It’s a strange thing, but somehow it always seems to be that, on a cold day down at Apedale, there is always an urgent job to do which involves the gas torch. And so it has proven to be this weekend. The rear cab sheet on the Hudswell diesel was pretty badly corroded, and quite a number of the reinforcing members had either rusted beyond use, or had their joints forced apart by corrosion. So, all had to be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned or renewed. It was then just a question of putting it all back together. This involves riveting. Riveting is a job for which subtlety and delicacy of touch are NOT the key attributes. A certain level of experience, effective teamwork and a large hammer are, however, essential. If we had been building these locomotives on a production line, it would have been worthwhile setting up an air riveter, or maybe investing in a hydraulic rivet closer. Neither were necessary for the thirty or so rivets in the cab. The first phase of the job was to straighten the cab sheet – wavy steel doesn’t sit well on straight steel sections. And then away we went with the gas torch and the big hammer. The end result is pretty good, and smug feelings all round. Next weekend, it’s back to mending the track. Let us hope the weather forecast is wrong. As ever, get in touch here.