4253 Locomotive
A not-for-profit company run entirely by volunteers
Contact us at: gwr4253@gmail.com


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What's Happening This Month




This week the new bottom section of the cylinder cladding was offered up to mark the cut-out required for the drain cock pipework

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and then cut accordingly and trial fitted.

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More injector pipework was done with the driver's side take-off boss to supply water to the pep pipe being shaped and then brazed into place.  The broken end to the regulator steam pipe was carefully cut off ready for its replacement and then thoroughly cleaned of scale.

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Now that all the necessary work has been done in the bunker water space, the remaining baffle bolts were installed and the entire area hoovered out to remove all the welding and grinding debris.  Next job will be putting the final internal coating on all the new bits.  It was also the Hopper's Weekend at Bodiam so some of the team helped set up the sales stand on the Friday and also manned it during Saturday and Sunday.  This reduced the Friday and Sunday workforces but we still managed to get some jobs done including machining the tails and nuts for the vacuum flexible hoses,

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making pipework gaskets, painting the rear lamp brackets and cutting a supply of boiler lap seam rivets to length as there are still many to be replaced.

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To make access easier for that job the remains of the old longitudinal stays were also cut right back.

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Work on the valve chest cladding has continued with numerous joining plates and captive nuts being welded on

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before being trial fitted.  The cab floor was temporarily put in place after all the injector and vacuum pipework was completed to give a safer working platform which then enabled the reverser quadrant cover to be trimmed to size and trial fitted.  The valve bores were given a good cleaning and oiling and the front covers fitted, oil pipes were made and fitted between the slide bar oil pots and the piston rod swab boxes

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and the rear lamp brackets were welded to the back of the bunker.

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On top of that, the sales team were at the Bexhill 100 Car Show on Bank Holiday Monday, all our electrical equipment was given its annual safety check,

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our electric hoist had its lifting cable replaced as the original was showing signs of damage

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and our newest volunteer was given some training on the mig welder.

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We even found time to replace the suds pump on the Railway's band saw and to wire in a tumble drier for them as well.


The last of the rods has been cleaned up after which they were all given a good coat of oil for protection.

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More pieces of the valve and cylinder chest cladding were completed and painted and then trial assembled to ensure all the bits fitted without fouling each other.

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The lubrication pipe cover that fixes to the smokebox has received some welding work to replace/fill corroded areas after which it was ground back.

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Other work has included the fixing of the restored warning sign to the wall of the cab,

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covers for the piston rod swab boxes were made and given a coat of red oxide,

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the flexible pipe between the vacuum reservoir and the brake cylinder was fitted,

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the wood tops for the rear of the tanks were shaped and the fixing holes for them were drilled and tapped into the tank tops.


This week has seen the cleaning up of the rods which has taken quite a few hours labour and there's still one to do.

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Also, the last of the white metal was melted out as seen below.  Note one of the old bushes sitting on the other rod after having been pressed out.

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The steam collection unit was de-scaled and cleaned up,

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and further pieces of the valve chest cladding were made ready for welding up.

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Studs were made to attach the sieves to the bottom of the bunker water space, the water valve fixings and deflector plates were finished off

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and the second piston rod swab box was machined.

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Saturday and Sunday was Biddenden Tractorfest so many of the team were manning our sales and information stand there leaving a skeleton crew at Rolvenden who spent the day cleaning rods, welding up valve chest cladding and welding the sieve fixing studs into the bunker water space which, considering the lack of room, was no easy job.

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Last week was almost entirely about preparing for and manning our stand at the Weald of Kent Steam Rally so nominal work was done on the loco.  This week started with us obtaining brass mesh sheet to make the water sieves that sit in the bunker water space over the injector valves.  Sections were first cut out,

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rolled to the correct size

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and then soldered together.

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The fabrication of the valve cover cladding continued,

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the finished rocking shaft covers were trial fitted and the remaining slipper blocks white metalled.  The ashpan was moved outside

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so we could move the rods into the booth for refurbishment.

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Work started immediately with the old bushes being pressed out

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and the white metal surfaces melted out.  We are still in need of one connecting rod and a left hand intermediate coupling rod so if you know where either of these could be found please contact us - gwr4253@gmail.com