OVERHAUL 2015 - 2022
Notes from information supplied by Darrin Crone, Locomotive Engineer.
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27th March 2016
At the beginning of this week the boiler was ready for lifting so we did a bit of tidying up around the loco and making sure we had everything in place for the lift. Late on Wednesday we were shunted into the North Yard. Not an easy move to make as the museum were in the middle of setting up the Flying Scotsman exhibition and there was stock everywhere.
Next morning we were shunted into the car park which was to be the lift site, then the boiler wagon was shunted on to us. We moved tools to the car park and brought round the large slings from the workshop. The lifting team was then briefed and we waited for the crane. When it turned up we were all impressed, it was some beas.t
The boiler was slung near the firebox where most of the weight is. The boiler was slowly raised and the firebox separated from the frames but the smokebox was still touching the saddle. So we moved the front sling forward a little. The lift recommenced and the boiler lifted cleanly away. The boiler was then rested on the ground while 60007 was shunted forward and detached. Then the wagon was shunted back and the boiler lifted and placed on the wagon.
We also planned to lift out the ashpan. We thought the loco would have to be moved up to the crane however the crane had a huge reach so was just extended, picked up the ashpan and delicately placed in over the car park fence in to the North Yard.
The lift could not have gone any better. No snags or last minute work on the loco was required. The weather though dull and with some light drizzle at times was good for lifting whereas earlier in the week high winds were for forecast.
After watching the crane leave the site we took a break attended by a very relieved lifting team. We then removed the boiler bottom door and sheeted the boiler over to keep it dry. We then moved all the tools and slings back to the workshop
The chassis was shunted back into the North Yard. It had to be moved very slowly as there was concern that the Cartazzi, upon which there was now very little weight would ride over the rail. We did see, when first moved without the boiler one wheel lift from the rail but after that it kept all its wheels on the rail. One concern for the museum was that we may derail and prevent Flying Scotsman from entering the Great Hall for its own exhibition. However with careful shunting by NRM personnel everything was OK.
After being shunted a minimum distance to clear the entrance to the Great Hall and allowing Flying Scotman to enter we were shunted into the Workshop, back under the crane to continue our work.
On Saturday the ashpan in the North Yard was sheeted and then we returned to the comfort of the workshop. The spacer to support the unladen crank axle was put in place, then a start was made in removing the driving wheel springs. The trailing four have now been removed.
20th March 2016
This week saw the completion of the removal of all the tube ends. The last to be removed were the stubs of the small tubes in the copper firebox tubeplate. With the boiler now empty it was given a clean out. As we are now finished climbing in and out of the firebox the temporary working platform was removed. The platform has made the job of working in the firebox so much easier as it must have saved us hours in scrabbling across the grate and retrieving dropped tools that would otherwise end up in the ashpan.
With the firebox platform removed the grate bearer beams were removed and the ashpan was thoroughly cleaned out. Work in the ashpan continued on Saturday with the removal of the drop grate shaft that runs right across the loco and through the sides of the ashpan. The shaft is supported outside by bearing brackets fastened to the foundation ring. To release the shaft the housings over where the shaft enters the ashpan had to be removed. The dropgrate was separated from the shaft which allowed the shaft to be moved across the loco releasing the bearing brackets. Finally the very heavy dropgrate and then the shaft were lowered through the ashpan hopper door. The same day the hopper and damper doors were removed.
While our CME was on site he checked round the boiler to ensure that it was ready for lifting and that nothing had been missed that could hold down the boiler or snag during the lift.
The only work we now plan to carry out on the boiler will be the removal of the bottom "man hole" door. We plan to wait until the boiler is off the frames for this as to do it on the frames is possible but it would have to be done in a very confined space just inches above the rear vacuum cylinder.
At the front of the loco all the concrete in the smokebox has now been removed and we are down to the saddle and centre cylinder castings. At the back of the smokebox the casting is very deep so it took a couple of days of filling buckets and taking them to the skip to empty it all.
Earlier in the week the removal of the drain cock operating mechanism was completed. All drain cocks have been removed with front pully, rods and links. As the A4 has the centre cylinder set behind and above the outside cylinders the mechanism is much more complicated than a 2 cylinder locomotive. Also at the front of the loco the cladding and insulation under the centre cylinder has been removed. Only one piece of cladding remains in this area which will have to be removed later as it requires other parts to be removed first.
13th March 2016
This week saw the removal of the last small tubes. That left only some ends to remove in the smokebox tube plate though plenty of ends remained in the firebox tube plate. By the end of Tuesday the smokebox tube plate was free of all tube ends. Work continued on the removal of the ends from the firebox tube plate and by the end of the week a number of small tube ends and all the flue ends had been removed.
