We are in the middle of our annual maintenance period at the moment. The tasks that we carry out aren’t exactly the same each year. Our maintenance schedule lists when we do what. For more information about some of the usual annual jobs, see Annual Maintenance – Rules and Regulations from a couple of years ago.
One of the extra jobs that we are carrying out this year is a valve exam. This involves removing the valve covers, and disconnecting the linkage, before removing all three valves. As with most things on a steam engine, this is not a straight forward job. The middle valve is particularly awkward. It involves lifting the floor of the smokebox, and climbing into the chamber below.
Once the valves are out, they are inspected, along with the valve chambers, for signs of unusual wear or damage. They, and the rings, are cleaned before they are put back.
At the moment, we have started to refit the valves. At the same time, we are building a new smokebox floor, and spark arrestor, using stainless steel.
We are expecting to have the loco back together and looking its usual smart self in time for our first trip on March 19th.