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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 2017.

18 December 2017

The brake stays that link the brake hangers on either side of the loco with the brake cylinders were delivered to K D Flavell's this week for repair. The end shafts and worn surfaces will be rebuilt.

The regulator components were taken to Llangollen this week in a hire van by Engineering Team volunteers. The bad weather did not put them off and all items were successfully delivered, including the reach rod that just fitted in the long wheelbase van.

More work was done this week in removing the tender brake gear. The items removed are now getting there first clean. The strainer from the tender has been wire brushed and is now receiving a coat of protective primer. It will the be reassembled and will be finish coated with the tender.

More repair work has been done to the lower outside cylinder securing holes. They are not easy to get to and the mag drill was set up with the arbor made last week to prove the set up. It was discovered that the available shell reamers alone will not give us sufficient flexibility in size so we will have to enable the use of Morse taper reamers. It was also decided that, even-though when vertical the arbor runs true, due to it's length it would be advantageous to provide a support near the work. Investigations continue.

Some holes at the ends of the lower outside cylinder are accessible and these have been dressed by hand and are finished. Strangely the bottom row of bolts are from 1 3/4" diameter material, whereas all the rest around the cylinders are 1 5/8". We have 1 5/8" blanks but not 1 3/4" so additional material will have to be obtained to reproduce the existing bolting.

More work has been done on the pipework, with further attention to the brackets holding previously installed pipes. Now the front ends of the steam heat and vacuum pipes are secured they are correctly located. Their positions were checked against the cut outs in the streamlined casing and the front air valves are now fully accessible. At the rear of the loco installation continues with the fitting of the connection fittings that couple the air system to the tender.

Painting of the coupled and bogie wheels continues. The bogie wheels have now received their first coat of gloss and the coupled wheels have had their first coat of undercoat.

The drain cocks and linkage was worked on this week with the linkage stripped while the valves were dismantled and cleaning bagan. There is quite a bit of work in these but a start has been made with all the valves stripped and components bagged for inspection and refurbishment. The pins and rods are being examined.

The outside bearings for the leading vacuum cylinders were tried in position this week. Their alignment was checked and looks to be satisfactory. They were then removed and will now be finished bored. The new neck bush for the 24" cylinder was brought in this week being machined by one of our volunteers, and this was tried in position on Saturday after being fitted to the cylinder. It will require sealing and then the remainder of the cylinder can be finish assembled.

The alignment wire was put up on the right side of the locomotive and measurements on this side were completed. The data obtained will need careful consideration and then the finishing dimensions for the coupled axleboxes will be available.

Parts of the tender filter or strainer box that prevents large solids from getting in to the boiler feed water. 14 December 2017
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Parts of the tender filter

The coupled wheels are now in black undercoat. They require another coat of undercoat before glossing. 14 December 2017
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Coupled wheels in black undercoat

At Llangollen the boiler was turned so that welding of the copper combustion chamber plates could continue. 14 December 2017
Photograph: Paul Aston.

The boiler

The cylinder drain cocks are now being examined and cleaned prior to refurbishment. 16 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The cylinder drain cocks

The brake gear is being removed from the tender. The left side pull rods that connect the lower end of the brake hangers are laid next to the tender. They will be cleaned, stripped and examined. 16 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The tender brake gear

Some of the cylinder drain cock linkage. It is yet to be fully assessed for condition. 16 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cylinder drain cock linkage


10 December 2017

The damaged leading vacuum cylinder outside bearing was weld repaired and bored out this week. It was finished undersize, as the one on the opposite side of the loco, so they can be tried in position for alignment and then will be finished bored. When removed one was bored off centre and the alignment will have to be checked to see if this is required again.

The superheater header was returned to York this week complete with a new set of end sealing plugs. The thread on the plugs was made a very good fit in the holes. The tube expanding gear for the elements was sorted through and a few sets in good condition, complete with drives, have been separated and will be sent with the header to Llangollen.

The tender strainer box was removed this week. It was separated from the tender sometime ago when the sump was removed but was too large to follow the sump out off the tender tank. This week it was dismantled inside the tank and was passed out in parts. The component parts are now being stripped and descaled and will be painted and reassembled. The removal of the tender brake gear was progressed this week with the removal of the brake blocks and linkages at the front of the tender.

The sanding of the filler in the right driving wheel was completed early this week. It was painted in primer the same day and by the end of the week all the coupled wheels had received two coats of primer. This week also saw the completion of the second coat of undercoat to the bogie wheels.

The gravity sands linkage overhaul has been completed and the component parts are now being painted prior to final assembly. The cylinder drain cocks and operating linkage have now been retrieved from store and will now be overhauled. Before the cylinder drain cock gear can go in the cladding sheets under the middle cylinder require refitting. These were retrieved from store and are now being prepared for painting.

We have been informed by the NYMR that the bogie axleboxes have been completed and we plan to visit Grosmont soon to examine them. Work progressed with the measuring of the loco frames so that we can specify the dimensions we require for the coupled wheel axlebox machining. We have been informed that the coupled axleboxes have now been moved in to the NYMR machine shop.

Overhauling and refitting the loco pipe systems continues with the steam heat pipe run now complete for the full length of the loco frames. The steam heat and vacuum brake train pipe runs from the Cartazzi to the front bufferbeam are now fully installed with all joints and brackets secured. The steam heat valve at the front bufferbeam was overhauled this week. The vacuum cylinder pipe connections were refitted after the great job done by the volunteer Engineering Team on refacing the fittings.

The atomiser and whistle valve, and the steam sands valves were retrieved from store this week and examined. The steam sands valve is repairable but will need machining, however the atomiser/whistle valve will need further work.

A new section of steel angle was fitted to the ashpan this week and further work was done in straightening the deformed sections. New plate has been ordered and is to be collected next week.

