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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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January to March 2018.

19 March 2018

Work continued on the reverser stand overhaul with the main stand being turned so that the inside can be got at to be cleaned. The reverser stand is bolted down with a large number of bolts and these were retrieved from store and cleaned and examined. Most are fit for further use. The stand is mounted on a stiffening plate and this has now been cleaned and painted.

The cab floor and pipe systems are being progressed, helped this week by the return of the overhauled air brake components. With these in place it gives a definite start and end point for the pipe runs. More holes have been cut in the new floor platework for routing pipes and some of the valves tried in place. One problem we have is that one of the valves is taller than the old one it replaces, having a different body casting.

The fireman's side dump valve has been fitted, and after the final fit of the middle upstand was checked it was welded.

Time has also been spent on welding up the cutouts in the ashpan and building up another two loco brake hangers worn by rubbing brake blocks. A start has been made on the replacement of the platework around the ashpan hopper door opening. More new plate has been ordered and the hopper door retrieved from store.

The overhauled air brake components were put back on the coach this week. The brakes were then tested using the NRM's air brake hose adaptors. By varying the train pipe pressure the brakes were operated. The reservoir was also pressured and connections tested for leaks.

The stripping of the tender brakeshaft has been completed and it can now be examined.

The loco brake beams returned to York this week from contractor repair and the superheater header and middle front cover were collected. Some minor repair is required to the header front face and the cover requires machining.

The removal of corroded plate from the corridor tender continues. A section of the corridor roof and side down to the tank has now been removed. The shape of the corridor will be compared to drawings and new plate will be ordered.

It is planned to refit the loco frame bogie sidebearers with new bolting. Some time ago a method was devised and special tooling is required. A special, extended arbour is being made by one of the Engineering Team volunteers to drive our reamers. Over the weeks I have been accruing second hand reamers of suitable size.

The cab levers and pulleys for the drain cocks and gravity sands have been dismantled, cleaned and examined. One of the pulleys had a nasty cut in it so as a precaution it has been silver soldered.

The right hand bogie splashers were stripped this week and painted, and their mounting bolts cleaned up. The bogie front guard irons have also been painted this week. The bogie wheelsets also received their first coat of varnish this week and they look very good.

The slidebar alignment wire was put up for the middle cylinder this week, after a bracket was made for between the frames to fasten the trailing end of the wire. The middle slidebar is now mounted and its positioning checked by our CME on Saturday.

The GSMR cabinet refurbishment continues with gloss top coat being applied to the framework and panels.

The results of the safety valve examination have been compiled and we can now progress to the manufacture of the new parts we require. We are now in discussion with another loco owning organisation who require safety valves to find the best way of getting new parts manufactured.

The drain cock cab Bowden pulley, marked for sands but so is the sands one. 17 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Drain cock cab Bowden pulley

A view looking toward the front right of the tender with a section of tender corridor removed. On the outside the A4 fairing has also been removed. The beading which was the top of the original 1928 tender can be seen. 17 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Front right of the tender

The gap between the middle cylinder alignment wire and middle upper slidebar is measured with a micrometer by Chief Mechanical Engineer Richard Swales. 17 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Gap measured with micrometer

The loco brake hangers are being rebuilt with weld where the cast iron brake blocks rub and wear away the hanger. 17 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The loco brake hangers

The air brake components have been returned from contractor overhaul and are being positioned under the cab floor. The nearest valve is the FVF2, but it's bigger than the old unit so won't fit in the same place. 17 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The air brake components

12 March 2018

The reconstruction of the cab floor progressed this week with the new front upstand put in place, requiring its ends drilled. By the end of the week the front upstand had been drilled to take the section of wood that the cab floor is screwed to, and holes had been put in it for a couple of pipe runs. The combined timing reservoir tested last week was also mounted on the upstand. The driver'' side upstand has had a considerable amount of it's bottom edge cut away. To give it some support a section of plate has been welded to its front so that its sits level on the cab floor plate.

