We continue to be highly safety-conscious, and keeping on top of our PAT testing and recording is an ongoing task. A very useful wooden step ladder (immediately pressed into use for tram body cleaning), and a socket set, were donated to the workshop. The Trust promotional stand painting in SR dark blue continues as weather allows. Ten attendees on the main March Workshop Day divided into four teams. Whilst the first team continued removing rotten panelling inside the tram, the second continued to paint the Trust promotional stand, the third continued with PAT testing, and the fourth re-assembled the axleboxes with bearings, circlips, etc. and a liberal amount of waterproof grease, and placed these over the axle ends. With the sliding sections of the W-irons greased, it was time to join forces and lower the completed sub-chassis onto the wheelsets/axleboxes, not forgetting to insert the springs and spring washers at the appropriate moment. As is usually the case, one axlebox refused to slide onto the W-irons – after a lot of head scratching (though it wouldn’t go all the way on, it also wouldn’t come off), we swapped the two boxes on one axle, and – with a certain amount of brute force and a great deal of careful jockeying – the whole thing suddenly fell into place. As most of the components had been altered or repaired, it was encouraging that it all fitted so well. As we now had our first three foot gauge wagon (or at least the most important parts of it), we of course had to have a little ride on it – all of a yard or so each way. Member Toby Robinson claimed the first ride, while the youngest (10-year-old William Stone) travelled in style sitting on a genuine SR sleeper for enhanced comfort! The sub-chassis was then completely painted in black, and, to use up surplus paint, we also painted one side of all the brake gear, and much of the couplings and dragboxes. New recruits are always welcome – some simple homework jobs also available if you’d like to help but cannot attend the Workshop Days.
Rolling Stock Group – March 2013