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OVERHAUL 2015 - 2022

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In April 2022 Sir Nigel Gresley returned from an overhaul which took more than six years and cost about £750,000. If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of this overhaul please click on the donate button.

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Notes from information supplied by Darrin Crone, Locomotive Engineer.

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October to December 2016.

23 December 2016

The footplating has cracked in a number of places, normally starting at the corners of access panels. This isn't part of the load bearing structure of the locomotive but they will be repaired as part of the overhaul. Some are not accessible with the streamlining in place. As reported last week some have already been welded up and work continued this week chasing other cracks and preparing them for welding.

The dragbox reaming continues. The holes are looking very good but there are still some patches to take out. As there are 5 holes to do and they are deep they take a long time. Removing carbon from the steam ports and passages continued this week, again producing some impressive lumps only accessible with the blastpipe casting removed.

Painting is continuing on the loco, however before it could restart the cast iron dust produced last Saturday when the right hand valve liners were removed had to be cleaned off. Painting continued on the footplating and frame brackets. In front of the painters Alan Pitt used the needle gun to refresh the surfaces of the Cartazzi frame spacer brackets before they received their first coat of paint.

On Wednesday we were visited by our riveting expert. All the hoses, fittings and equipment are now on site and we went through our work program. We are ready to start riveting in the new year. While on site he removed the last of the frame rivets that we will be renewing, identified during the frame survey.

We are working through the inspection and repair of the frames and have now arrived at the hornstays. The driving hornstays have both been removed this week, cleaned, needle-gunned and visually inspected. While removed the mating surfaces on the frames and the hornstay bolts have also been cleaned. They have now been replaced to support the frames but will be removed again for testing to ensure they are free from flaws, then we will move on to the leading and trailing hornstays.

As with the right hand valve liners the CME also requires renewal of the middle valve liners. The leading middle liner was removed on Thursday on the trailing on Friday. These liners are a little more difficult to get at than the outside ones, however, as with the right hand ones they were removed without any marking to the cylinder castings. The sealing faces in the castings have been examined and apear to be in good condition, but will be examined in greater detail after cleaning.

The trailing middle valve liner removed this week. The steam to and from the piston passes through the slots. Either side of the slots the liner is tightly fitted in to the cylinder casting. 23 December 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Valve liner removed

The front of the middle cylinder casting. The valve chest where the middle liners were removed from is to the right of the cylinder bore. 23 December 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Front of middle cylinder casting

The removed valve liners from middle and right hand steam chests lined up next to the right hand cylinder. 23 December 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Removed valve liners

The driving horn stays were removed this week for cleaning and inspection. They bridge the gap across the frames, below where the axleboxes are normally fitted. 23 December 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Driving horn stays removed

A view of the hornstay from inside of the frames showings how it is secured. 23 December 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

A view of the hornstay

The spacer brackets between the Cartazzi frames were painted this week. 23 December 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The spacer brackets

The cab has been adorned with Christmas lights. Merry Christmas from the Engineering Team. 23 December 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Christmas decoration

18 December 2016

We were visited by one of the boilersmiths from Llangollen this week. He reported that the left hand side sheet has now been removed and a start has been made on removing the side stays.

In the workshop the NRM's Charlie Bird tested the new lighting on the right hand side of the loco. As they have now been tested we can have them on continuously and they are very effective. The Engineering Team volunteers have now put up lights on the left hand side of the loco.

The painting of the frames continued this week with footplating and frame stretchers receiving further coats of paint. The NDT of the frames is continuing around the frames horn cut outs where the axle boxes are fitted. Once these areas have been tested we can proceed to paint the expanse of the frame plates. The Painting Team Leader is doing a great job and putting a lot of time and effort in to the job.

This week the final collection of the equipment we need for re-riveting the footplating and its brackets was done. Meanwhile cleaning and repairs to the footplating have continued this week. The cracks that start at the corners of the access panels in the top of the footplating are being prepared for welding and a start was made on welding them up toward the end of the week.

This week the renewal of the middle cylinder cover studs was started. The outside ones had their threads cleaned up this week and are fine for further service but many of the inside ones are life expired. They have been found difficult to extract but a start has been made.

