Gone To Works
There’s very little trace of the NRM’s Britannia No. 70013 “Oliver Cromwell” at Loughborough at the moment: The engine has gone to Crewe Works so that their boilersmith can make the necessary repairs to the firebox. They are building on the work that was begun at Loughborough and making progress. I’m afraid that I don’t have any projected date for return to traffic, so we will stick with saying that we are aiming to get her back into traffic “As soon as possible”.
The only sign of Cromwell back at Loughborough is the cab on the deck in the yard, under the care of ‘Gleamo’ aka ‘Tone the Clean’. It’s a lot easier to clean when it’s on the floor than when you have to perch up on the running plate or on a trestle so he gave the outside a good wash yesterday and is hoping to visit in the next couple of days to apply polish (weather permitting!).
While our friends at Crewe are busy with Cromwell’s boiler we have been putting all available efforts into getting 45305 back on her wheels;
Craig has been busy putting manganese liners on and machining axleboxes, and various other people have been hard at work painting frames and wheels while they are still accessible and re-fitting the horn blocks. It’s thanks to the efforts of various people, that the wheels are now gleaming black.
John painting wheels black, it’s easier when the wheels are out of the frame, but you still end up lying down on the job.
An old sign-writer used to say that the top coat of paint is only ever as good as what’s underneath it: Yesterday afternoon the last of the dirty, chipped, uneven old red paint was stripped off the driving axles and they were re-coated with primer ready for several coats of clean, smooth red paint to be applied.
This picture shows not only the newly primed axle, but also the machined axleboxes with springs hung below.
While those two locomotives are receiving attention at their various works, the NRM’s King Arthur No. 30777 “Sir Lamiel” has been a busy locomotive; she’s currently engaged on a season of trips in the West Country. Apart from a batch of bad coal letting us down last Sunday, she’s been performing well.