Whilst the majority of the winter maintenance work has gone extremely well, a minor problem has been found with a component in the engine brake gear. The 3.5" diameter pin that forms the fulcrum of the wishbone which transfers the movement from the air brake cylinders to the brake gear had seized in the wishbone bearing. Despite several attempts to press it out it in situ, it eventually proved necessary to remove the large cast steel bracket in which the pin is mounted and to set the bracket and wishbone up on a horizontal borer and machine out the seized pin. A new pin is under manufacture and minor design change is being worked on to enable grease lubrication of the pin as opposed to external oiling which was the only method practicable hitherto.
The offending pin, resisting all attempts to shift it! - Jon Pridmore
The net result of this is that work is running about one week late, and given the availability of labour and the sequencing of remain work on the locomotive, there is no realistic chance of pulling back this delay. This means that the 18/19th February operation on the MHR will not be possible, and subject to further discussions with the MHR management we hope to reschedule this for the weekend of 25/26th February.