kevin’s handy tape measure, all looked over from a great height by Hugh who was once more scraping and painting the end. At least yesterday he had plenty of company and bustle around him, rather than being out of the back of the shed on his own, and towards the end of the day he came and joined in the great panel puzzle.