As part of bogie refitting the loco side bearers have to be refitted. The side bearers limit the amount of roll on the front of the loco. One was found cracked when removed and this was repaired. The side bearers require new fitted bolts as the ones removed were life expired. The holes are difficult to get to and reaming them by hand would be very difficult so a jig has been arranged so they can be done by machine. A preliminary set up was put on the loco and dimensions taken enabling a design for an extended arbor for mounting a shell reamer. Using part of an NRM arbor, an end to the sketch was welded on the arbor and the end machined to fit the mag drill. There are a few other fitted bolts that require renewal along the bottom edge of the outside cylinders and these are being worked on as when the bogie is refitted they will be very difficult to get to.

In the centre of the photo of the rear of the loco frames the end of the steam heat pipe. This is the first pipe run completed the full length of the loco. 9 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The end of the steam heat pipe

The superheater header has now returned to the NRM workshop at York. There is still work to be done and pressure testing before it can join the boiler at Llangollen. 9 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The superheater header

The header came back with new end plugs. The plugs cover the ends of the outermost row of elements and are removed to access the elements for expanding. 9 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

New end plugs

The pipe connection fittings have been put on the vacuum cylinders. This is the 24" cylinder. 9 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The pipe connection fittings

The coupled wheels have now received two coats of primer. After a light rub down they will be painted in undercoat. 9 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The coupled wheels

Some of our collection of superheater element expander gear being sorted for use. 9 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

S'heater element expander gear

One of the leading vacuum cylinder outer bearings has been weld repaired and bored out. It awaits refitting and the alignment checked. 9 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Vacuum cylinder bearing

The front steam heat valve and hose. The valve has been stripped and examined. A new seal is required and a new hose will be fitted. 9 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Front steam heat valve & hose


4 December 2017

The regulator cross shaft that runs across the cab and has the regulator handles at either end was returned from contractor repair this week. The centre lever part of the rod that connects to the rod that goes forward to operate the regulator valve was wasted and has been rebuilt. The rod was also put in a lathe and straightened at it had a slight bend in it.

With the cross shaft returned to York we put the complete assembly together on the bench to check the final arrangement and get a feel for any backlash. It was difficult getting enough rigidity to get an accurate measurement of the movement of the regulator handle for full movement of the valve. It was decided that the only way to do this accurately was to wait until it was mounted in the boiler. This was discussed with Llangollen and is part of the normal setting up of the regulator anyway.

Early in the week the NYMR workshop was visited to see progress with the bogie axleboxes. They have been white-metalled and are now being machined on their horizontal borer. Whilst at Grosmont our superheater element expanders were retrieved from store. At York they were cleaned off and have been inspected. We seem to have accrued quite a collection as it looks like old worn out or broken parts have been retained. Our entire collection is now being reviewed by our CME and when we have identified a complete working set they will be loaned to Llangollen.

The leading vacuum cylinder outside bearing housing bores have been skimmed and the new bushes machined for pressing in. At York under the press the first went in very smoothly, however the second wouldn't go in straight, perhaps due to the weld repairs it has received in the past. The bush had to be pressed back out and now the housing bore will need repair. A case of two steps forward, one step back.

This week saw further work on rubbing down the filler on the leading and driving coupled wheelsets. By the end of the week we had primer applied to the leading and trailing and only the right driving wheels require examination before this wheelset can be painted. Painting also progressed with final glossing of the outside of the right mainframe and the bogie wheels were undercoated.

The deformed platework at the front of the ashpan was cut away this week and new material is now on order. The damper door, ash screen and their hinge brackets were all retrieved from store and cleaned off for trail fitting. The ashpan is needed in position to check that it does not fowl pipework.

Good progress was made with the refitting of the vacuum brake pipework with pipes run to the front bufferbeam. Unfortunately their securing brackets could not be fully tightened as the wire running across the loco between the outside cylinders is in the way. The measurements using this wire were completed on Saturday so the wire and supporting frames can be removed.

The brake hangers and beams need extensive refurbishment and the first step is to remove the existing bushes from the holes where they are mounted on the loco and where the brake crossbeams are connected. This was completed by pressing all the bushes out of the six hangers.

Work resumed on the tender with the removable plate at the top of the coal space removed. Inside there is space for storage and it has been used to keep a spare Cartazzi spring. This has now been removed. The space was then cleaned out and patches all around the coal space cleaned down to bare metal for thickness testing. This has now been done and the platework apears to be sound. Testing shows most of the platework is adequately thick for further use.

One of the bogie axleboxes being bored out by the NYMR workshop on 28 November 2017.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Boring a bogie axleboxes

The ashpan has seen further work this week with the strengthening plates removed from the lower front as they had warped. New steelwork will be put in. 30 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The ashpan

The bogie wheels are now receiving undercoat on 30 November 2017.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The bogie wheels

Not mentioned in the report but the repaired tender sump has been prime painted this week. 30 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The repaired tender sump

The outside right loco mainframes have been painted to top coat this week. 1 December 2017
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

The outside right mainframes

The leading and trailing wheelsets have painted in primer this week. 1 December 2017
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Leading and trailing wheelsets

The platework in the tender coal space has been examined for thickness. 2 December 2017
Photograph: Richard Swales.

The tender coal space platework

27 November 2017

The gravity sands linkage received its last new pin this week made by the volunteer Engineering Team. A new stud was also made for the linkage bracket that is fastened to the rear of the saddle as the old one had broken. The linkage is now receiving paint. There is a bracket between the footplate and the leading left sandbox which was fitted but will require modification to clear the linkage at full travel.

Work continued on sanding the wheels with odd corners being thinned of filler and marks being sanded out. The wheels were rolled along the rail in front of the frames and closely inspected for any patches missed. The end is really in sight.

