OVERHAUL 2015 - 2022
Notes from information supplied by Darrin Crone, Locomotive Engineer.
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26 June 2016
This week our attention shifted to the area of the cylinder block while maintaining progress on the wheels. The needle gunning of the wheels was completed this week with the last patch of paint coming off one of the bogie wheels. Thanks to all the Engineering Team volunteers who have endured this job. Now we can start on the big one, the frames. I can hear the groans from here.
The wheelset survey and detailed examination was started this week now that they have been prepared. To the amazement of one of our volunteers a micrometer was used. He thought we never used such a device on a steam locomotive.
In preparation for stripping the paint off the loco frames the Engineering Team turned their scrapers to the frames. The frames have been cleaned before but now we have access to the areas previously hidden behind the wheels and where the Junior Volunteers have removed the splashers. Though not getting much coverage in the weekly reports we are now having to do lots of cleaning. On Friday a trolley load of bogie suspension components were taken round to the prep bay and used the steam cleaner used on them.
In the area of the cylinder block the front gravity sands mechanism was removed that has a rod going across the back of the saddle. This was then all cleaned off. When removing a bracket that supports the mechanism a mounting stud broke off in the saddle casting, which then took most of the afternoon to remove and clean up the hole.
Elsewhere on the cylinders the cylinder relief valves were removed this week. The relief valves prevent the over pressuring of the cylinders that could lead to damage. It was decided to remove them with a ring spanner that fits on to the hex at the base of the body of the valve. As the valves are a brass and were very tight it was decided this would be much kinder to remove them this way rather than use a normal open ended spanner. However this meant that the cap and some of the internal components had to be removed first. So these components were carefully put to one side while the valve bodies were removed. The inside relief valves were hardest to remove. Even though access is much easier now with the boiler, bogie and wheels removed. In particular the front inside took some persuasion. However all are now removed.
19 June 2016
The entire lubrication system has finally been removed. It must have the most components of any system on the loco judging by the tangle of pipes we have to clean. A good start has been made and many have now been put in store, but there are still plenty to do.
Dismantling the bogie continued apace this week. The complete side control assembly has now been removed. The bogie frames are now ready to be cleaned, needle gunned and examined.
Needle gunning of the wheels has continued this week. This is a very time consuming job and nearly everybody has had a go. We are now on to the last set, the driving. To completely remove the paint on this wheelset required the clamp that supports the crank axle to be removed. After this was done the clamp was replaced. The backs of the tyres have been wire brushed so that accurate back to back measurements can be taken.
The NDT of the boiler was completed this week. As the boiler had been so thoroughly prepared the testing went very smoothly with only a few welds requiring last minute wire brushing. We now await the final inspection report.
12 June 2016
The removed wheelsets have received a lot of attention this week, not just by the volunteer work force but also by the public from the viewing gallery. We are currently removing all the paint from the wheelsets to allow a detailed inspection prior to replacing the tyres. It does take some time to thoroughly remove all the paint from the wheels as with the spokes there is a considerable surface area. It has been a magnificent effort by all those who have been involved. It does seem to be a job that people like to finish as at the end of the day they have had to be stopped or I think they would have been there all night. Our Chief Mechanical Engineer had a look round the wheels late on Saturday and was very pleased with the the results.
On the frames this week the brakeshafts and reverser shaft were removed. Removing the reverser shaft also included the removal of the vacuum clutch that locks the reverser position. That leaves no major items to be removed from the loco between the cylinder block and the Cartazzi. This completes the removal of the entire brake system on the loco.
Attendances have been very good recently. On Tuesday we had 5 round the cleaning bench. It was well timed as we have accrued a considerable number of parts that need cleaning. Some cleaned parts were then put in to storage.
Dismantling the lubrication system was continued this week including the last components from the right hand side. Only one oil box and some pipe work on the left hand side require removal.