To allow final routing of the cab pipework the M8 drivers air brake valve needs to be positioned. This is mounted on a bracket that is mounted on the reverser stand. So this week the M8 bracket and the reverser stand started their overhaul. The reverser was dismantled and its examination began. The stand is now being stripped of paint.

Further work was done on the drain cock linkage and the bowden cables and conduit were examined. The operating handles from the cab including their brackets and pulleys were cleaned and their examination has begun.

The upper right fairing on the tender is now being removed in sections. It is the only way that the corroded sections of the corridor roof can be accessed for repair. With a section of the fairing removed, plate has been removed from the corridor roof only to find another layer of plate beneath.

The brakeshaft from the tender is now being stripped. When this is complete it will be thoroughly assessed for condition along with is brackets and the frames where they are fastened.

Painting continues on various parts and around the loco touching up areas damaged by ongoing works. The coupled and bogie wheels have all been scuffed in preparation for varnishing.

The slidebar alignment is complete for the left side so the wire was moved to the right and put up. The right side slidebar has now been put up on the loco.

The right crosshead was cleaned this week and di-pen inspected, another 60026 component. No faults were found.

Work continues on the ashpan with it being turned over this week to allow work to the underside. More work has been done on tiding up the frame cut outs and work started on renewing platework around the hopper door hole. A couple of the loco brake hangers have been built up with weld where they have worn by rubbing against the brake blocks.

The new copper tubeplate positioned last week, has had further fitting in the boilershop at Llangollen. It is reported that its fit has been checked using feeler gauges and is very good.

The combined timing reservoir is mounted to the leading transverse cab floor upstand. A view looking toward the driver's side. Primed plates are existing plate, unpainted plate is new. 10 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The combined timing reservoir

The large heavy casting that is the main part of the reverser stand. Laid on its back it normally stands on the base in the front of the photograph. Here most of the paint has been removed prior to testing for defects. 10 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Main part of the reverser stand

The reverser stand and the screw that operates the reversing links and gear, that is normally down the middle of the stand. 10 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Reverser stand and the screw

The right upper slide bar is in position and aligned with the wire from the cylinder centre line. 10 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The right upper slide bar

A section of the outer layer of the tender corridor roof has been removed. Over the top the end of the streamlining can be seen where a section has been cut away. The streamlining was added to the original 1928 tender when it was transferred to A4 use. Under the streamlining is the original beading that marks the top of the 1928 tender. 10 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Tender corridor roof

The tender brakeshaft is being stripped and descaled for inspection. It is seen here with its end brackets in place. It is mounted at the front of the tender frames. 10 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The tender brakeshaft

5 March 2018

A difficult week for the Engineering Team due to the traffic chaos from the cold weather, though many members of the volunteer Engineering Team managed to made it to York.

The left hand cylinder wire alignment continued allowing the upper slidebar to be mounted and bolted up. Shims are placed between the slidebar and the loco to correctly position the slidebar. The alignment was checked by our CME on Saturday. The assembly of a jig has begun, to measure the centre of the crosshead centre to its top surface, as this dimension will be used to position the crosshead on the cylinder centre.

The left piston crosshead was deep cleaned to prepare it for examination. This is another 60026 component, having this number over-stamped with 60007. After a final de-grease of the crosshead the dye penetrant fluids were applied. No defects were found.

Final cleaning of the backs and underside of the coupling rods continued. The pins that go between the bogie axlebox tops and the spring beams, and the axlebox cover plates were also cleaned ready for the bogie assembly.

The brake reservoir tank that is mounted under the cab floor was cleaned and stripped this week and then pressure tested. The tank is subdivided in to 3 chambers and all have been proved to be tight. It has now been moved to the painting bench.

The cylinder relief valves have progressed well with skimming the clack valves then lapping them in to the valve bodies. The bodies have received further cleaning as they are in a prominent location on the cylinder ends so will have to be polished.

The dimensional inspection of the safety valves was continued and the dimensional variations between the in service and spare valve components have been recorded. It was initially planned to purchase new valves along with another loco owner, as this would reduce costs, however the other party has now decided that they do not require new valves in the near future. With work progressing with the boiler we will need them in the next few months, so we can't wait. The reduction in the number of valves would not only see an increase in the cost but also the amount of work required from us in specifying and organising manufacture. The dimensional inspection will allow us to determine which components will require replacement and those which can be refurbished.