On the subject of filling a little was put around the fitted bolt heads in the section of frame where the last rivets were put in last week. After sanding the area was also given a coat of primer.

The fire hole door was retrieved from store, cleaned up and inspected this week prior to being taken to Llangollen to join the boiler. The door apart from the bottom edge of the flap, which suffers most from the heat of the fire, is in good condition. The bottom edge was straightened and welded up. The bottom edge was also thickened and dressed and now looks good as new. It was finally given a coat of high temperature paint to preserve it while waiting to be fitted to the boiler.

The frames around the Cartazzi were painted this week, which we can only do when we are not putting in the pipe work. We are now up to undercoat here. The day after, the pipe fitting team were back at work making good progress with more of the vacuum brake pipework going in. This time with the vacuum reservoir pipework being ran along the frames.

The copper gaskets were retrieved from store this week as they will be required for the boiler fittings. They were cleaned off and will be examined for further possible use. The blow off cock which is normally located just above boiler foundation ring level was stripped and cleaned. The valve was dressed and used to lap the seat of the valve. It was noticed that the valve, though making a good seat, is also just touching the casting, so the casting will have to be worked on to give additional clearance.

The space in front of our frames was occupied by our wheels and ashpan. We have been fortunate to have so much space to ourselves for so long. In discussion with the workshop there will shortly be locos requiring storage or work done in the workshop so we will have to give up some of this space. On Wednesday, in agreement with the workshop staff, we re-arranged things and moved the ashpan off the rail in to a much better location to work on it. We also moved the bogie wheels off the rail to a location where they are out of the way and can be painted. To gain the space elsewhere for the ashpan and bogie wheels we had to move four traction motors each weighing, I think it was said, three tons. We had the lowmac wagon still in the workshop from when it brought the ashpan in, so we moved the traction motors on to the wagon, and the wagon is then to be moved out of the workshop. Sounds simple but the problem we had was that we could only get one end of the wagon under the crane. So the traction motors were lifted on to the wagon and had to be moved along the wagon by muscle power to make room for the next. After a full days work all the motors were on the wagon.

To release a little more workshop space the coupled wheel springs were lifted in to the pit and positioned below the loco. That releases as additional two pallets' space.

This week our CME and I visited Llangollen to see progress on the boiler. We were accompanied by our volunteer boiler overhaul engineer who is supervising the boiler overhaul for us. The boiler, as previously reported is now on its side and work is being carried out on the replacement of the roof stays, as well as the repairs to the combustion chamber plates. We had hoped to retain many of the roof stays, however the ones removed showed signs of corrosion which did not apear to be isolated to any particular location. We therefore took the decision to replace them all. While at Llangollen we had a meeting with the boiler engineering management to review progress over the previous year and to agree a program to take us to completion. At the meeting it was requested that the remaining boiler components we have at York start to be transported to Llangollen. The most pressing item now being the regulator assembly.

The ashpan being moved by Engineering Team volunteers. We received the full co-operation of the NRM Security Team as each time we wanted to use the crane the workshop gallery drawbridge had to be operated by them. 22 November 2017
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

The ashpan being moved

A considerable amount of space was taken up in the NRM workshop by some old traction motors. With the space released by the traction motors we now have a suitable space for working on the ashpan and bogie wheels. 22 November 2017
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Space for working on ashpan

This week to release the space for our use we moved the old traction motors on to a lowmac wagon. Here they are loaded on 22 November 2017
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Old traction motors

The boiler in the works at Llangollen. It is now laid on its side. The firebox roof with the removed stays can be seen. 23 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Boiler in the works at Llangollen

With most of the roof stays removed the inside of the outer doorplate can be seen from the tubeplate end of the firebox. The pipes supply steam to the injectors. 23 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Inside of the outer doorplate

The leading vacuum cylinder centre bearing has been extensively refurbished and was refitted this week. The overhauled pipework that has been fitted in recent weeks can be seen. 25 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Vacuum cylinder centre bearing

The copper gaskets that seal boiler fittings have been returned to the workshop for inspection so that we can decide if any require replacement. 25 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Copper gaskets

The blow off cock has been dismantled and cleaned this week and will be required for fitting to the boiler at Llangollen. While repairing the valve seat it is apparent the valve will need more work to ensure reliable operation in to the future.
Photograph: Darrin Crone. 25 November 2017

The blow off cock

20 November 2017

Again this week a lot of effort has been put in to the sanding of the coupled wheels. It is interesting to get feedback from those involved with some saying they are finished and others saying there it still lots to do, but we will have call it a day soon. As some members of the Engineering Team have perhaps put more than their fair share of time in to this I've tried to give them a break on other jobs. As a result of the hours spent on the wheels we have fallen behind on the painting and finishing elsewhere. So this week more time has been spent on the refurbishment of the pipework and getting it painted. Some of the pipework is worn where it has rubbed when the loco has been in traffic. This week some of these areas have been rebuilt with weld.

More gasket material was obtained this week and new gaskets have been cut for the flange connections of the vacuum brake system. More pipe joints were finally made with one of the steam sands connections needing some dressing to make a good joint.

The piston valve heads to be reused have been allocated to a location so that their final machined dimensions have now been detailed, and the location of the valve heads to be made from un-machined castings is therefore now known. Our requirements have been discussed with our contractor and a drawing allocated to each valve head. That means we have two old piston valve heads for scrap.

Further work has been done on the gravity sands linkage with work continuing on re-pinning the assembly.

Work is under way removing the areas of roof stays that we agreed to remove for exploratory purposes. Their condition will be reviewed and future work on the roof stays will be discussed next week in a meeting we have organised at Llangollen.

The leading vacuum cylinder centre bearing has been finish painted and this week the vacuum cylinder retaining bolts were fitted.