At the dragbox reaming of the bolt holes has continued. They should be finished soon and fitted bolts can be made to suit. At the other end of the loco decarboning continued at the top of the middle cylinder steam chest and some impressively large chunks of carbon were extracted.

As reported in a previous update, our CME requires renewal of the right hand and middle valve liners. On Saturday the volunteer Engineering Team removed both of the right hand liners. A job normally done by contractors, a fantastic job was done cutting them out without leaving a mark on the cylinder casting. Impressive considering that they are shrunk in with liquid nitrogen so are incredibly tight.

Alan Pitt, has been a member of the Engineering Team throughout 2016. He is preparing the area around the sand filler tubes for painting 13 December 2016.
Photograph: Ken Woods.

Preparing tubes for painting

A general view showing our new lighting and inside the frames Peter Brackstone Painting Team Leader. 13 December 2016
Photograph: Ken Woods.

View of lighting & frames

On his first day with us Phil Slater cleans the threads of the left hand drain cock bracket studs on 16 December 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cleaning threads

Richard Swales begins weld repairs to the right hand footplating on 17 December 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Welding footplate repairs

The right hand frames are now being tested prior to painting. 17 December 2016
Photograph: Richard Swales.

R/H frames being tested

Andy Lowes, furthest from the camera, knocks out the trailing right hand valve liner towards Darrin Crone who steers it out of the cylinder casting. 17 December 2016
Photograph: Richard Swales.

Valve liner removed

11 December 2016

The boiler, now at the Llangollen Railway Works, has now had all its foundation rivets removed and nearly all of the stays requiring removal from the left hand side sheet. The foundation ring sections of plate requiring replacement from the outer throat plate and back plate have also now been cut away. This represents very good progress. Having our own Boiler Project Engineer keeping progress under observation with his presence on site at Llangollen has the beneficial effect that any queries are quickly dealt with and progress is not held up.

We have also been in contact with the South Devon Railway this week. They inform us that the bogie wheels have now been re-tyred.

In the York workshops this time of year it gets dark around the loco so we have schemed up some lighting comprising a number of florescent light fittings supported on wooden beams along the side of the loco work area. The wiring was completed and they were finally put up on Thursday. For now we have only got them on the right side of the loco to see how effective they are. They were switched on this week as a test and we are very pleased with the effect. Unfortunately we still have to use lead lamps as the new lights have to be safety tested before we can use them.

The de-carboning of the steam chest and passages continued this week using a variety of specially made tools, on the middle cylinder. The middle cylinder's passages are more direct to the saddle casting and chimney so there's not so much to do.

Cleaning of the footplating continued this week. As a result of the cleaning the first coats of paint are now being applied to the footplating upper surfaces between the inside of the footplate and the beading that locates the outside of the streamlined casing. The large "+" stretcher testing was completed last week so this week it was given a final clean and received its first coats of primer.

The right hand side steam sand boxes put on the loco last Saturday still needed some of its fixing holes reaming through and bolts making to fit. By the end of the week all holes were reamed and the box finally bolted up in position. The attention of the reamer then turned to the dragbox and we have started reaming the holes where some of the dragbox bolts were removed.

The painting bench has been turned to give more room in the workshop for locos over the wheel drop. The sand filler guards normally beneath the streamlining have been repaired and are now being painted. 9 December 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Painting bench has been turned

Both sandboxes for the centre driving wheels are now fully fitted. 9 December 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Both centre sandboxes fitted

The holes where the old dragbox bolts were removed are being cleaned up to prepare for the fitting of new bolts. 9 December 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Dragbox holes being cleaned

Sections of footplating are now being painted. 9 December 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Footplating being painted

The left side hand of the firebox in the process of stay removal at Llangollen.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Firebox stay removal

4 December 2016

The sandbox fitted last week had its bottom access panel refitted complete with a new gasket. The bottom studs that the sand trap is fastened to were then die-nutted and the old split pin holes drilled out. The right hand steam sands box was also similarly treated ready for refitting. This was refitted on Saturday. After the box was positioned the holes were reamed and new bolts were fitted. There are still some bolts to fit to complete this job.