Work began this week on the stripping of the bogie. It had its wheelsets removed last week and is stood on packing. This week the front dust guard and AWS carrier plates were removed. The platework covering the side control springs were then removed. The trailing side control spring was then removed. We used the NRM's spring compressor. This saved us a considerable amount of time and trouble, and allowed the spring to be removed in a controlled and safe way.
On Saturday the second Junior Volunteers days went very well. Both the centre splashers were removed and craned clear. The response from the juniors has been very positive. Also on Saturday the detailed examination of the superheater header was begun. This involved the measuring the superheater header element holes.
6 June 2016
The descaling of the front boiler longitudinal stays was completed this week and the same has been done with the stay brackets in the boiler. In the firebox a detailed inspection of the firebox plates continues. Meanwhile in the workshop the coupled wheelsets were cleaned down prior to their detailed inspection. The bogie also received a clean prior to dismantling. Also this week another section of the the lubrication system was removed.
Unavoidably cleaning and working on the loco makes our surroundings dirty so a couple of the Engineering Team volunteers did a great job cleaning around the loco and in particular the wheeldrop. The walkway down the left hand side of the loco is cleaner than I've ever seen it.
The main job of the week was the dismantling the bogie. To do this it was re-lifted from the south road back on to the wheeldrop so that we could work on it from a pit. Due to the confines of the workshop this required us to make space by also lifting one of the wheelsets back on to the same line, it was then rolled clear and secured. With the bogie back on the wheeldrop the hornstays were removed and the bogie frame was lifted off its wheels. The bogie wheelsets were then rolled out and the frames lowered on to packing. The hornstays were then refitted. Before the frames could be placed on packing at the front the guard irons had to be removed and this had been done earlier. Attention was then turned to the removal of the suspension components. We found that the rubber springs on the bottom of the hangers bolts had gripped very tightly. We got a couple off but the rest refused to let go. Perhaps more exposed to the smokebox ashes and the elements the front four were particularly difficult to remove. However with perseverance all were eventually removed, in fact one of our volunteers put in an extra day just to finish the job.
With these components removed the bogie frame was lifted from the wheeldrop and put back on the south road and lowered onto packing. The frames were then lifted on a couple of forklifts and rolled clear. We then had room to lift the bogie wheelsets and the coupled wheelset back off the wheeldrop road.
As with the coupled axleboxes last week the bogie's were cleaned, removed and put to one side for inspection. A preliminary inspection shows they are in good order.
30 May 2016
In preparation for the detailed inspection of the boiler by a NDT contractor more prep work was carried out this week on the boiler. The regulator reach rod has been thoroughly cleaned paying particular attention to the ends. On Wednesday the front longitudinal stays were removed from the boiler. We managed to get them all out through the front tube plate. They were then put undercover on trestles next in the prep bay for cleaning prior to inspection. By the end of the week only a few feet require descaling to complete this job.
The main activity this week has been the removal of the bogie and coupled wheels. The loco was pinched on to the wheeldrop on Thursday and the bogie was out by mid morning after NRM Workshop personnel gave us training in its safe use. The bogie came off with no difficulty and the accommodation bogie was then lifted into position. The prep work on the loco and accommodation bogie by the Engineering Team payed off. It was very impressive how the loco accepted the accommodation bogie so easily. The bogie gave us a perfect height at the front of the loco.
After the removal of the bogie the loco was pinched forward and the leading coupled wheels were put on the wheeldrop. To drop these wheels the hornstays that tie the frames together below the axleboxes have to be removed. Each one is secured by 8 bolts. These were taken out and the hornstay knocked off. The hornstay is designed to be a tight fit on the frames without the bolts, however the hornstay is a heavy steel casting and care has to be taken to remove it safely. After the hornstays are removed the wheelset is chocked and then lowered. The wheelset when removed is "unbalanced" and if not chocked it is likely to roll when free of the frames.