A measuring jig is being manufactured to the design of our Chief Mechanical Engineer. The jig is fixed to the outside cylinders and will be used to measure the accuracy of the positioning of the outside cylinders. This will ultimately inform the dimensions specified for the coupled wheel axleboxes. The right outside cylinder is an LNER casting with the original Doncaster engine order stamped on to it. The left is a BR casting. It will be interesting to see how accurately Doncaster put the left replacement cylinder on to the frames.

The last of the frame rivets were put in on Saturday, along with the drivers footstep rivets and the front left footplate to front corner steamlining mounting plate. It went very well with all rivets going home first time.

The wire through the left cylinder passes along the centre line. A wire is now to be put up across the front of the loco to measure any error in the positioning of the cylinders across the loco. 14 November 2017
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

The wire through the cylinder

The front of the wire can be seen in the cylinder bore. The loco is a little dusty because of the filling and sanding that has been done over the last few weeks. 14 November 2017
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

The front of the wire

All the fitted bolts are in the right leading combined bracket which has allowed the final two frame rivets to be put in. With pipework now being re-installed access to the frames is getting more difficult. 14 November 2017
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Fitted bolts in combined bracket

The main task of the last few weeks has been the filling and sanding of the coupled wheels.
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT. 14 November 2017

Filling and sanding wheels

The final closing of the frame rivets is done by hand by a team of two working opposite sides of the rivet. 18 November 2017
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Final closing of the frame rivets

The last two fitted rivets have now been closed. This will allow this final part of the loco main frames to be painted to top coat. 18 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Last two fitted rivets closed

13 November 2017

The filling and sanding of the coupled wheels has taken up a lot of time this week, but we are getting there. The end is in sight as all wheels have now received filler and have had some sanding. There are very few areas that have not been sanded but we will have to move the ashpan to allow the wheels to be rolled so we can get to the undersides of the last spokes.

We don't seem to have the spec for the bogie springs on a stand alone component drawing. We require this to specify spare springs now that we are going to fit our only spare. It can also be used to check the spare. The description is on the bogie assembly drawings but we've found that it's wise to check on the referenced component drawings. This week another trip to the NRM library was made and a drawing of the later bogie spring was found. Also this week drawings were produced of the loco rubber springs and a number of manufacturers contacted for quotes.

Drawings for the piston valve heads have been produced and checked and the order for the machining will be placed soon. The supplier has been selected. The initial purchase orders for the blanks cast some years ago has been retrieved from file so that we have traceability for the material.

The AWS bell and "sunflower" were retrieved from store this week and will be overhauled by an Engineering Team volunteer off site.

The supplier that has the clackbox castings was visited this week and we have now given them a spec of the remaining machining that we require. After that visit I went to Flavell's to see the superheater. They have put a layer of weld over the thin areas identified with the thickness tester on our last visit. I have requested another layer be added. The regulator cross shaft has been welded and straightened and will be ready for collection soon.

In the Llangollen boilershop the last parts of the copper tubeplate are now being removed. These are in the top corners. The welds around them are being removed along with the patch screws. NDT examination around the safety valve pads has shown that we don't have any defects in this area.

We now have six sound clackbox castings so we can progress to final machining. 10 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Six sound clackbox castings

The driving wheelset is the last to get the filling and sanding treatment. 11 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The driving wheelset

The bogie rubber spring on top of the "box" it normally sits in. These are on the bottom of the steel coil suspension springs. 11 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Bogie rubber spring

6 November 2017

The air brake system continues to be worked on with the smaller control pipework now being fitted. Some joints were not in good condition so these have dressed and a number of pipes are now in position. These pipes also run to the DV2 valve which controls the vacuum and air braking systems proportionality. The DV2 from the last period in service was dismantled and examined to determine which version we have. We now know the version we have and a refurbished valve of the correct type has been sent to us from contractor overhaul. We expect delivery of the valve in the next few days.

The vacuum pipe systems have been worked on this week with further refurbishment of the pipe flanges. The pipes being worked on have been painted in primer and the inside of the pipes blown through or scraped to remove grime and rust.

No further work was done on the brake cylinders this week though the new neck seal for the 24" vacuum cylinder as received. We have now been told by spare parts suppliers that the neck bush for this type of cylinder is not available so we will have to make one.

A considerable amount of time has been spent on applying filler to the coupled wheels. The spokes are being sanded at the moment but there is still lots to do at the end of the spokes and the inside of the wheel edges.

Reaming of the bogie hornstay bolt holes was completed this week. The last new fitted bolts were machined this week and finally fitted. With the hornstays removed for final fitting they were di-pen inspected around the bolt holes. No faults were found. In addition, more fitted bolts for the right leading combined spring and brake bracket were machined. By the end of the week only two need to be machined and fitted.

The bogie springs were retrieved from store and are now in the works. The spare is being examined to ensure that it has the same dimensions as the springs used in traffic. The bogie rubber springs are life expired and I had hoped that they were standard coach examples, therefore easy to obtain. We have talked to NYMR Carriage and Wagon but they confirmed they are not. However, this week a manufacturing drawing was located in the NRM's library and we are now preparing our own drawings and will look for suppliers.

The tender sump was finish welded this week. The new plate had been previously fitted. The sump flange and the bolts were also welded in position. After welding our hot work team moved on to the repair of the ashpan. This involved heating the front of the ashpan to allow straightening the damper door opening. The front side ashpan plates need more attention to straighten out some bulging before it can be trial fitted in the frames.

Painting continued this week with another coat of primer around the Cartazzi frames and the loco bogie stretcher. The bogie cladding plates also received another coat of the paint.

The two wasted drivers footstep rivets were finally removed this week. They will be replaced when we organse our next batch of riveting.