Removal of the brake rodding was completed last week but work continued this week on the removal of the hangers and cross beams. This has now been completed. Breaking up of the concrete in the smokebox has resumed this week. Usually about a day's work this has turned in to a bit of a marathon as the concrete is really, really hard.
The valve gear to the rear of the valves on the outside was removed this week. It all came apart pretty easily apart from the left hand lifting arm and valve crosshead taper pin. We couldn't get the taper pin to move so we removed the valve crosshead, combination lever and radius rod in one piece. Once placed on the ground and being able to see the end of the pin it came out after a couple of determined blows.
The right hand coupling rods were removed on Wednesday. The position of the loco puts these rods high up on the wheels so it was a relief they came off so easily and safely. On the left hand the coupling rods were closer to the ground. On this side the speedo had to be removed from the trailing crankpin to allow the rods to come off. The exposed threaded speedo studs on the crankpin were then covered to protect the rod bearing, just in case. The rods were then slid off and placed on the ground. On this side the reverser reach rod and brackets were also removed and after some resistance the lifting arm.
On Friday a start was made on removing the drain cocks and drain pipes. The drain pipes are now off and the valves and rods on the right. The drain operating Bowden cables have also been removed.
Elsewhere on the loco the casing behind the loco front coupling hook has been removed. To do this the steam heat valve and immediate pipework, and the coupling hook had to be removed. After removal of the casing the hook was replaced to allow us to be shunted, but the steam heat valve and pipework have been stored.
6th March 2016
Work continued this week on releasing the boiler for lifting as well as inside the boiler on stripping for inspection. In the smokebox all the saddle bolts have now been removed. The nuts were removed from the side bolts last week but the bolts were stuck hard. All the side bolts have now been removed and then work continued on the front ones, which came out quite easily once the nuts were off. This couldn't be said of the back ones. These pass through a wide ring so have plenty of surface area to stick to. With perseverance they were removed by Wednesday. The boiler is now released and ready for lifting.
Last week the regulator was removed and as the flue tubes have already been removed we can now get into the boiler to remove the small tubes at the bottom and those that are up the sides. When a row are cut at one end of the boiler the burning gear has to be moved to the other end and cutting recommenced. Having to swap ends and get in and out of the boiler and get the torch in and out of the firebox adds a lot of time to the job. This work has continued for the rest of the week and only 4 small tubes remain to be taken out.
The removal of the cladding below the footplate has continued with the removal of the casing behind the right hand buffer. The lengthened buffers on the A4 put on after the Kings Cross accident can now be seen in full.
Work on the brake gear to allow the wheels to be removed for re-tyring was completed this week. Though not necessary for dropping the wheels work continued by removing the hangers and cross beams which require removal for overhaul.
28th February 2016
After last week's delays due to the painting of Flying Scotsman, this week was much quieter in the workshop and the space vacated by 60103 gives us plenty of room in front for boiler tube removal. This week removal of small tubes continued and the last of the flue tubes were removed.
Under the loco the removal of the AWS and TPWS systems was completed. This involved removal of the conduit that runs from the front end receivers to the cab. All the electrical systems are now removed from the loco.
After the struggle and final triumph of getting the diaphragm plate off last week work continued on removal of the bolts that held the plate on. Most of the bolts are still fast in the foundation ring bracket but enough material from the bolts has been removed to ensure that the ashpan is now free. Attention was then turned to the removal of the saddle bolts in the smokebox. Most nuts have now been removed with some of the bolts but many are stuck fast and will need further work.
On Wednesday the Engineering Team removed the last row of flue tubes. They have all now been taken outside and stacked with the others.
Work also continued on removing the side cladding with the removal of the left cylinder cladding and the cladding under the left buffer. The insulation on the cylinder casting has also been removed.
On Thursday the sand pipes and associated brackets and fittings were removed. The sand boxes were emptied and all the sand was removed from the workshop. The pipes, brackets etc., due to their location, were very dirty and needed a thorough clean.
On Saturday the regulator was removed. The valve and beam across the top of the regulator was removed first. The valve came out after receiving some lubrication and was then craned away. The regulator body is suspended on 2 rods. The top nuts on these rods were released. However, the nuts connecting the regulator body to the steam pipe were very difficult to get to. We could get a spanner on them but couldn't get any movement. Finally it was decided to burn them off as it is planned to replace them during the overhaul. The regulator was them moved by the crane but wouldn't dislodge from the steam pipe. Finally some heat was put into the flange on the regulator body and it let go. It was then lowered into the boiler and re-slung to turn it to allow removal through the dome.