At the bottom of the wheeldrop pit the wheeldrop platform is hand cranked horizontally from underneath the loco and then the crane is used to lift the wheelset up on to the next road. Then the hornstay has to be put back on. This means handling a heavy awkward casting in position while it is knocked back on. Finally the bolts are refitted, in the holes they came from as they are fitted. The loco is then pinched to put the next wheelset on the wheeldrop. Pinching the loco to move it again is a heavy job and we are fortunate to be able to get a big enough team to accomplish this.
On Friday only the trailing coupled wheelset required removal. After this the loco was returned to our usual position under the crane near the buffers. But not before the main loco springs were removed from the pit and the pit cleaned out.
On Saturday all the coupled wheel axleboxes were removed. The dirtiest job is giving the axleboxes a preliminary clean and removing all the oil and water out of the axlebox top wells. The underkeep trays had been previously drained and these were removed then the axleboxes lifted off.
Thanks should be given to the NRM workshop for their help and permission to use their facilities and equipment. In particular Simon Holroyd for organising training and giving permission to use the wheeldrop, crane and equipment. It is also a tribute to the professionalism of our volunteers that they have gained a level of trust to be permitted the use of these facilities.
22 May 2016
We are now only loading the GUV with parts as they are removed from the loco. Work in the GUV this week included the installation of new lighting, which is a great improvement. On Friday the van was shunted out of the workshop and left next to the support coach, which will be very useful when we have more parts to put in it and enables easy access to a shore power supply.
The rear splashers removed from the loco by the Junior Volunteers last weekend were thoroughly cleaned. Further cleaning was carried out on the frames around the other splashers in preparation for their removal.
The space vacated by the GUV has been left clear for 60007 to be shunted forward on to the wheel drop. The loco has received its final preparation for the wheel drop. The accommodation bogie which will support the front of the loco has been prepared and the bogie pivot nut removed.
The loco is supported by the bogie via bearing plates on the bottom of a frame stretcher. The stretcher has voids in the top which collect dirt, oil and water when in traffic. To prevent this from draining on to us when we remove the bogie all this has been cleaned out. To access the top of the stretcher a large coverplate has to be removed which is an awkward job in such a confined space.
One of the main activities of the week was the preparation of the inner firebox plates for inspection. One of our volunteers spent three days in the firebox thoroughly cleaning the plates using soft abrasives to ensure only surface contamination was removed and no copper. The firebox is now ready for detailed inspection.
Work resumed this week on the removal of the lubrication system. By the end of the week all of the lubrication system between the frames and behind the smokebox saddle was removed. This only leaves the lubrication pipe work to the pistons and valves.
On Saturday the lower part of the cods mouth door was removed. This is the last part of the streamlining to be removed. The door is fastened to a section of plate by welded on hinges. The plate in turn is riveted to frame brackets. These rivets were drilled out and will be replaced by bolts so that the plate can be easily removed in future and will assist in accessing the space between the bufferbeam and the centre cylinder.
15 May 2016
This week work has concentrated on the final fitting out of the GUV and moving removed items in to it. The shelving was completed on Tuesday and the opening announced by a ceremonious cutting of a tape. As soon as the tape was cut we started to move parts in to the GUV and after a couple of days the area around the loco had been considerably cleared. While we were loading the GUV the last jobs such as securing the last of the floor boards and fitting the improved locking were completed. Nearly 300 tagged items were moved in to the GUV and their new locations recorded. It must be noted that non-ferrous castings and our valuable parts, such as name plates, number plates, are not being stored in the GUV.
Also this week on the boiler the clamp that pulls the regulator body on to the internal steam pipe was removed. The firehole shovel protector plate was also removed. On Saturday the vacuum ejector mounting bracket was removed from the firebox side. These were items that the boiler inspector requested be removed prior to further boiler examination. In the firebox the tubeplate inspection was completed. The results can now be analysed and we can determine the amount of wear it has experienced.
In preparation for the wheeldrop axlebox packing has been prepared and the height of the loco bogie and the accommodation bogie measured. The accommodation bogie was returned to the museum this week and we must thank the National Railway Museum for making this available to us.