This week the lower nuts on the fireman's side of the dragbox were removed. The nuts in the top of the dragbox have already been removed and will be replaced. The lower nuts were wasted but fortunately most of the bolt threads are still in good condition. However, as with the bolts in the top corrosion had got to the trailing two, so these were removed. Not an easy job in such an inaccessible location but the Engineering Team volunteers persevered and got them out.

The air supply was restored to the workshop this week after the fault was repaired by the NRMS's Charlie Bird. This allowed a resumption of stripping of parts for repainting and repair. This week the guards around the sand fillers were removed and needle gunned. After the paint was removed they were welded where they had cracked. They are now ready for repaint. Prior to their refitting the footplating where they are fixed will require repainting so this area is now being cleaned.

On the subject of painting, the coupled wheel splashers are now finished, and the sand filler pipes and flanges. The outside frame brackets on the right hand side of the loco are now receiving coats of undercoat.

Decarboning of the left hand steam chest was completed this week and it is now as clean as the right hand competed last week. Elsewhere on the frames testing of components continued this week with the inspection of the large "+" shaped frame stretcher completed.

The lower dragbox nuts and the rearmost two bolts are being replaced due to wastage. The driver's side ones are in good condition. 1 December 2016
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Dragbox nuts & bolts replaced

Bob Shearman has refitted the bottom access plate to the sandbox refitted last week. 1 December 2016
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Sandbox access plate refitted

One of the sand filler guards being weld repaired in the NRM's welding workshop on 1 December 2016.
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Sand filler guards weld repaired

The coupled wheel splashers repaired and were finished in gloss this week. 1 December 2016
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Wheel splashers repaired

The right hand slidebar bracket has received coats of undercoat. 1 December 2016
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Slidebar bracket undercoated

27 November 2016

We started the week at Llangollen with the boiler that was delivered there last week. Accompanied by Sir Nigel Gresley's Richard Swales and Paul Aston, we had a meeting with the representative of our boiler insurer, Llangollen Head of Engineering Graham Elwood and Llangollen boilersmith Graham Beddows. We worked through the scope of work on which the boiler overhaul tenders were based. The boiler inspector was satisfied with the work that we planned to carry out, and by the end of the week work had started on the removal of stay heads in preparation for the removal of sections of the outer wrapper.

At York the painting of the splashers continued and they are now receiving gloss top coats. Prior to the refitting of the splashers we need to prepare the ares of the footplating on which they fasten. These areas are now receiving a deep clean with those involved expressing amazement at the amount of work that has to go in to getting these areas clean. The splashers fasten to brackets riveted to the frames and footplating. A number of these rivets have been removed. To allow the rivets to be fitted flush they are counter sunk. The countersinks are very rough the Engineering Team volunteers have done a great job this week with small grind stones smoothing them out ready for fitting new rivets.

After weeks of threatening to decarbon the steam passages but not getting round to it we had a blitz on decarboning the outside cylinders. Some special scrapers have been made and the right hand side steam chest is as clean as it's ever been.

On Friday the last worn out fitted bolt from the left hand cylinder flange was removed. The holes in left and right hand cylinder flanges have now been measured and new bolts will be manufactured. We have now started to remove a couple of fasteners on the rubbing plate on the loco drawbar which are wasted.

On Saturday the left hand steam sand box was refitted. This is the first reconditioned component to be refitted to the loco. We had new fitted bolts made and these were finish machined to the dimensions of the holes on one of the the NRM's lathes. We must thank Simon Holroyd and Danny Holmes for permitting us to use this equipment.

The examination and inspection of the loco's components is very important as it informs our decision to replace, repair or simply reuse parts. From inspections done previously it also gives us the rate of wear of parts from which we can estimate how much further service we can expect from them. Richard Swales our CME has previously measured the valves and liners, and the cylinder bores. On Saturday he measured the pistons and from these dimensions we will decide on the repairs necessary to these parts.

The boiler in the works at Llangollen on 22 November 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Boiler in the Llangollen works

The heads of the boiler firebox stays on the left hand side of the outer wrapper are being removed at Llangollen on 23 November 2016.
Photograph: Paul Aston.

