We have been carrying out some preventative maintenance on Clan Line. The bushes in the coupling and connecting rods had worn, causing a slight knock when coasting. It affected both sides of the engine, but, as we felt that the fireman's side was worse, we started on that.

The job involves taking down the motion, and accurately measuring the crank pins and associated bushes.

The rods are off

Some were still within the the tolerances, but it was decided to replace the little end bush, and to re-white metal the big end and one coupling rod bush. The bushes were pressed out of the rods using a hydraulic jack. Our engineers manufactured the new little end bush, and re-white metalled the other two. All this was carried out in a week, and the motion put back in place.

A coupling rod bush being turned

The re-white metalled big end bush

Pressing in a coupling rod bush

Because of the amount of work done, it was necessary to have a running-in turn to bed in the repairs. This was held on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. The run was a success, so, later on on Thursday we started the preparation for Saturday's Surrey Hills trip for Belmond.

We had to clean the smokebox and grate, and empty the ashpans, before lighting up again. The engine was quite dirty after a couple of members' open days and the running in turn, but some hard work on Friday saw the locomotive looking its usual self.

Saturday brought with it some beautiful weather, though, as it was October, we had to take a Class 67 diesel along to power the train heating. We left Victoria on time, and arrived at Shalford for the planned water stop four minutes early. There was a large crowd waiting for us, and many young children wanted to visit the footplate.

Departure from Shalford was on time and we were doing twenty five mph at the top of the bank. We passed Gomshall at forty eight mph and were still doing thirty six mph at the top.

Clan Line at Gomshall - photograph by Julian Clark

We ran through Dorking at seventy mph. Arrival at Victoria was one minute late after being held on the approach.

It was another good trip with lots of happy passengers.