Also on Saturday we had a very successful Junior Volunteers day. The team removed the trailing driving wheel splashers and moved them to the cleaning bench. This was a very dirty job and sometime had to be spent cleaning up afterwards, which the Juniors did without complaint. It made me appreciate how careful the Sir Nigel Gresley Engineering Team has been to keep our work area so clean after 5 months of work, well done everybody.
8 May 2016
Due to residual blast sand still making it's way down to the boiler foundation ring it was decided to wash out the foundation ring again. After leaving to thoroughly dry out the boiler was sheeted over.
However the main task of the week was fitting the GUV with racking for part storage. We must thank the NRM as they shunted the GUV into the museum, making fitting out much quicker and easier. The area of the GUV needed for storage and the remaining surplus shelves on the racking in the workshop were cleared. Then the two end bays of racking in the workshop were dismantled.
Meanwhile the Engineering Team produced the necessary new parts including steel feet and angle stretchers for the new arrangement of racking. In the GUV a new plywood floor lining was cut and fitted. In addition timber supports were put in that spread the load of the racking across the GUV's floor. With the racking dismantled the end columns were cut down to make 8 new shorter ones that fit in the confines of the GUV. The new and recycled parts were re-assembled in to two bays each 3 metres long in the GUV. At the end of the week there was a complete set of two 6 metre shelves on one side of the GUV. On the other side a single bay 3 metre section is in place and just remains to be boarded and secured.
29 April 2016
Blasting of the boiler was completed this week. The boiler has now been thoroughly cleaned and descaled internally and externally and given an external coat of blue primer. Even though the boiler was blown out there was still a considerable amount of blast abrasive at the firebox end so the worst was swept out followed by washing out. The area around the boiler and the wagon the boiler is sat on was covered in dust and the team has done a really good job cleaning the area. This included cleaning out a nearby rail point which was also oiled and operated to make sure it worked correctly. The flue holes in the copper tubeplate have also now been cleaned out in preparation for measurement.
The space for the racking in the GUV that has been loaned to us by the NRM has been planned out. We also obtained some scrap wood, very generously made available by the museum. We now have sufficient wood to floor the GUV and to make an internal partition. This wood has now been moved into the GUV to keep it out of the weather. Later in the week the clearing of the existing racking in the workshop was organised in preparation for the moving of the racking next week.
On the locomotive progress continues to be made. The removal of the steam heat pipework was completed and the first of the lubrication pipework was removed.
Also this week the pipework that takes steam from the RH steam chest to the cab was removed. Also cleaning of components continued with attention turning to the brake cylinders.
24 April 2016
This week saw the completion of the removal of the air brake system and vacuum brake system pipework from the locomotive. When that had been completed the remaining ashpan sprinkler pipework and the steam sands traps from the bottom of the sandboxes were removed. By the end of the week the steam heating pipework had also been removed. With so much removed from the loco cleaning of parts has now become a full time job so a large cleaning bench covered with plastic sheeting has been set up.
With all the brake pipework removed the front vacuum brake cylinders were removed. They are very difficult to get at as they are mounted below a wide plate that spans the inside of the frames. This makes them difficult to sling from above and they can't be lifted out. From below they are fouled by the bogie rear frame stretcher and access is difficult because of the front brake shaft on the loco. So from a very confined location these very heavy cylinders have to be manipulated, turned at an angle where they can just be removed. Eventually they were lowered to the pit floor. They were then manhandled to the front of the loco and then lifted out of the pit and put with the rear vacuum cylinder already removed. A great effort by the volunteer Engineering Team.
Blasting of the boiler started this week. So far the firebox outside has been blasted and primed. The primer is very appropriately blue, A start was also made on the inside of the boiler barrel. Blasting is to restart on Monday with a planned completion on Tuesday. I must thank the National Railway Museum who shunted all the museum stock that was in the North Yard well clear as the blasting process does make a lot of dust.