Heads of LHS firebox stays removed

Andy Lowes reaming holes in the frames for the fitted bolts that will secure the left hand steam sand box. 26 November 2016.
Photograph: Richard Swales.

Reaming holes in the frames

The bolts are machined to suit the holes reamed by Andy. 26 November 2016.
Photograph: Richard Swales.

Bolts are machined to suit holes

Andy Lowes knocks in the fitted bolt with a satisfying drive on 26 November 2016.
Photograph: Richard Swales.

Fitted bolt knocked in

The front of the right hand cylinder showing the valve liner and exhaust steam passage thoroughly decarboned. 26 November 2016.
Photograph: Richard Swales.

Front of the RHS cylinder

As described in previous updates the voids in the cylinder castings have been cleaned out. A view from the front of the right hand cylinder. The pipe in the distance is a lubrication pipe that goes in to the steam chest. 26 November 2016.
Photograph: Richard Swales.

View from front of RH cylinder

All the fitted bolts are in and the sand box is secured. 26 November 2016
Photograph: Richard Swales.

All the fitted bolts are in

20 November 2016

This week had 2 high lights, one very obvious and public the other in the workshop on the side of the frames away from the main viewing galley. These were the transferring of the boiler from its rail wagon on to a road truck and dispatch to Llangollen and the other the fitting of the first part beginning the reassembly of the locomotive.

As followers of the overhaul reports will already know we decided that we would send the boiler to Llangollen for overhaul. As soon as the boiler contract was awarded and announced, the transport of the boiler was organised. On Wednesday the boiler was lifted off the rail wagon in the west car park of the National Railway Museum by Emsley Crane Hire and put on a Reid Transport low loader. We must thank Noel Hartley and Sarah Dennison of the NRM for organising access to the yard and shunting the boiler. The operation went off without a hitch. The boiler was loaded on to the road low loader and we then used the crane to lift the smokebox door plate in to position. It had been removed early in the year to allow removal of the superheater and boiler tubes.

The boiler arrived at Llangollen the same day and was unloaded the next morning, with members of the Engineering Team and our official photographer Trevor Camp in attendance.

Back at York we progressed the splashers. By the end of the week they were in undercoat. The splasher frame bracket holes, which are very rough, are being cleaned up with a die-grinder and burrs and abrasives. This has to be done without disturbing the position of the brackets. There were a number of loose rivets in the leading splasher footplate brackets so they were removed this week.
The di-pen inspection of the frames continued this week with the inspection of the large "+" shaped stretcher in the centre of the frames.

There are still some corners below the footplating to give a final clean. Not a pleasant job working overhead, less so for one of the taller members of the Engineering Team who took this on. Cleaning the air pump also continued this week. It now needs turning over so that we can access the other side.

In preparation for removing the hornstays for their detailed inspection we have, with permission, used a couple of the NRM workshop jacks. These are positioned near the centre of the frames and will prevent the frames sagging, as well as taking the load from the hornsytay. Similar jacks are to be seen in old works photos so it may be that these have been around York North MPD for some time.

On Saturday our CME Richard Swales took the final measurement of the leading brakeshaft arrangement and we now have the measurements that will allow the repair of the leading right hand spring and brakeshaft bracket. After Richard had finished measuring he then drove home a new fitted bolt that goes through the lubricator bracket, the frames and in to the top of the "+" stretcher. This is the first part to go on to the loco and marks the beginning of the reassembly of the frames. It was exactly one year ago on the 19th November 2015 that the loco entered the NRM's York workshops.

The boiler on its rail wagon in the NRM west car park ready for loading on to road transport. When it returns it will be overhauled and steam tested. 16 November 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Boiler on its rail wagon

The boiler is lifted clear of the rail wagon by an Emsley crane, who lifted the boiler from the frames earlier this year. 16 November 2016
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Boiler is lifted clear

The boiler on its way to Llangollen. Because of the restricted access to the NRM the boiler had to be taken out through the city walls. 16 November 2016
Photograph: Malcolm Bateman.

