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SVR Wagons 2021

Discussion in 'Heritage Rolling Stock' started by olly5764, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    And.....we're back! A belated happy new year folks, hope you've all been keeping safe from this awful virus.
    I'm sure you understand why reports have been thin on the ground for the last 12 months.
    There has been a few changes in the down yard generally, we now have a duty yard master who is the person incharge of the yard and everything going on in there on any given day, this has meant that any higher risk activities (Welding, riveting, gas cutting, lifts, etc) have to be planned and agreed with him in advance so there will be a bit less spontinaity, but thats no bad thing, it does however mean that we can't have the gates open to the yard for people to just walk round except by special arrangement, and unfortunately, next weekend won't be one of those occasions.
    So, what has been going on? Well, as you can imagine, after such a lengthy spell away, the first job was to get in, clean the green stuff out of a mug, get the kettle on and make a brew. Once that was done, cleaning the rest of the greenery out of the mugs, throwing away solidifed coffee, out of date choccy bars and making the place fit for human habitation was next on the list.
    The hoover has been around the inside of the van, and the fridge, sink and work tops have had a good scrub, and a layer of dust, soot and grime removed from a good portion of the place.
    The bench in the van has had a good tidy up, and outside, the lads have been involved in a bit of a scrap drive, transoprting the varios bits of accumulated scrap metal to the skip, this makes our area tidier, safer and less cluttered, and at the same time, raises much needed cash for the railway so is a good exercise on all fronts.
    I'm firing next week and guarding the week after, so it may be a few weeks before my next report, but feel free to say hello or ask me questions.
    Stay safe,
    Ian
     
  2. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    Welcome back, your reports have been missed.:):)
     
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  3. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Thankyou. I'm flattered, I shall return to making them as often as I can.
     
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  4. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    +1
     
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  5. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    This week sees our old friend the conflat back with us, the plan being to change the buffers. This was an "All you need to do" job. Regular readers will know what this means however for those who are new to us, "All you need to do" is the phrase that normally precedes a deceptively simple sounding instruction, which normally means the person issuing said instruction hasn't realised how seized / bent / broken / etc the offending part is.
    The reason for the buffer change is that until this morning, the wagon had the wrong ones. being an self contained type, similar to an Oleo, where it should have the rear sprung type with GWR style tapered buffer casings, the ones that were on it, being a legacy of her days as a power unit carrier at Swindon.
    When Swindon changed the buffers, the hole spacings for the new ones were different, with the original buffer mounting bolts going through the headstock and also through the bracket (Or 'Knee') that joins the diagonal of the chassis to the headstock, obviously, the Knee is still there, so Swindon's answer, was to countersink the holes, and fit countersunk rivets in place of the bolts, allowing the buffers to sit on top of them and correctly on the headstock. Now, the problem is that, to put the correct buffers back on, we need to undo this work. The problem with countersunk rivets is you can't just cut the head off to knock them out. The domed head is on the inside, and with a timber floor over head, going under the wagon with the Oxy was not an option, and there is not enough room to get the angle grinder in there, so all you need to do is, knock the rivet through from the countersunk end (Anyone else seeing the problem here) so, as you can't cut the countersunk end off, all you need to do is get the head to collapse and hammer the head through the hole (Easy yeah?) Of course, the head will collapse more easily if it has a hole through it. Luckily we have a magnetic base drill so we didn't have to pistol drill these.
    So here is the process -
    Pick up mag drill
    Realise Mag drill is heavy
    Swear
    Mount mag drill to head stock
    Realise that the headstock is bent and the Mag drill won't stick.
    Swear again.
    Clamp a flat plate to the head stock,
    Stick Mag drill to plate,
    Pilot drill rivets,
    Drill rivets 3/4"
    Using a hammer and drift, try to punch rivet out,
    Miss the drift and hit your had,
    More swearing
    Get told off for swearing
    Respond in anglo-saxon,
    try applying heat,
    Descend into a cycle of heating, hammering, swearing and re-heating until the rivet finally goes through the hole.
    So we managed to get 4 of them (Two buffers worth) done. Hopefully the lads will be able to extract the remaining four and fit the new buffer cases next week (When I won't be there owing to other requirements) Hopefully I will be back in time to play with the buffer squadger.
    See you soon
    Olly
     