The re-pinning of the gravity sands mechanism continued this week with the machining of new pins and dressing the linkage holes.

The clackbox castings that were recast due to the previous examples having porosity have now been preliminary machined and pressure tested. The good news is that they have all now passed so we can proceed to final machining, assembly and final testing.

The measurements for machining the bogie axleboxes have now been finalised and these dimensions will be sent to the NYMR, meanwhile measurements are being taken from the coupled wheels so that we have records for our files, but importantly to provide the relevant dimensions for the NYMR to machine the coupled axleboxes.

Our man in Llangollen reports that the last parts of the firebox tubeplate have now been removed and repairs to the combustion chamber plates beneath continues. A template of the new tubeplate has been tried in position and the fit is good.

The bogie hornstays have had a final inspection around the bolt holes before refitting. They will be removed once more to allow the axleboxes to be fitted. 2 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The bogie hornstays

A straight edge is clamped across the rear of one of the driving wheels so that the distance from the centre thrust face to the tyre profile can be measured. This will give us the required thickness of the front face of the axlebox. 4 November 2017
Photograph: Richard Swales.

One of the driving wheels

The ashpan is now being repaired in the NRM workshop. The heated areas can be seen at the front of the sshpan where the plates are being straightened. 4 November 2017
Photograph: Richard Swales.

The ashpan

All the coupled wheels have now seen filler and many have been finish sanded, but there's a long way to go yet. 4 November 2017
Photograph: Richard Swales.

All the coupled wheels

The repaired tender sump on 4 November 2017.
Photograph: Richard Swales.

The repaired tender sump

The bogie with new hornstay bolting and in front is the bogie suspension springs. 4 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The bogie with new hornstay

Another piece of the vacuum system pipe jigsaw, refurbished with repaired ends. 4 November 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Vacuum system pipe

31 October 2017

The filling and sanding of the coupled wheelsets continued throughout this week. We are now on to the second set, though the first is still being spot filled to finish it off.

The bogie hornstays are being fitted with new fitted bolts. This requires the frames and hornstays being reamed through. Not easy as there is only one bolt at each end of the hornstay so it must be clamped to ensure no movement during the reaming operation. Once one end is reamed it is accurately measured and a bolt machined to suit. By the end of the week all the hornstays had received a new fitted bolt at one end. When fitted the other end is accurately located and reamed. Reaming of these ends is nearly complete. The reaming is done with the mag-drill fixed to a plate arrangement designed and fabricated by the volunteer Engineering Team.

Fitted bolts are now being fitted to the leading right combined spring and brake bracket. This also required the machining of reduced diameter washers to fit inside the bracket. This work continues between machining the bolts for the bogie.

Work continues at the very rear of the loco frames with some needle gunning of frames and brackets. The needle gunning removed most of 2 rivet heads that support one of the drivers side footsteps, so the remnants were ground off and then an attempt was made to remove the rivets from their holes. Unsurprisingly they are very reluctant to come out so a start was made in drilling them out.

A new pin was fitted to the gravity sands mechanism to tighten the arrangement up. The next hole in the linkage was then dressed and measurements taken for its new pin.

Refurbishing of the loco pipework has now progressed to the vacuum brake system, with cleaning the pipework of loose paint and corrosion while inspecting and repairing damage and wear. Some of the end flange faces are worn and will need some repair work before refitting.

Fitting of pipework continued this week particular attention being paid to the fit of pipework near the Cartazzi. To ensure the pipework fits in to the small space between frames, Cartazzi axle and ashpan we will have to trail fit the ashpan. The ashpan was moved in to the workshop this week after it was lifted on to a rail wagon. Thanks must be given to Chris Graham of the NRM for sorting out the shunt for us. Before the fitting of the ashpan it will have to have its platework repaired to restore it to its correct shape.

The superheater at K D Flavells was inspected on Friday for material thickness with an ultrasonic tester. The built up areas are satisfactory and the standard of workmanship is good. The weld repairs to the element holes is now complete. With the header held up by an overhead crane the area either side of the tubeplate flange was examined in detail and it was decided that while at Flavells it would be wise to build up some additional small areas.

The dimensional analysis of the valve heads has been completed and we have determined that two can be reused. We have two spare un-machined castings at Grosmont and these have now been retrieved.

The ashpan is lifted and the rail wagon it was on has been rolled back out of the way. 27 October 2017
Photograph: Andy Barwick.

The ashpan is lifted

The superheater at the works of K D Flavell on the bench during examination by SNG Engineers. Further work is required. 27 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The superheater at K D Flavell

New fitted bolts are being fitted to the bogie hornstays. One is in place and the other is ready for fitting. 28 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

New fitted bolts are being fitted

The ashpan is now in the NRM workshop ready to be worked on. It will require some new platework to return it to its original shape, and to replace wasted areas. 28 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Ashpan in the NRM workshop

Two of the coupled wheelsets have now received filler, but there's still plenty to do. 28 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Two of the coupled wheelsets

The fitting of the steam chest pressure pipe, with the yellow tag, from the smokebox to the Cartazzi complete. The pipe in green primer is part of the vacuum brake system and this is now being fitted. 28 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Steam chest pressure pipe

New fitted bolts being put in the leading right combined bracket. It is apparent why special reduced diameter washers are required. 28 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

New fitted bolts being put in

23 October 2017

We have received a drawing of the neck bush that the spare parts suppliers stock and expect to be fitted to our 24" vacuum brake cylinder. Unfortunately it doesn't look like the one we have, which is shown on the LNER drawing of the cylinder. The supplier is having a rethink. The 24" cylinder itself has now been stripped and prime painted as the Engineering Team volunteers have decided that rubbing down and undercoating has not given a good enough finish to the 21" cylinders so treated.