We have been requested to make more clearance room at the front of the loco in the workshop so it was agreed to put the cab back on the frames and pinch the loco back to the buffers. That way when the wheeldrop is to be used for other locos we won't need to be shunted from our present location. The layout was with the cab behind the frames, in front of the buffers. So on Saturday the cab was refitted. To do this the cab side mounting brackets had to be repaired as many of the holes still had the remains of the old screws in them that were cut to release the cab. Some spacers also had to be made to support the rear of the cab where the dragbox top plate had been removed. Leaving this plate off means we can work on the dragbox with the cab on. We lifted the cab watched by a large crowd on the balcony and while supported by the crane it was bolted down. Finally the loco was pinched back and left an inch from the buffers.
17 April 2016
This week's work concentrated on stripping between the frames. The brake pipes over the driving wheels are quite easy to get at but then they pass between the bogie top and the underneath of the the centre cylinder and saddle castings. This involves some climbing about but this did not slow progress. By the end of the week only one length of pipe remains of the air braking system. Simultaneously the removal of the vacuum brake train pipe system was carried out and completed this week.
This week also saw the removal of the air pump, air pump lubricator pipework and the exhaust pipe. The exhaust pipe runs from the pump behind the rear driving axle to the cylinder block, where it uses the old exhaust steam injector exhaust steam supply passage to enter the smokebox. With the exhaust pipe removed the last piece of inside cylinder cladding could be removed.
On Thursday the removal of the chamber side of the vacuum brake system commenced and the rear brake cylinder was removed.
With the air piping removed we had access to the remaining steam sands steam supply and the vacuum clutch vacuum pipe work. These were removed on Friday. The frames are now looking very empty.
This week the preparation for removal of the driving wheels was completed. The hornstays have been cleaned and all split pins removed. All the horn bolt nuts have been trial loosened so we know they will come off easily. When we are shunted onto the wheeldrop all we need to do is to remove the stays and lower the wheelsets.
Cleaning between the frames continued this week. Our volunteers have done a great job cleaning the frames to get them looking so good so soon after the removal of the boiler. Also between the frames a start has been made on stripping out the vacuum and air braking systems.
On Thursday everybody was involved in loading the scrap truck with the tubes and superheater elements we removed from the boiler. Thanks to the team of SNG stalwarts who saw this exhausting job through as there was a lot of manual handling. On the morning the superheater elements were moved outside to join the boiler tubes in preparation for the arrival of the truck. The truck arrived just after lunch and it eventually took all afternoon to be loaded.
On Saturday the Engineering Team removed the plate across the top of the dragbox. This plate also extends to meet the footplating along the side of the cab. The top of the dragbox is now exposed and will require thorough clean.
3rd April 2016
After the excitement of last weeks boiler lift and the interest it has aroused in the press, this week has been quiet by comparison. Before we are going to start stripping the frames we are going to clean the frames so that stripping will be a much cleaner job. All volunteers this week have been involved and results are very good. The white of the frames is now showing through, so much so that it has been difficult to photo the pipe runs due to the glare of the white painted frames. Special attention has been paid to the pipework and also around the hornstays in preparation for their removal to allow the driving wheelsets to be removed. Another task attended to in preparation for dropping the wheelsets was removal and draining of the flexible lubrication pipes from the driving axlebox under keeps.
This week we completed removal of the last two driving springs, these were the ones on the leading drivers. These are more difficult to get off due to the proximity of the front brakeshaft. As the driving springs were removed the weight of the remaining locomotive is progressively moved onto the remaining wheelsets. So particular attention was taken of where the axleboxes of the bogie and Cartazzi were in their horns as we didn't want to overload their springs. With all driving springs off the loco so all weight on the bogie and Cartazzi their axleboxes still show below the wear marks on the top of the horns. Even considering the removal of the boiler it shows what a considerable amount of weight has now been removed from the loco.