To enable the fitting of the cab floor structure the cab has been lowered on to the cab floor plate. It has been packed off by a couple of inches to allow the area under the cab sides to be painted. The lowering of the cab has allowed the cab floor upstands to be put in the cab, and has allowed the injector water valve operating rods to be assembled in their true position.

The condemned upstands have now been replaced with new fabrications and the driver's and fireman's side upstands are in position. Predictably some further fitting will be required. With them in place it is now very cluttered and we have the pipework and airbrake components to squeeze in here.

The progress on painting is continuous. This week amongst other things the bogie front guard plate has been painted, for the bogie assembly, and the coupled tyre chamfered edges have been cleaned up giving a razor sharp edge to the tyre paint work.

The left piston crosshead has been inspected for damage and defects. No faults were found. 3 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The left piston crosshead

The cylinder relief valves have been overhauled. 3 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The cylinder relief valves

The left upper sidebar has been accurately positioned. 3 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The left upper sidebar

The cab floor structure is in position, though more fitting is required. 3 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The cab floor structure

Safety valve components are on the surface table being inspected and measured. 3 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Safety valve components

26 February 2018

The air pump lubricator was mounted on top of the compressor. To access it when the loco is in traffic means climbing between the frames in front of the ashpan. It's not a good arrangement so it has been decided to relocate the lubricator in a more accessible location. As a result the actuator hole from the steam cylinder has been stopped with a new plug manufactured by Engineering Team volunteers. This was completed and fitted this week.

A start was made this week on the fitting of the slide bars by putting up the alignment wire on the left side of the engine. The slidebars have to be in line and parallel to the centre line of the cylinder so that the piston has a straight stroke and is aligned with the driving wheelset. After carefully positioning the wire the left upper slide bar was put up.

Work continues on the final testing of the slidebars with di-pen inspection of the lower left bars and the middle upper. The big end strap was dismantled and thoroughly cleaned for inspection for defects.

Work on the drain cock linkage continues with the middle cylinder rod. When we examined the pin that takes the movement from the rest of the linkage we thought the arrangement was a poor design so we looked at the drawings. The drawings show that the pin should be threaded in to the bar, which makes a lot more sense. So the existing plain hole was welded up and tapped out. The pin is now locked in place and the linkage painted ready for fitting.

The drain cock linkage and the gravity sands are operated by Bowden cables, like bike brakes. These cables, fittings and the tubes they run through were retrieved from store this week we have started to go through them to assess the work required to overhaul them. The cylinder relief valves were retrieved from store and these are now being dismantled and assessed. The cast iron clacks will require skimming to reface and a start has been made on this.

The tender has received more descaling this week, as well as removal of silicon sealant from around the various patch plates. Further stripping and cutting out of material can now be done as the conduit from the corridor, that connects the GSMR panel at the back of the tender and the drivers interface unit on the front, has been removed. The cables from the conduit were removed from the DIU. The GSMR panel overhaul continues with priming the various shelves and the frame. The tender brakeshaft was also removed this week.

Elsewhere around the loco the last parts of the underside of the coupling rods have been receiving a clean off.

The fireman's side cab upstand was re-plated this week with a new a section of plate bent to shape and welded in position. The upstand is now painted. There are a couple of other underfloor upstands to make up, the plates being cut to size and dressed this week.

The ashpan overhaul continues with lots of sparks and noise. The main plating is now complete and work is concentrating on tidying up the cutouts made when fitting the ashpan after the last overhaul.

Pipework continued this week around the cab end with a number of pipes now spread over the cab floor plate for trial fitting, however the cab floor structure requires fitting to ensure the pipes are in the correct place. One of the largest single items that goes under the floor is the combined timing reservoir, an air tank. This was retrieved from store this week for final cleaning, testing and painting.

The last two bogie axleboxes were scraped in this week. The journals were then wrapped to protect them before final varnishing and fitting to the frames.