The bogie cladding plates have now been repaired. They have been brazed to fill the pin holing and the cracks gas welded. Some panel beating and dressing of damaged edges was also required. After wire brushing they have now been prime painted.

A lot of time is being spent on the wheelsets to ensure they are ready to receive the re-metalled axleboxes. Filler is being applied and we have now moved on to use an orbital air sander to rub it back. A full day was spent on this but we are yet to finish one of the coupled wheels. At the end of the spokes of the coupled wheels there is a white coating that was applied as part of the NDT process. This does not adhere sufficiently to form a reliable base for filler or paint so has to be removed. It has taken one of our volunteers a couple of weeks to wirebrush it all off. Now he's finished he's taking next week off.

The bogie wheelsets are now being painted in primer. Before fitting the wheelsets to the bogie we need to fit new bolting to the bogie hornstays. To make this work easier the bogie frames were lifted and stood on packing as these bolts are on the bottom edge of the frames. The bolt blanks have now been received.

Work has been done this week on the loco bogie stretcher. A loose stud with seized nut was removed, cleaned up and the nut released. The stud was refitted correctly and the nut replaced. One of the fitted bolts was also re-nutted this week and the roughly cut packing washers replaced with new. In the stretcher the four lubrication fittings that direct oil to the bogie pivot bearing surface have been secured in position, now that we have received the sealing washers of the correct size.

The valve heads were di-pen inspected this week and unfortunately one was found to be cracked, so will have to be replaced. They were also measured this week and the dimensions will be compared with the dimensions required to match the new liners.

Work continued this week on the refitting of the pipework between the frames. Some of the cone end connections on the steam chest pipework required some careful dressing. The remainder of the steam chest pipe work has now been annealed and is part way through fitting. One of the steam traps for the steam heat pipework was retried from store and refitted.

The vacuum pipework is joined by flanged ends. A start has been made on refurbishing this pipework with the removal and cleaning up of the flange bolting.

At the Cartazzi end of the loco the damper bracket mounting bolts have been drilled out. The bracket was needle gunned and is now ready for painting. New bolting will be required. Other work in this area included di-pen inspection of the frames and stretchers. This part of the inner Cartazzi frames shows the age of the loco the most so requires careful inspection. No faults were found so a coat of primer was applied all round from the rear of the mainframe lap to the diaphragm plate stretcher.

Further work is required to the rear of the diaphragm plate stretcher and the 007 Gang of junior volunteers shared the work on Saturday using the needle gun, getting where the "larger" Engineering Team volunteers would find access challenging.

We haven't forgotten about the tender but it naturally takes second place to maintaining progress on the loco frames. This week the new plate was fitted to the bottom of the sump. The recovered flange has also been tacked in place and new bolts have been received and are ready to be seal welded in.

At Llangollen the boiler has been shunted outside of the works. Then their crane was used to turn the boiler on to its side and the boiler returned to the boiler shop. Work can now continue on the repair of the combustion chamber plates.

The valve heads are dye penetrant inspected by Roger Turnbull and Andrew Jacques.
Photograph: Darrin Crone. 17 October 2017.

The valve heads

The bogie cladding plates being trial fitted and repaired. This work is now completed and they are now being painted. 17 October 2017.
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

The bogie cladding plates

The results of hours of work, another coupled wheel is now ready for filling and painting. 18 October 2017.
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Another coupled wheel ready

Re-installing the refurbished pipework continues with Dave Lee and Peter Ellis working out the best sequence for work to continue. 18 October 2017.
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Re-installing pipework

The boiler is put on its side at Llangollen. It was lifted on to bogies and returned to the boiler shop. The new stays can be seen on the lower sections of the plates inside of the firebox. 19 October 2017.
Photograph: Paul Aston.

The boiler at Llangollen

The inner Cartazzi frames to the rear of the main frame plates and the diaphragm plate stretcher have been repaired, inspected and "signed off". They received paint this week. 19 October 2017.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The inner Cartazzi frames

The 24" vacuum brake cylinder was reassembled last week with a new rolling ring and checked for operation by Andy Barwick. It operated satisfactorily and the cylinder is now being painted by Andy. 19 October 2017.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The 24" vacuum brake cylinder

One of the coupled wheels is being filled prior to painting. 21 October 2017.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

One of the coupled wheels

The bogie has been raised to ease access to the hornstays which require new bolting. 21 October 2017.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The bogie has been raised

16 October 2017

The old bushes have now been removed from the leading vacuum cylinder outside bearings but we are still waiting for delivery of material to make up the new bushes. Both leading vacuum brake cylinders have now been reassembled and checked for piston movement. Both are satisfactory and now only require painting. They have now been spot primed.

The large trailing loco vacuum brake cylinder is now being prepared for reassembly. Inspection of the cylinder shows that the piston ring has been rubbing and not rolling correctly over a small part of its length. We have concluded that this is caused by wear in the bush that guides the piston rod, which has allowed the piston to tilt slightly in the cylinder. Spare bushes are available from spare parts suppliers, but we are yet to confirm the exact size of bush we need, as our 24" cylinder is unusual (apparently) in having a 1-1/2" diameter piston rod.

Progress has been made as the new piston ring has been trial fitted to the 24" piston, and it has been put in the cylinder and inspected for movement. It seems fine with the ring rolling satisfactorily when the piston operates square to the bore.

The steam heat pipework has now been thoroughly cleaned off. The pipework has been inspected and is in very good condition over the front bufferbeam to Cartazzi section. It was then painted in high temperature paint. The first section of pipe under the front bufferbeam was fitted with the air brake pipework in this area, complete with leading air brake valves. This required the removal of the centre section of streamlining behind the front coupling hook.