Boiler on its way to Llangollen

The centre of the loco frames are supported by jacks on 17 November 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Supported centre of frames

The splashers have now received coats of undercoat. 17 November 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The splashers have undercoat

At Llangollen the boiler is lowered on to a rail wagon prior to being shunted in to the workshops on 17 November 2016.
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Shunted into worksop

The first part fitted to the loco during this overhaul was a fitted bolt. Locomotive Engineer Darrin Crone starts the bolt in to its hole. Chief Mechanical Engineer Richard Swales finally driving it home on 19th November 2016. One year to the day since the loco entered the "works".
Photograph: Richard Swales.

Fitted bolt

The bolt tight and home on 19th November 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The bolt tight and home

14 November 2016

The week began at the Llangollen Railway Workshops where members of the Sir Nigel Gresley Engineering Team met with Graham Elwood, the Llangollen's Engineering Manager and his staff. The impression received was that Llangollen are overjoyed to have got the boiler contract and I'm sure they will want the job to be a credit to them.

Back at York in preparation for its move to Llangollen the dome cover and belly door (manhole) were refitted to the boiler this week. Also in the NRM's North Yard we were visited by Rampart Rail who assessed the condition of the Support Coach prior to its overhaul. They were asked to pay particular attention to the bogies and electrics. We have been advised to stay with the bogies we have but they will require refurbishment.

In the workshop the splashers received a cleaning down after their repairs and have now had their first coats of paint. In preparation for refitting the splashers the underneath of the footplating was revisited this week for a further clean.

The footplating sections above the cylinders have been removed and spaces below are now being cleaned of the compacted carbon and dirt underneath. The footplating is riveted together so has not been removed for many an overhaul. On the right hand side we have spent some time assessing the condition of the bolts that hold the cylinder to the frames and the saddle at the top leading corner. It was decided that a number of these are life expired. Some have already been removed but now the footplating is removed the others, newly accessible, can be examined.

The dye penetrant inspection of the frames continued this week on the large "+" shaped stretcher that gives the trailing half of the mainframes much of its strength. The fasteners that hold it on to the frames have been inspected and it has been decided that only one of the fitted bolts requires replacement.

The saga of the right leading combined spring and brakeshaft bracket continues. After measuring the bracket off the locomotive and finding that it differs from the drawing by a considerable amount it was decided to temporarily remount the bracket back on the frames to take measurements relative to the bracket on the left hand side. The bracket was refitted on Saturday.

Saturday was our regular Junior Volunteer day. They managed to get their hands on the tools and refitted the front drawhook and left hand buffer in preparation for a shunt planned for this week.

The top leading corner of the right hand cylinder. The footplating has been cut back to allow access to the bolts which have now been removed. New bolts will be fitted. 13 November 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Top leading corner, R/H cylinder

The front right spring and brakeshaft bracket has been refitted to the loco for measuring relative to the left hand bracket. 13 November 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Spring and brakeshaft bracket

Painting of examined parts around the frames continues. 13 November 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Painting around frames continues

The splashers have been repaired and now have received their first coat of paint. 13 November 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Splashers repaired & painting

The large frame stretcher is being "di-pen" tested on 13 November 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Frame stretcher "di-pen" tested

The areas that will be covered by the refitted steam sands boxes have now received gloss paint. 13 November 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Some parts received gloss paint

6 November 2016

Trial fitting of the splashers continued this week, with loose rivets drilled out and their brackets positioned to make them a better fit on the loco. By the end of the week all splashers had been on and off the loco and were ready for welding up. This involved identifying and preparing all the minor cracks for welding. On the loco the final position of all the splasher mounting brackets have now been fixed. On Saturday the splashers were moved in to the welding shop and all were finish welded and are now back in the main workshop ready for painting.

The horizontal frame stretcher that the steam sand boxes are fastened to was dye penetrant tested to ensure soundness and was then painted. Painting has also continued on areas around the front of the loco and the steam sandbox filler pipes and brackets after they were cleaned and stripped earlier in the week.

The removal of the gravity sandbox studs on the left hand side of the loco was completed this week. The holes have also been retapped. Away from the mainframes deep cleaning of the air pump has been started, prior to its overhaul. The pump is covered with cooling fins so has a considerable surface area and plenty of corners to clean out.

