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A Watched Pot Never Boils

.... or that’s what they say. We certainly seemed to be proving it today when 45305’s boiler was undergoing the out-of-frames steam test with our boiler inspector John Glaze.

John arrived fairly early in the day to see the boiler come up to pressure, a process that we like to take slowly, so while he did his inspecting, the rest of us found other jobs to do around the shed. Hugh set to work cleaning up the ashpan damper doors, I wrapped up the lubricators against boot marks when the boiler is re-fitted , then cleaned out the tool tunnel and the footplate to make space for the team to work while putting the boiler back in the frames, and to make space for the new oil locker. Alen and Chris were in the pit finishing off various jobs on the axleboxes and bogie. Roger Howes, Dave Thompson and Alan Brown set to work cleaning up the cladding, after Rob Stinchcombe gave them a hand to get it out of the store.

Meanwhile, Craig, James, Mick and Rob were going about their normal business in the shed, including another boiler inspection – on the steam crane, with a different boiler inspector. It was a busy at Loughborough today!

Obviously Tom and John needed to see the valves lift, but when we heard the safety valves start to ‘feather’ in the afternoon, various other people found excuses to loiter near the front of the shed to ‘just happen’ to be in position when the valves finally lifted at the test pressure.

Tom waiting and watching, with James Hazell & Bill Gwilt hovering in the background.

Tom still waiting

But it seemed to take an age for the pressure to climb that last couple of pounds so the ‘just happening’ to be in position turned into a full blown lurk as we waited, waited and waited some more. Eventually several people decided that it would be almost a public service to go away again and find something else to do rather than watch the pot. Of course, as soon as our backs were turned, the valves lifted, John smiled, and the test was passed. The first thing I knew was when Tom came past as I was painting the damper doors to tell me ‘He’s put his seal of approval on it, you’d better go and take a picture’. So back outside I went and duly took this picture: 

The out-of-frames boiler test is done to 135 psi, whereas the acceptance test when the boiler's back in the frames will be done to the working pressure.

And this one: 

From left to right, Rob Stinchcombe, John Glaze, Tom Tighe and Craig Stinchcombe - all smiling!


By Info | Wednesday, September 15, 2010 | Tags : 45305

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