By the end of the week the steam heat pipework was refitted back to the Cartazzi. It still requires some final fitting to secure it and there is a joint which will have to be remade. Along the same side of the frames runs the steam chest pipe and this was trial fitted this week. To give us a fixed starting point the outside steam pipe from which it runs was temporarily refitted.

Before fitting, the steam chest pipe needed a lot of cleaning as it had a thick layer of carbon adhering to it. The Engineering Team volunteers spending a lot of time doing this while avoiding damaging the soft copper underneath.

All the valve ring pegs have been removed from the valve heads and the threaded holes carefully cleaned up. After final inspection they will be machined to fit the new valve liners.

In front of the smokebox, brackets run along the frames to supports a foot plate between the frames. When the loco was dismantled the bracket on the left side was loose and there was evidence that the bracket had been loose and re-tightened repeatedly in the past. When the bracket bolts were removed it was found that the bolt holes were damaged and there was very little clamping area for the bolt head. The holes were repaired this week and new bolts were fitted.

At the other end of the frames work has resumed around the Cartazzi inner frames with cleaning and needle gunning preparing this area for testing and painting.

Work on the wheels continued this week with primer being applied and our first efforts at filling the surface imperfections in the castings. The filler went on OK and some test sanding was done. This will be continued next week.

After taking measurements last week the axleboxes are now having bearing material cast on at the workshops of the NYMR at Grosmont.

The handbrake screw from the tender has been condemned as beyond economic repair. To produce a new one we need a suitable drawing. Measurements have been taken so that we can produce a drawing. The drawing we have in our records is different form the screw we have so we visited the NRM archive to look at the drawings they have, and again we could not find a drawing that shows the handbrake screw we have.

The air brake piping has been refitted around the front bufferbeam. 14 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Air brake piping refitted

The steam heat pipework was refitted to the loco this week. This view shows behind the front bufferbeam. The pipework for the steam heat still requires securing to all its brackets. 14 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Steam heat pipework refitted

The platework around the Cartazzi has been given another coat of cleaning and descaling in preparation for final testing as repairs to the inner frames are completed in this area. 14 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Platework around the Cartazzi

The overhaul of the leading vacuum brake cylinders has been completed with only painting now to be completed. 14 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Vacuum brake cylinders

A view from the end of the steam heat pipe at the cab end of the loco frames. The end of pipe can be seen on the right as it snakes up the frames. 14 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The steam heat pipe

The wheelsets continue to be finally cleaned and receiving coats of primer. The photo shows the progress so far with one of the bogie wheelsets. 14 October 2017
Photograph:Darrin Crone .

The wheelsets cleaned

The piston valve heads have ow had all the pegs removed and are ready for machining to suit the new valve liners. 14 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The piston valve heads

9 October 2017

The valve heads were removed from their spindles last week for machining to suit the new valve liners. Before machining can begin the ring pegs require removal. These pegs project in to the ring grooves to stop the piston valve rings from rotating around the valve head. They are screwed in to the valve head then machined flush with the valve head. A preliminary attempt was made to see if the pegs would unscrew, but unsurprisingly they would not so we proceeded to drill them out. This was done using the NRM's Richmond radial arm drill. By the end of the week they had all been drilled out but the threaded holes still require clearing of the remains of the peg threads.

The last of the coupled spring holes were ground out this week. This will assist in the free movement of the spring hanger bolts in traffic as they should not now foul the springs.

The wheelsets returned from re-tyring are now looking very good, as remarked by a number of observers last week. The tyre edges, balance weights and axle ends are now prime painted and we are now trialing filling some of the spokes on one of the coupled wheels. We know other locos have had their spokes filled before painting and it does help in cleaning when the loco is back in traffic, as well as looking really good.

The lubrication connections to the bogie go through the loco bogie stretcher via screwed in fittings. The stretcher collects water and this water can find its way on to the bogie bearing surfaces via these connections if they are not a good fit in the stretcher. To ensure a good fit the top of the stretcher where the fittings seal has this week been spot faced. When the fittings are replaced they will be sealed with copper washers against the stretcher.

This week NYMR technicians visited us at York to measure the journals of the bogie and coupled wheels so that the finished dimensions of the axleboxes can be determined.

The tender sump was found to be holed when it was removed from the tender tank. This week the bottom plate was cut out and the bottom flange at the centre of the plate recovered. New plate is now on order. We also had a look over the ashpan. It is in a generally sound condition though the side plates are warped near the damper door. Before work can begin we will have to move it to a suitable location from where it is at the moment in the north yard.

As riveting around the leading vacuum cylinder stretcher is now complete the air brake pipe runs in this area can be installed. This was progressed this week, meanwhile work continues on cleaning the pipework retrieved from store. The bolting for the flanges on the steel pipework for vacuum and steam heat have been removed and are being cleaned and die-nutted.

The reverser shaft was fitted last week. This week the pins for the spiral spring and vacuum clutch, both of which are fitted to the shaft, were refitted greased and finally pinned in place. The lifting arms that go on the end of the shaft were retrieved from store and cleaned.

The repaired leading vacuum cylinder centre bearing was returned to York this week. It was put in place and aligned with the outside bearings using a 2" diameter pipe. This is the same diameter as the trunnions on the brake cylinders. When in place the mounting holes for the centre bearing were marked and it was then removed for drilling. After drilling it was refitted and its alignment re-checked, and is very good. The bearings have now been removed. The centre will be painted and the outside bearings will have their bushes renewed.

The brake cylinders are now being reassembled with the first, one of the leading 21" cylinders, completed by closely following the official BR instructions. A test of the piston under gravity showed that it moves satisfactorily.

The staying of the new side plates of the boiler at Llangollen is now complete. This view shows the inside of the firebox. The area of new staying is apparent. The bottom row of stays will be put in after the replacement of the foundation ring. 4 October 2017
Photograph: Paul Aston.

