The primary job being done by loco yard volunteers (OliH, Stewart, Adam, Hugh, Barry, Mike) on new year's eve Saturday was washing out GW 4566 and shunting it inside the shed, for it to be partially disassembled ready for repairs to be performed over the next couple of weeks.
To drop out the middle wheelset from the 45s frames we removed the connecting rods, brake rigging and relevant pipework underneath where the access was needed.
Removal of the external connecting rods involves a lot of metal pins - up to 2" diameter and up to 6" long, along with split pins securing the ends, all carefully labelled up, to make it all as
straightforward as possible to reassemble. In most cases the described process isn't nearly as simple as you would think, as almost every securing component is bearing weight, which
has to be eased partly or completely if there is to be any likelihood of it being removed.
The removal of pipework underneath the boiler is relatively simple with most of the job requiring the splitting of nuts and bolts. There can be little room underneath a loco boiler to move around in, and little space to use a socket ratchet and adjustable spanner. It gets tedious and
increasingly fiddly to operate a pair of long handled tools, especially if everything is covered in a layer of thick grease, grime and general crud. Best not to bang the head on lumps of metal whilst trying to get a glimpse of a stubborn nut on the other side of an eccentric beam. You learn not to move too fast when in a confined space after knocking your head enough times.
Once all brackets have been loosened off to allow sufficient movement, and all necessary pipe joints undone, then you work out how to extract the 12 foot long pipe which most likely is covered in a layer of grease.
Completing all this definitely results in a tea break being in order.
By this time it was going dark and so we started packing away. An excellent day's work.