We are coming towards the end of our annual maintenance period, and everything is looking promising.
We have a maintenance schedule which lists everything that we carry out annually, as well as things that are done less frequently. This year, we took out all three piston valves, as part of a piston and valve examination. We were happy with the state of the valves. One or two of the valve rings were replaced, but most were used again.
One of the coupling rods had slightly too much play, so we made and fitted a new oiling ring, having sorted out the cause.
The smokebox suffers from corrosion, due to the noxious substances in there. We have been replacing some of the furniture in there with stainless steel. This time, it was the hatch in the floor that gives access to the front of the middle cylinder. We are also working on a new spark arrestor basket, also made from stainless steel.
We’ve just had our official hot exam and steam test. This is witnessed by the boiler inspector, who produces a report for the insurance company, as well as the external auditing company. For more details on what’s involved, see here. All the electronic equipment (GSM-R, OTMR, TPWS etc.) are inspected by an external competent person, too. We carry out a thorough brake system test, which is also audited by the external auditor. All this has been done successfully, and the paperwork is on its way.
We still have some more testing of our own that we will be carrying out, but everything is looking good for our first trip of the year, on 19th March.