21st February 2016
A start was made this week removing parts from between the frames. Work involved the removal of AWS and TPWS equipment from beneath the loco. The lubricators removed the previous weekend have received a deep clean and the area where they were removed from on the loco was also cleaned. Elsewhere cleaning of components removed from the engine continued. An un-glamorous but essential task.
This week saw the removal of the 4th row of flue tubes. Before removal the 3rd row next to the engine had to be moved outside the workshop along with a number of small tubes. Even though we are now well practiced in transporting them into the yard it is still a time consuming and exhausting task moving the flue tubes about. We were hindered later in the day as a TV crew were filming Flying Scotman, which was being painted just feet from the front of Sir Nigel Gresley. We were prevented from making any noise during filming so this effectively stopped us working for some time. Eventually we got the 4th row of flues out between "takes".
On Thursday all the last row of flues were released at the smokebox end along with the row of small tubes above them. Then work started at the firebox end. All of the row of small tubes worked on at the smokebox end were knocked forward and were ready for removal and one flue was cut through, then we were stopped from working as Flying Scotsman was to be varnished. We were told that we could not make dust for the next couple of days so that put an end to pulling the tubes out. However progress was made elsewhere on less dusty jobs. These included the removal of the diaphragm plate that helps to hold the back of the boiler down onto the frames.
14th February 2016
On Tuesday we arrived to find that Flying Scotsman (60103) had been placed facing the front of 60007. It gave the workshop a real Doncaster Works feel. This week we have been removing boiler tubes and 60103 is very close to us so extreme caution has had to be exercised when pulling out the 18' long tubes from Gresley's smokebox.
A particular challenge has been to cut the flues at the top of the firebox as it is difficult to see where the torch is cutting at times. However by the end of the week all of the top 3 rows have been removed.
On Tuesday work started on the release of the boiler at the firebox end in preparation for lifting the boiler off the chassis. The brackets that support the drop grate shaft were separated from the foundation ring along with the expansion brackets. Later in the week all the cotters in the pins that hold the ashpan to the foundation ring were removed. The ashpan is now not connected to the boiler. The only thing holding the boiler on at the rear of the loco is the diaphragm plate. All lower bolts have been loosened, removed and replaced in turn to ensure they can be removed easily when we lift the boiler.
Also this week the dome cover has been removed in preparation for the removal of the regulator and on Saturday the mechanical lubricators were removed.
This week we will continue to strip the boiler and make it ready for lifting. Stripping the boiler of its flue and smoke tubes in the NRM workshop gives the public a rare opportunity to see this work which is usually carried out, out of sight, in boiler works.
7th February 2016
On Tuesday the boiler insulation was removed. This is a very unpleasant job and it was a great effort by our volunteer Engineering Team. They worked continuously without a break for most of the day just to get the job done. We filled nearly 100 black bags with removed insulation. As most of the insulation had not been disturbed for the last 10 years it was full of dust and the entire area surrounding the loco required cleaning afterwards. To make it more of a challenge the insulation was held in place by chicken wire that had to be cut, folded up and got into refuse bags with the insulation. On Wednesday the entire surface of the boiler was brushed to remove dust, light scale and tufts of insulation that had stuck to the boiler plate.
Also this week the last of the superheater element stubs were removed from the superheater header. The casting can now be cleaned up and the end caps machined out prior to a decision on what repairs will be necessary.
Work has also continued on the stripping of the boiler with the first flue tubes removed. As we need safe access to the firebox a platform has been built on the grate supports. It makes access to the firebox tubeplate safe and easy and will assist in tube removal and any other work required in the firebox. At the other end of the boiler the slope of the smokebox required of the top row of flues to be cut into sections to extract them. By the end of the week the top row of flues and the top row of small tubes had been removed.
31st January 2016
This week most of the backhead cladding was removed and the insulation beneath. To allow the cladding to be removed the reverser stand had to be removed. To allow this the last of the cab pipework around the reverser was removed then the reverser stand was lifted out. The top of the drag box is now quite bare with no pipework remaining. To permit the fireman's side cladding to be removed the pipes that take the Bowden cable to the cylinder cocks had to be removed.
As the streamline cladding has been removed a start was made on separating the crinolines from the footplating. The crinoline is the framework below the casing which provides attachment and support to the streamlining. The crinoline that goes over the top of the boiler is in turn attached to straps that go beneath the boiler. All of this has to be dismantled to enable removal of the crinoline. This work has went on all week with nearly all attending volunteers playing a part. On Thursday the first substantial section was craned off the engine. Later that day the next section was removed leaving only the short section over the firebox.
The firebox crinoline section was removed on Saturday then the belly cladding and straps that encase the underneath of the boiler. This is a tricky job as the components have to be slid out between the boiler and footplating. The team wore dust masks as this disturbs the boiler insulation and produces a considerable amount of dust. Well done to the Saturday team for putting up with these challenging conditions.