Boiler side plates

Steady progress is being made with the wheelsets. They have now been thoroughly cleaned of the grease and wax put on them to protect them during their repairs and primer is now being applied. 5 October 2017
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.


The pegs that prevent the rotation of the rings in the valve heads have been drilled out this week. This has to be done very carefully and requires accurate setting up to ensure no damage to the valve head as they are to be reused. 5 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Drilling a ring peg

One of the valve ring pegs after drilling out on 5 October 2017.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Drilled out ring peg

Much time and effort has been put in to cleaning and preparing pipework for refitting. This pipe is part of the run from the steam chest to the cab. It originally controlled the exhaust steam injector but is now used for the steam chest pressure gauge. 5 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cleaning pipework

The leading vacuum cylinder centre bearing bracket was put in its correct position this week and the mounting holes drilled to suit. It was then removed for painting. Here it is on the painting bench. 5 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Vac cylinder bearing bracket

The bottom of the tender sump was cut out this week and the flange in the plate recovered. The flange can be seen inside. New plate will be welded in and the old flange re-used. 5 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Bottom of the tender sump

The completed vacuum cylinder has been assembled using new seals and the piston checked to ensure free movement. Andy Barwick appears pleased with the results of his efforts. 6 October 2017
Photograph: Malc Bateman.

Completed vacuum cylinder

2 October 2017

The new boiler side sheets should now be fully stayed with the last 20 stays planned for fitting this week. With this complete, plans are now being made to turn the boiler onto its side so that the combustion chamber copper welding can be continued up the sides and eventually across the roof plate.

A great deal of effort has been put into getting the wheels in a suitable condition for painting, with most of the volunteer Engineering Team members putting in the elbow grease. By the end of the week they were approaching the condition in which they left York. Paint was finally applied on Thursday to tyre edges after our painter declared them clean and rust free enough.

Further preparations for the tender tank lift were made this week with the gangway bellows being removed. The bellows are between the tender vestibule and the large plate that buffers against the coach connection. The plate is thick steel and is very heavy so had to be removed after some careful planning. It was lowered on to the buffer stops behind the tender and was later put to the side and tied up. The strips that hold the cover sheet were removed so that the damaged cover sheet removed could be removed.

The last water pipe fouling the lift couldn't be removed with a wrench as it collapsed when this was tried, so it was burnt off. After a last look round the tender we couldn't see anything else that could prevent the lifting of the tank, so packing towers were put in the corners and the tank was jacked. It was jacked a couple of inches and packed against the tender frames.

The last of the new spring hanger bolts were delivered this week and were checked against drawing by our placement student, who will be with us until summer next year gaining engineering experience as part of his university course. He also measured the hornstay bolts and holes on the bogie frames and is preparing a drawing of the bolts so new ones can be manufactured. The last bogie side control bolt cotter was put in this week, after a new washer was made, to give the cotter a good fit on top of the nut.

The vacuum brake and steam heat pipes were retrieved from store this week. A start has now been made on cleaning and assessing their condition prior to refurbishment and refitting.

The air brake components and electrical equipment removed from the coach returned to York this week after contractor overhaul.

The leading vacuum cylinder centre bearing was taken for weld repair and machining this week. The repair is now completed and it will be back at York next week for final positioning.

The failed clackbox castings have now been returned to the foundry. Our clackbox valves were taken to the machine shop that will be machining the castings. They have requested these parts to ensure they will be a good fit in the clackbox bodies and that the different sections of the complete clackbox can be separately pressure tested.

The reversing shaft has now been put back on the loco. As mentioned in previous reports the shaft has to have the spiral spring fitted as the shaft is passed through the frames. As the spring is a tight fit a sleeve was made to prevent damage to the shaft. The reverser clutch sheaves were also fitted to the shaft.

The piston valve heads from the middle and right hand valves require machining to suit the new valve liners. These can be very difficult to remove and it was important that they were not damaged during removal as we want to reuse them. They have now been successfully removed.

The valves and clack cap for the left hand clackbox were taken to the machine shop where the clackbox bodies will be machined. The clackboxes need these parts fitting for final pressure testing. 28 September 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Valves & cap for L/H clackbox

The tender tank is now lifted from the frames and stands off the frames on a couple of inches of packing. The gangway bellow assembly lays on its side ties to the buffer stops in the NRM workshop. 28 September 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Tender tank lifted from frames

The refurbished coach air brake cylinders were returned to York this week. 28 September 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Refurbished air brake cylinders

Packing can be seen below the tank in this photo of the rear bufferbeam area. The square section bars with bolts in their ends support the gangway connection and are spring loaded to push the connection out. 28 September 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Packing below the tank

Just part of the pipework being worked on at the moment. This is a collection of loco vacuum brake and steam heat pipework. 28 September 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Part of pipework being worked on

The first paint is being applied to the returned wheelsets. This is the driving set. 28 September 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

First paint on returned wheelsets

Not mentioned in the report, we visited the works of K D Flavell who are refurbishing the superheater header. Here it is stood on the flange that fastens on to the boiler. The top and end faces are complete and this visit was to agree the repair procedure of the element holes.
Photograph: Darrin Crone. 29 September 2017

Refurbished superheater header

The reversing shaft was fitted this week. The spiral spring that counteracts the wight of the reversing assembly, and the vacuum clutch that locks the shaft in position can be seen. 29 September 2017
Photograph: Andy Barwick.

The reversing shaft

The leading vacuum cylinder centre bearing has had its fixing holes welded up as it is to be repositioned on the loco and new holes will be drilled through. The bottom of the "U" has been built up with weld and bored out to a specified diameter to suit the vacuum cylinder trunions. 1 October 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Vacuum cylinder centre bearing
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