The superheater header element holes have all been reamed and the hole sizes have been tabulated. The inside of the holes have had their sharp edges removed and the inside of the header cleaned.

At Llangollen the new firebox tubeplate is in its final position and held in place by temporary bolts. It is reported to be a very good fit.

The upper middle slidebar is inspected for defects around its mounting holes. All the slidebars are inspected like this before refitting. They have also been measured for wear. 20 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The upper middle slidebar

A new section of platework has been let in to the fireman's side cab floor support to replace wasted plate. 21 February 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

New section of platework

The superheater header refurbishment continued this week with the reamed element holes deburred. 22 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The superheater header

The cylinder relief valves are dismantled, cleaned, inspected and refurbished. The parts of each valve being kept together. 22 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cylinder relief valves

The cylinder drain operating linkages have been refurbished and is being trial fitted. 22 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cylinder drain operating linkage

Now that the cab floor plate is fitted pipework begins to emerge. 22 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cab pipework

The new copper tubeplate is now in position, in the upturned boiler. 22 February 2018
Photograph: Paul Aston.

New copper tubeplate

19 February 2018

The regulator clamp that connects the regulator to the large steam pipe inside the boiler was packaged and dispatched to Llangollen this week as they now require it for fitting. I was also informed that the new clackboxes are now completed and are ready for collection from our contractor in Darlington. They have been successfully pressure tested. At Llangollen the copper tubeplate has had its flange drilled and trimmed, and preparations are being made to lift it in to the upturned firebox. The foundation ring has been tested and some cracking has been found. This has been ground out and will be welded.

New studs have been made to replace the worn drain cock studs on the loco and these were fitted this week.

The first lap of reaming of the superheater header element holes was completed this week. We have measurements of all the holes and the results will be analysed, and we will decide if we should standardise on a finished hole size, or if the variation is not significant we may well leave them as they are. Some dressing of the inside of the holes will be necessary.

We have received quotes for the new horizontal hornstay bolts and an order will be placed. Some of the fitted bolt holes around the outside cylinders show some taper so are not ready for new fitted bolts so a start has been made on honing them to get them parallel. Results from testing the spare and in-service bogie springs have been analysed and compared to the original specification and an order for our new spring can now be placed. The rubber springs for the bogie and coupled wheels were assembled this week.

The bogie axleboxes were moved to the wheelsets that are on the wheeldrop, and a start has been made on fitting them to the wheelset journals. The journals were polished this week in preparation. We were visited by Stuart Fletcher on Saturday who has extensive experience with the fitting of whitemetal bearings generally and to 60007 in particular. Stuart guided us through the fitting procedure and the right hand axleboxes are now fitted. The oil wedges that channel the oil up between the bearing and journal have been scraped in to the left hand boxes.

Work continues in the descaling of the tender with work being carried out long the top of the corridor. There has been much patching in this area, and like the back corner of the corridor it's a matter of removing successive layers of repairs to see what sound material we actually have. Below the tank the last brake hanger has been removed and the procedure for removal recorded as it was quite a puzzle. Work on releasing the tender brake shaft has now begun.

At the cab end of the loco the cab upstand that goes above the bufferbeam was refitted this week and further work has been carried out to the cab floor structure. Some parts are now prime painted but others will have to be replaced as they are wasted beyond reuse. New steel for the cab floor has been received and a start has been made. With the cab floor plate in it is possible to start to route pipes up to the cab with two emerging this week. The position of the holes in the cab floor has impacted the run of at least one pipe below the floor and this had to be adjusted.

The upper slidebars have been dye penetrant inspected around their mounting holes. A start has been made on preparing the middle upper slidebar. The little end pins and the coupling rod gradient pins were also di-penned this week with one of the gradient pins showing damage where it has been struck on its end.

The overhaul of the drain cock links at the front of the loco is now completed and the links and rods are now being painted prior to refitting. New mounting studs have been made by the volunteer Engineering Team.

The replating of the ashpan continues, with final tidying up of the rear right and new plate being added to the rear left.

