It is actually not as difficult as it may appear ...... in most cases !!.
The tubes are close together so one tube cannot fall between those below it. If one tube is removed and has to be replaced it actually leaves a channel formed by the adjacent tubes so that the replacement can be fed thru the front sheet and pushed toward the back. The adjacent tubes guide it toward its hole and someone in the firebox can slot a piece of wood (commonly a hammer handle !!) into the end of the tube and guide it into it hole in the rear sheet.
The big problem is tubes at the sides that lie behind the steam pipes in the smokebox, which prevent them being loaded straight thru the front tube sheet. Replacing one of these can require removing several adjacent tubes.
There might be some "heritage" stuff running, but you're just missing the first Tornado Run of the season (9 March Paddington-Plymouth round trip with The Cathedrals Express.) Have a safe trip.
Thanks for the information. Think the most I will manage is a quick visit to the Severn Valley. They do seem to be running this weekend. I had thought of the GWR but they seem to have only a diesel service.
So we will see.
Nigel, if you were going to be in lancanshire, then I would suggest a visit to the West Coast Railway Co. as they have the GWR 5972 Olton Hal, which was the Hogwarts Express in the harry potter movies.
I thought I'd take a look at your web site and blog.
Hope you enjoyed your visit to the Mid-Hants Railway (The Watercress Line) yesterday. I've mentioned you in our blog at www.watercressline.co.uk - but you'll have to explain to your other members who Mrs Trellis is. If you've been away from UK too long to know the answer, I'll explain if you contact us.
Hopefully you saw the T9 out on a photo charter yesterday, but there were plenty of locos in the yard and a fair bit going on in the workshop. Shame you missed our gala weekend with 7 locos in steam - better luck next time.
Knowing that UK and US practice are a little different, can you explain what the big gear wheel is for (the one that Dennis is welding) - I can only guess its something to do with the reverser mechanism.
Still struggling to understand how you re-gauge a 5ft gauge Baldwin loco down to standard gauge (but don't worry about explaining!).
The Ropley Under-Assistant Scribe
Good to hear from you. I just got back to Chicago today.
Thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Mid Hants and meeting the team. I will include some of the pictures in the blog after tomorrow's work session. Rather different from our situation to see lines of servicable steam locomotives !.
The secret to the larger gear wheel is that it is not from any locomotive but from the backhead drive of the wheel lathe that we are working to get back into service.
We would dearly like to have 1630 running for the anniversary. If she is not running for the anniversary it will not be for want of effort on the part of the shop volunteers !. That is the focus not the Shay.
There is still a substantial amount of work to be done on 1630. The biggest factor will be whether we can progress smoothly thru riveting the patch and fitting the super heater flues.
I am very interested in the shay and the 1630. You may be interested to see my videoes of these locos on YouTube when they were in steam. I am particularly pleased with the shay one which I think shows it off better than other videos that I have seen. I tried to include YouTube links but this prevented my message being accepted.