  6. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    if anybody is writing a book on my excuses for not posting, I want a cut of the profits, however, my apologies for being AWOL, A couple of front line turns, a change in my personal circumstances and sheer forgetfulness on my part have all conspired against me, however, here we go!
    98480 got some attention the other week by the riveting gang, who nailed the remaining brake hanger back on (One rivet needing further attention) and the chassis members which had to be de-rivetted to repair the crack in the sole bar the second headstock does need nailing back on, and that is the plan fairly soon, although that could depend on having someone available to act as Duty Yard Master.
    Frustratingly, the conflat has now got four nice new GWR pattern buffer casings, only to find there is a problem getting the buffers to fit. and owing to her non-standard chassis, the springs don't fit either. A quick phone call to the gaffer and we may have a plan, but whatever happens, there is going to be a large amount of chalking things up to experience on this one unfortunately.
    The last of the summer wine gang had a traumatic event the other week, as they found they had run out of tea bags much to their annoyance, unfortunately this was down to me borrowing them to cover a shortage elsewhere (I was driving and there were none on the MPD) and hadn't got round to bringing a replacement pack down (There was a box of 240 waiting on my kitchen side board) this has resulted in much grovelling on my part, however, they did get a new tea caddy and three times the number of tea bags out of me, so hopefully the beatings will stop soon.
    The lads have slowly but surely been chipping away at the repairs to the Mica B, and hopefully I will be able to leave them some odds and ends of cleaning and painting soon too, which while not glamorous work, is immensely helpful to me with my brake gear repairs, and I really hope the lads know just how much I appreciate that side of their work, I must confess, I am hoping we can all work together soon once the restrictions are lifted.
    I'll try not to get too distracted to post a report next week,
    All the best,
    Ian
     
  7. Flying Phil

    Flying Phil Part of the furniture

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    Thanks for the updates Ian....we know all about those "...All you need to do...." jobs!!
     
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  8. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Good to have you back Ian. Hope you are well. Your reports have been missed!
     
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  9. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    I'm convinced the gaffer uses that phrase to convince us that an absolute pain of a job is easy and we are daft enough to keep falling for it!
     
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  10. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    I am mate, very well thanks, hope you have been enjoying them.
    I did post a few of my Guards / footplate tales on the "bullhead memories" section at the start of the pandemic to try and keep spirits up, and to stay active on here, but then realised I would soon run out of printable ones!
     
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  11. Graham Phillips

    Graham Phillips New Member

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    Back in 2018 we restored GWR Conflat 39860 which had been modified at Swindon for carrying diesel engines. One of the modifications was the fitting of Oleo buffers.
    We had always intended to replace these with the correct GWR buffers, and after having new castings made well over a year ago from a pattern made for us by Bridgnorth Loco Works, we finally got them fitted this weekend.

    As the Conflat is vacuum braked with screw couplings, it has the longer type of buffers. The castings are obviously longer, but there is also a difference in the buffer head/shank forging. They are the same overall length, but the step between the larger and smaller diameters is 2" further back.
    [​IMG]

    The bolt spacings are different, so Swindon had drilled new holes for the Oleos and riveted the original bolt holes. We had to undo this work.
    [​IMG]

    The buffer springs need compressing with a special tool to to enable fitting the retaining keys.
    [​IMG]

    The view from underneath with the retaining key in place ready to fit the split pin.
    [​IMG]

    The (almost) finished job with the buffers fitted and holes riveted.
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Firstly an apology. I was DSM this Saturday so was hoping to go and assist the lads but ended up lay flat on my front excavating a hole! Obviously this means my report on the Saturday gang's work will be a little lacking in detail, but also, I didn't get chance to have a look at the 'Last of the summer wine' gang's work at all.
    As stated last week, the conflat's buffer change was held up by the realisation that we had the wrong buffers and springs, the basic problem being that the space between the headstock and first chassis cross member is 3" shorter on this type of vehicle, hence longer spring not fitting, however, the buffer casings are longer meaning we needed a buffer with a longer front portion to the shank. These were sourced by the lads this week, after initial discussing if we could pack out the buffers we had initially tried.
    So on to fitting, which is a comparatively simple job, once the buffer casings are on, you simply feed the buffer through, in this order, the casing, headstock, endcap (with the step turned towards the centre of the wagon and hence the spring) the spring, a second end cap (obviously turned to face the other way!) Chassis cross member, rubber washer and then a steel retaining washer.
    The next move it to place the saddle of the spring compressor (known as the Squadger) behind the collar of the buffer case, and secure it in place, then tighten the squadger up (something which can be done one handed following modification by a bored machinist a few years ago) put the 'L' pin through the slot at the rear of the buffer shank, and release the pressure, before finally split pinning it all in place. It's a surprisingly simple job as long as you give yourself plenty of space to operate in (I'm 6'3" and fairly broad so you can imagine every inch counts).
    After the work involved in reversing the work done by, we presume Swindon, I for one am glad the lads managed to track down the correct buffers, as I didn't fancy undoing it all!
    Hopefully there will be a more substantial report next week.
    See you soon
    Olly
     
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  13. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Well, this week was slightly infuriating, before the conflat can be turned out, it needs a fitness to run exam, so that was Saturday's job. We elected to do the vacuum first, so bring in our portable vacuum tester. This device is a single cylinder Villiers engine coupled to a 2 pot vacuum pump, which you then couple to the vac bag of the vehicle to be tested, which when it works, makes that glorious noise that old British motorbikes do, unfortunately it didn't want to start this week, so myself, and the Motive power department's Jordan Taylor, spent most of the morning trying to coax the reluctant machine into life, with no luck, as a result, the wagon still isn't back in traffic.
    we have an alternative plan next week, but need a little assistance from the motive power department, watch this space.....
    Olly
     
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  14. ghost

    ghost Part of the furniture

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    Do the MPD keep the really big hammers? :)
     
  15. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Lol, oddly, I think our 28 pounder is probably bigger than anything they have, but their aim is better.
     
