Rusty Dogs and Steamy Things

Welcome to another update from the goings on of the ID&RPG. Now before we get started “yes we know its a steam engine” …… “yes we know we are a diesel group”

Saturday saw a good number of us down at the railway given the current situation with COVID. There were two main job’s for the day. No.1 remove the J pipe from Andrew Barclay 1931. No.2 remove the centre door from our recently acquired Dogfish wagon.

The Rocks guys had kindly shunted our dogfish, (scooby-nemo? Lassy-Jaws? we haven’t figured out a name for it yet), out for us mid week but this meant it had to be put on road one so they could put Jean back in the museum. So the first job of the day, after a “brew up”, was to fire Jean up and put the dogfish over the Pit. This was to gain better access to the centre door. Once this was done Charlie collected his tools and started work.

With that task done it was time for Ashley and my self to start looking at removing the J pipe. Despite being self confessed diesel men a good few of our members are fairly well versed with steam engines, its only nuts and bolts after all. The J pipe for those that don’t know is located in the top of the dome and has the regulator valve attached. It is a heavy part of the loco and a little awkward to remove this being the reason we had been asked to remove it rather than the Rocks guys who are more advanced in there years. The top of the dome had already been removed so this saved a bit of time, with a bit of advice from the steam crew we set to it.

The first bit of the job was to remove the regulator handle and associated parts to gain access to the packing around the regulator shaft. This needed removing to release the shaft. Once removed we were able to slide the shaft backwards. This in turn retracted the other end of the shaft out of the housing on the J pipe. It was time to loosen the pipe, it’s held in by four main nuts on studs and two nuts and bolts on a support bracket. Sounds simple right ?……. Oh yes its all been in a boiler for years and is rusted well an truly on. ‘I knew there was a reason we preferred working on diesels’ any whooo… With a bit of help from the good old Oxyacetylene, A healthy amount of caution so as not to drop anything down it to the boiler and a few huffs and puffs we had everything off and out .

The weather by this point had turned for the worst so Charlie came inside and assisted us. During this time Thomas and Sam had arrived and asked if they could continue the cosmetic work on the Ketton Fowler. This is an on going project of the ID&RPG as and when we get time to work on it. After dinner and with the weather still dreadful we moved the dogfish inside to finish removing the last parts of the door. Due to its state of damage and corrosion it was in three pieces.

Once inside the the job was completed and we set to assessing the next stage of repairs. This being the straightening out of the top angle section of the chutes and measuring up for new materials to rebuild the bottom end. Sam and Thomas mean while made cracking progress on the front buffer beam of the Fowler. Thomas is particularly is well dedicated to this project, He has spent a great deal of time with a wire brush and sand paper cleaning it up and then painting it. Being a junior member he isn’t allowed to use power tools for safety reasons. So the amount of time and effort he has put in to get the Folwer to where it is at is very commendable.

The end of the day soon came around and so the dogfish was shunted back outside and jean was brought back in to the museum. After we had cleaned up and packed our tools away for another weekend it was time for one last brew up and a chat before we all went our separate ways. We will all being well be back at it in two weeks time so if you have enjoyed this update look out for the next one.

As always we at the ID&RPG thank you for your support and interest . If you like what we do then please feel free to drop us a message, like our Facebook page and leave a comment. Or maybe, just maybe head over to our donations page on this website and leave us a couple of quid. We rely solely on donations and every penny helps. Thanks again and catch you next time.

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