The holes of the removed spring bracket rivets have been cleaned out and the countersinks cleaned up before we run a countersink tool in them to finally finish them. A number of the existing counter sink holes are marked from repeated rivet renewal over the years of service on the LNER and BR.

We now have access to the top of the cylinder castings as the removal of the left hand section of footplate was completed this week. There is a considerable accumulation of carbon at the top front of this casting which we can now remove allowing inspection of the casting and its fixing bolts.

The front of the loco is now receiving the attention of the paint team. The areas painted have been examined and prime painted. 3 November 2016
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Front of loco being painted

The front of the loco with the first coat of undercoat on 3 November 2016.
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

First coat of undercoat

Mike Page cleans up the rivet hole countersinks on 3 November 2016.
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Cleaning rivet hole countersinks

30 October 2016

The big news of the week was the announcement that the Trustees have decided to send the boiler for overhaul at the Llangollen Railway. Plans for its move are now well advanced with crane and haulage companies. In preparation for the move the NRM has said that we can use the slings we used for the boiler lift from the frames. Earlier in the week the Engineering Team went up the North Yard to take the sheet off so that we could remove steps and other equipment left in the boiler. We also had our official photographer with us and he took some photos of the Engineering Team with the boiler which is to be included in a press release.

There are some boiler components that will be refitted for the journey to Llangollen. The smokebox door plate has already been cleaned off for reattachment and on Tuesday the sealing faces on the dome cover and belly door were cleaned..

The splashers over the coupled wheels were put next to the engine this week in preparation for refitting. Many of the splasher frame brackets have worked loose and will need to be refixed. Likewise the brackets on the splashers have in some cases worked loose. These will be welded to reattached them. To ensue we fix the brackets in the correct place the splashers are trial fitted to the frames and when bolted up tight the brackets will be tack welded in position. The trail fitting of the splashers has also included drilling out loose fasteners on some of the splasher frame brackets. The splashers will then be welded fully in the welding shop. We are part through this job with 2 splashers now in the welding shop.

The inspection of the frames continued with dye penetrant testing of the cylinders around the slidebar brackets. Engineering Team volunteers have patiently removed surface corrosion from around the brackets so that a reliable test can be carried out.

Painting has continued of the suspension components with gloss now being applied. Gloss has also been applied to the sandboxes. The prime painting of the frame brackets to the rear of the outside cylinders was completed this week.

The slide bar bracket on the right hand side cylinder casting is under examination for cracks on 26 October 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

RHS slide bar bracket

The coupled wheel splashers are being trail fitted and repaired on 27 October 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Trial fitting of splasher

The slide bar bracket on the left hand side cylinder casting is under examination for cracks. The valve liner has also been tested. The exhaust ports can clearly be seen. 27 October 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

LHS slide bar bracket

The boiler in the North Yard of the NRM York with the volunteer Engineering Team on 27 October 2016. The boiler will soon be leaving York for overhaul at the Llangollen Railway workshops.
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Boiler in North Yard of the NRM

Malcolm Bateman trial fits the trailing left hand coupled wheel splasher on 28 October 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Trial fitting of splasher

23 October 2016

The week started with the removal of the frame rivets we decided to renew during the frame inspection. The ones on the right hand frame plate were drilled through last week and the magnetic clamp drill was used to start drilling those on the left hand frame plate. Once the larger rivets were drilled through the heads were burnt off. With the heads removed the rivets were driven through. These's still some small ones to take out that hold the splasher brackets.

This week saw paint applied to the frames for the first time during this overhaul. The frame brackets tested for flaws last week were painted. Testing of the outside frame brackets was completed this week with the lubricator bracket and the expansion link bracket on the right hand side. Testing between the frames continued this week with the dye penetrant being applied to the spring hanger brackets not so far tested.

The superheater header top was ultrasonically tested this week. The superheater now requires moving so that this inspection can be completed, and our CME has continued his measuring of the coupled wheel horns.