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  16. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    So this Saturday started as a continuation of last weekends work. As reported last week, our vacuum tester is curently what is known in the trade as poorly, so we had been unable to do the vac test on the conflat to complete it's fitness to run exam, so the simple solution was to arrange to borrow self propelled vacuum test device number 1501 from the motive power department, when her self propelled capabilities weren't needed for hauling trains. Not being a fan of asking people to book on early in order forthem to do me a favour, so 7.30 a.m. on Saturday June 19th, saw me prepping a loco to nick it for a few minutes around 2 hours later. Many thanks to Paul (Freddy) Farthers and Jim Cooper for allowing me to nick your loco, and Max Stockin who acted as my fireman / vacuum testing rig operator.
    Max, by the way, is Bewdley's resident musician, and if any rock and roll fans feel like supporting the a member of SVR staff professionally, look up Max Stockin Music on facebook, or check him out on your music supplier of choice.
    Vacuum test complete, test rig number 1501 was returned to it's booked users for them to use it to pull a train or something odd like that.
    The next part of the day was to start nailing the north end headstock back onto 98480. This is a new headstock going on to a heavily repaired chassis, and the first job was to rivet the new "Knees" (Angled brackets to join the chassis members together) to the chassis, so a plan hit upon to make the job easier for the three of us. The gang are getting the hang of their various rolls in the riveting team, each job being rather more skilled than it seems at first, as picking up a red hot rivet (With tongs) popping it through a hole, jamming it up and forming the head all require a degree of dexterity, so all the knees are now attatched and the wagon, and the headstock is on, but not finished (we ran out of gas) but it has left a few jobs that the Last of the summer wine gang can tackle in the week.
    Talking of the mid week lads, they have been chipping away atpainting 98480's chassis slowly turning it green and then grey (Thanks Nigel for pointing that out to me) and hopefully I will be able to get on with doing some mechanical work on her soon, and that will give the other lads plenty of headaches / jobs to do.
    With the confalt going out, loco coal wagon 83831 has come to join us. Hopefully, other than cleaning and painting, this will take some of the load of the lads doing bodywork for a period at least, I will report back when we have had chance to assess the bottom end.
    I won't be here for a couple of weeks, but there may be a bullhead memories story soon as I have a week in a guards van comming up.
    See you soon
    Olly
     
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  17. Graham Phillips

    Graham Phillips New Member

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    I'll let Ian do the write ups, I'll just post the photos.

    Knees in place on GWR Open 98380. I think of them as corner gussets, but the GWR called them knees, a name carried on from the old wooden shipbuilding days.

    [​IMG]

    Six knees riveted on.

    [​IMG]

    Headstock in place. The temporary bracing will be cut off when the headstock is fully riveted.

    [​IMG]

    Our next project, GWR 20t Loco Coal 83831...

    [​IMG]

    …with rust build up between the spring leaves.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Hadn't realised it had been so long sinc3e my last update, but here goes.
    Loco coal wagon 83831 is back with us, long standing readers may remember her from way back around 2007 (Her first job after her last overhaul was a post flood clearance train) where she gained a new floor. she has been stopped owing to some concern with some springs, and the usual issues have shown up, looks like I won't get a break from brakes for a while. Upon opening the wagon, we found a number of S&T cable drums, which had been placed in there a few years ago to prevent the wagon being filled up with ash, which has, from our point of view, paid dividends in terms of protecting the floor and sides, however, not for the S&T, who forgot it was there.
    These drums have now been removed to Kidderminster, but not before the discovery that one of them contained a wasps nest. Now, if this has given you a mental image of Graham's Landrover, complete with trailer, hurtling up the bypass, pursued by a swarm of angry and now homeless wasps, you are not alone, however, this was not the last we were to see of the little blighters, and when we arrived on Saturday, there was a Black and yellow stripy welcoming party waiting for us.
    We managed to make a start on the inside of the wagon, making the most of the nice weather, and accumulating a pile of life expired wasps as we made every effort to avoid getting stung.
    The last of the summer wine gang have been busy applying primer and undercoat to 98480, and now they have the facilities to work a little higher off the ground, they have completed the South end planking on the Mica B
    It was good during 1940s week to catch up with the lads in AJ's cafe before my guards turns and hope it won't be too long before we can work together agin.
    see you soon,
    Olly
     
  19. olly5764

    olly5764 Member

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    Sorry for the lack of updates. In addition to the usual footplate and guards turns, and of course holidays, I've not been very well. Many of my longer standing readers know I have issues with my mental health and that is giving me a bit of a kicking right now.
    I will have an update for you as soon as I feel well enough to write one. In the mean time, hope you are all looking after yourselves.
    Ian
     
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  20. Monkey Magic

    Monkey Magic Part of the furniture

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    Take your time and look after yourself.
     

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