24th January 2016
As the cab has now been removed this gives us the chance to clean the inside of the cab sides which were previously inaccessible where they were so close to the firebox sides. At the other end of the loco covers have been fitted to the blastpipe holes in the smokebox. As work continues in the smokebox these have been extremely important in preventing foreign objects falling into the steam passages as well as providing a sound platform to work off.
The injectors have been removed and the removal of brake system piping around the back section of the loco continues being systematically documented. Not much now remains of this. With little piping in the way and with the cab off the whole area of the loco to the rear of the firebox has been cleaned.
On Tuesday the superheater elements were removed. It was a great team effort and all the elements were removed by early afternoon. Next the nuts holding the superheater header onto the front tubeplate were removed. This is a job that can only really be accessed by one person due to the confines of the smokebox and having to get to the nuts which are hidden up the back of the superheater. The nuts were all removed in one day. A tremendous success with such a heavy job in such a confined location. The header was then removed. Easy to say but another very awkward job not only handicapped by the confines of the smokebox but also with the added difficulty of the sloping smokebox fitted to A4s, which prevents the header being removed by sliding forward on its mounting brackets. Eventually we managed to remove the header by angling and twisting this heavy casting and finding just the right position where it could be extracted.
This week also saw the removal of the top streamline casing from smokebox to backhead. Progress wasn't as rapid as we expected as there is quite a variation in how individual panels are secured and there were some hidden bolts holding panels down where they must have bulged when fitted last time round. Teams worked on each side of the loco taking each section off then moving back to the next one.
This week it is hoped to remove the backhead cladding and the front crinoline which supports the streamline casing. The belly cladding, which covers the lower section of boiler, will be removed and then the insulation. If you are a member of the trust and are interested in getting involved feel free to contact Darrin the Locomotive Engineer on email@example.com.
16th January 2016
On Tuesday the cab was lifted off after the last few bolts were burnt off. The cab was lifted and placed directly behind the loco. With the cab off it allowed the base of the cab, the top of the dragbox, to be thoroughly cleaned off. It also allows access all around the reverser stand and drop grate mechanism. A great job done cleaning all this off so that we can spot all the bolts that need to be removed and it will prevent us spreading dirt everywhere.
Also this week the blastpipe casting has been removed. Not an easy job as some of the nuts holding it down are hidden underneath the casting. Combined with the physical constraints of the smokebox it was not an easy job to get this very awkward casting out. They then went on to loosen the steam pipe bolts. Most of the steam pipes were then taken out. The job as by removing the centre cylinder steam chest pipe which was very reluctant to leave the smokebox. We have some marvellous wooden covers for the holes left by the removed steam pipes.
On Thursday the first work was done on the stripping of the frames when the brake blocks were dropped. Then a section of boiler handrail was removed as our next job is to remove the rest of the streamlining. The team carried on with the cleaning parts of the engine that have been removed.
Removing the air system and documenting it continues, other pipe runs have now been marked in preparation for a photo survey underneath the cab and between the frames. Photos have been taken below the cab periodically as pipes have been removed as more detail is revealed.
Next work will concentrate on removing the streamlining. That's the bit on top of the boiler you can see, and we will remove the belly cladding which you can't.
8th January 2016
The cab has now been emptied and the air, electric and steam systems below the cab floor are almost entirely stripped out. We now have sketches of all the connections to the AWS/TPWS and OTMR electrical systems from which we will produce drawings. Combining this with photographs and other documentation should help greatly with reassembly.
Still at the cab end the cab has nearly been released from the loco. There are a few bolts under the drivers side that will require burning off then the cab will be free to be lifted. All except the final few bolts were cleaned off and removed with the remainder to be removed next week.
Before we lift the cab it requires some structural support so bracing is being fitted. Also various wooden covers for steam pipes etc to stop debris and foreign objects from falling into the cylinders - and a step to make it easier to get into the mess cabin! All very civilised.
Also at the cab end the manifold that sits on top of the firebox and the safety valves have now been removed.
At the other end of the loco the smokebox front plate has been removed. This was not an easy job as the concrete that covered the bolts securing the front was as hard as steel. The last of the concrete was dug out with an SDS hammer drill and the burning gear was used to remove the multitude of corroded bolts.
Most of the steam pipe bolts are now loose so it shouldn't be long before these pipes can be removed. To access the outer bolts where the steam pipes join the superheater header the access plates on the outside of the smokebox require removal. The left hand plate was removed this week.
Next week we plan to remove the cab, then move on to remove the streamline cladding. At the smokebox end the blastpipe casting and the steam pipes are to be removed.
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