The removal of studs requiring replacement was continued this week, until the drill failed on us. We have a replacement so we can carry on with the job next week. Also continuing is the inspection of the cylinder and saddle castings. This week work concentrated on the right hand outside cylinder around the slidebar bracket. There is still quite a bit of work to be done in preparation for inspection around the inside cylinder and under the saddle.

Trevor Wilford removing a loose bufferbeam bracket rivet on 18 October 2016.
Photograph: Eddie Gibbons.

Removing bufferbeam rivet

The bracket on the right hand side of the locomotive that carries the lubricators has been tested for flaws. 20 October 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Bracket on locomotive's RHS

The bracket is stamped 4498, the LNER number for Sir Nigel Gresley. It looks as if we have the right engine. 20 October 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The bracket is stamped 4498

The brackets on the left hand side of the engine that have been tested are now being painted. 20 October 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Brackets being painted

Malcolm Bateman operates the mag drill while drilling through life expired rivets while Pete Brackstone applies lubricant on 20 October 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Drilling life expired rivets

16 October 2016

Work started on the repair to the frames this week with a number of rivets drilled through. We were permitted to use the NRM's magnetic clamp drill for this. We must thank the workshop staff for letting us use the mag drill as it makes this job so much easier. There isn't a lot to do and most of the ones to be replaced are now drilled through on the right hand side of the frames.

The various brackets on the outside of the frames are in the process of being dye penetrant tested. The left hand are completed and have been checked off OK by our CME. This work continues on the right hand side of the loco.

The descaling of the saddle and middle cylinder castings have really come on this week. The concrete cast into the pockets above the middle cylinder, to the rear of the saddle was removed this week along with various nuts bolts and washers in the concrete, though no silver sixpences yet. Most of the Engineering Team have had a go at this work this week.

Above the right hand cylinder a section of footplating has been very neatly removed so that we can access a broken bolt on the top cylinder flange. Removal of broken and life expired fasteners continued this week.

Away from the locomotive we had a visit from a Mk1 coach specialist from the NYMR. He examined the coach electrical system and found a blown fuse, which is now replaced, so now the coach battery supplied lights switch on and off correctly. The condition of the dynamo and regulator were inspected and look good.

The bogie cleaning was effectively completed this week and needle gunning was begun. There's not a lot of paint on the under side so work is concentrating on removing the paint from the bogie sides. When complete we will examine this side of the bogie, then turn it the right way up.

Painting continued this week on the removed sandboxes and suspension components. The painting bench was moved to the front of the loco as where it was is now required by the Museum. In addition, the components laid out next the the painting bench have been moved to increase the free space on the north road in the workshop.

It was the Junior Volunteers on Saturday who moved the components and then moved the smokebox front plate to near the bogie so that it could be prepared for refitting to the smokebox. The preparation involved removing the remnants of the old seal where it mated with the smokebox barrel. The Juniors also moved the cods mouth operating mechanism clear of the wheeldrop so that the NRM can do its planned wheeldrop demonstrations.

Using dye penetrant fluids on the loco brackets to test for flaws leaves the inspected areas pink. This is the right hand slidebar bracket, 14 October 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Using dye penetrant fluids

Bob Shearman cutting the footplating above the left hand cylinder to allow access to change a bolt. 14 October 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cutting the footplating

The painting bench has now been moved to in front of the loco. 14 October 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The painting bench

Marking on the outer Cartazzi frames similar to the marking on the main frame plates. 15 October 2016
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Marking on Cartazzi frames

8 October 2016

As mentioned last week the frames have now been thoroughly inspected. Last Saturday a list of work was agreed with our CME and this work started this week. We began at the rear bufferbeam end by renewing the fasteners in the top of the dragbox. The dragbox takes the load of the train and is an integral part of the rear of the loco chassis.

As mentioned in a previous report there's still plenty of meat in the dragbox but the nuts look a little tired after being covered up in the dark for so long. We were very pleased to find that when the first nut was removed that the thread on the bolt looked to be in good condition, and when a die nut had been ran down it to clean it up it looked like new. This means that the fitted bolt, still tight in its hole can be reused with the addition of a new nut. However three of the bolts had to be removed as the treads showed signs of corrosion. And as usual with steam locomotives the three requiring renewal were the most inaccessable.

We first attempted to remove them by heating them then allowing them to cool. But they didn't respond to this so we then drilled down the centres and burnt out as much material as safely possible to avoid any damage to the dragbox casting. Eventually by removing material and with the use of a big hammer we eventually got them out. There was certainly no danger of the dragbox coming out in traffic if these bolts are anything to go by.

At the front of the locomotive the front coupling hook was removed for inspection and the cleaning out of the piston ring grooves was completed. The dye penetrant testing of the spring hanger brackets was continued this week.

Painting of the the sandboxes and suspension components continued this week with the first coats of undercoat being applied. We now have green, white and grey painted parts, confusing to me but the Painting Team know exactly where they are up to.

The combined spring and brake shaft brackets have now been measured and compared to drawing. The removed right hand bracket was lifted onto the marking out table so that we could measure it accurately. As this bracket is to be repaired it will be modified to match the left bracket that is still on the loco.

The decarboning of the exhaust passages continued this week. On Friday the Engineering Team were still pulling out lumps so there's still work to do in here.

The old nuts and washers on the upper dragbox fitted bolts are removed and temporary nuts put on those bolts that are to be left in place. 5 October 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Dragbox nuts, washers removed

Heating the dragbox nuts to help get them off the bolts on 5 October 2016.
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Heating the dragbox nuts

The sandboxes looking resplendent in undercoat. 5 October 2016
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Sandboxes in undercoat

The leading right hand combined spring and brakeshaft bracket upside down on the end of the marking out table for measuring prior to repair. 7 October 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Spring and brakeshaft bracket

2 October 2016

As the frames have been completely stripped attention is now focusing on the cylinders, saddle and the front bufferbeam. The cast surfaces of the cylinders and saddle need a few coats of the needle gun to really get down to sound material. Much of the cylinder casting surface area is not accessible to the needle gun so we have to use other tools, like the wire brush, powered, and by hand, long chisels and scrapers.

We have also started to decarbon the exhaust passages making good progress with a piece of pipe with the business end cut at an angle. With this tool we can reach well up into the passage beyond the reach of an arm and a scraper, with the added advantage that you can see what you are doing.

Toward the front of the loco the coupling shackle was removed and the bufferbeam and coupling housing have been needle gunned. These will be removed for inspection shortly.

The broken stud removal around the cylinders was completed this week, though I think I may have found another. We have also started the removal of the wasted leading sandbox mounting studs. All have been removed from the right hand side.

The meticulous degreasing of the up-turned bogie was continued this week. The leading hornstays were removed, cleaned together with the mating surfaces on the bogie and then the hornstays were refitted.

The inspection of the frames continued this week with our CME checking the defects so far identified. No nasty surprises, just wear and tear to be expected with 10 years of hard work, just a few loose rivets and fitted bolts to remove and refit with new. Of course some are in the most inaccessible places so if anybody is good at holding the hand drill or grinder above their head for extended periods let me know. On Thursday the Engineering Team began dye-penetrant inspection of the spring hanger brackets. The welds around the air pump bracket were also tested. No defects were found.

While our CME was on site he continued his measuring of the cylinder bores by examining the left hand side.

Engineering team volunteer Dave Lee removing a broken stud on 28 September 2016.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Removing a broken stud

Marking on the underside of the bogie centre casting. Perhaps a date with the drawing/part number above. To the right of the drawing number(?) is a diamond stamp with "NE" inside, similar to the diamond "LNER" stamps found on the right hand frame plates. 28 September 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Marking on underside of bogie

The outstanding finish achieved on the right hand cylinder casting after hours of volunteer Engineering Team effort. This allows a thorough inspection of the component and its fasteners. 28 September 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Finish on R/H cylinder casting

Crack testing has begun on the brackets on the bottom of the frames where the coupled wheel springs are attached. 29 September 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Crack testing brackets begun

The standard of cleaning on the upturned bogie is as good as elsewhere on the loco's components. This is the view from the leading end. The lack of paint on the surfaces that normally face the ground is clearly visible, though it does not seem to have deteriorated as a result, probably due to the thick layer of oil it normally carries. 28 September 2016
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cleaned upturned bogie
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