The rear cab upstand is lowered in to position on 14 February 2018.
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Rear cab upstand in position

The bogie wheel journals and thrust faces are polished to a high standard before fitting the axleboxes. The wheelsets sit on the NRM workshops wheeldrop, 15 February 2018.
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

The bogie wheel journals

The bogie axleboxes are in the process of being fitted. Andy Lowes puts in the oil wedges on the left side boxes. 17 February 2018
Photograph: Richard Swales.

The bogie axleboxes

The outside upper slidebars have been inspected for possible cracking around their mounting holes. No defects have been found. 17 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The outside upper slidebars

The right side bogie axleboxes have been fitted and are put to one side. 17 February 2018
Photograph: Malc Bateman.

The right side bogie axleboxes

Not mentioned in the report but measuring the moving parts of the locomotive continues. Here the inside connecting rod receives the attention of the Chief Mechanical Engineers micrometers. 17 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Tinside connecting rod

The rubber springs for the bogie and coupled wheels were assembled this week. Supplied as separate steel and rubber plates they are glued together with a high strength two part adhesive. 17 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The rubber springs

12 February 2018

More work has been done on cleaning and descaling the coal space in the tender. A considerable amount of scale has been removed and barrowed out to the skip. The GSMR rack overhaul continues with primer now being applied.

The dye pen inspection of the coupling rods has continued this week and the outside connecting rods have also been similarly treated. No defects have been found. The inside connecting rod was cleaned up and measured this week. The small end (gudgeon) pins and the gradient pins were cleaned and examined. A refurbishment program for the pins and the inside con rod is now being devised.

Work continued on the drain cock linkage with the cross shaft located under the trailing edge of the middle cylinder being worked on. This required a couple of the pin holes to be attended to. One was remade while the material on the edge of the link was built up.

The inaccessible nut on one of the cylinder flange bolts was driven home this week after the nut was specially machined to accept a punch. The assessment of the hornstay bolting continued with the removal and examination of the horizontal hornstay bolts. As with the vertical bolting there is plenty of evidence of fitter examinations with damage from hammers. Quotations are being sought for new nuts and bolts.

Tidying up of the wheelset paint line along the tyre edges was continued this week. They look very good. On Saturday our 007 Gang of Junior volunteers checked the identity of the bogie wheels to ensure they are the right way round to be put back in to the bogie frames. Each journal was measured with a micrometer and it was found necessary to rotate the trailing set. All wheelsets are now in the correct orientation.

The dimensions and calculations for the coupled wheel axleboxes machining dimensions are coming together and been checked. Final measurements and checks of the coupled wheel journals have been carried out and final dimensions will be available for checking soon.

The LNER blow down cock was given a final examination and the packings were given an additional squeeze. Another boiler component, the regulator to main steam pipe clamp was retrieved from store this week and descaled as it is now required at Llangollen. Work on the ashpan continues with more new platework put in to the rear corners and other areas prepared. The reaming of the superheater header continued this week. We are now more than half way.

The bench measurements of the slidebars are now complete and the results have been tabulated and sent to our CME. The slidebars will be subject to further examination for defects and then will be refitted. Work started this week on preparing the brackets on the loco to accept the slidebars.

The lubrication pipework for the oil boxes that feed the slidebars and the areas around them was retrieved from store this week and a start made on assessing their condition has begun. A number of the pipes have now been annealed.

To allow pipe fitting to progress at the cab end we need the cab floor plate in position and this was refitted this week. At the moment the floor plate is secured by temporary screws as most of the old screws and bolts were beyond further use. Those that can be reused have been refurbished. The floor plate went in very easily with all the shims previously removed refitted in the correct location using the records made during removal. New bolting is on order.

The cab upstand platework that fastens to the floor plate and supports the cab floor has been cleaned and descaled. Some has had to be scrapped while the largest that goes across the width of the cab above the bufferbeam has been primed. New steel has been ordered to replace the pieces that have been condemned.

The inspection of the coupling rods has continued with the ends inspected for cracks. 6 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The coupling rods

The tender coal space and the top of the corridor is being descaled. A large amount of material has been removed. 6 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Tender coal space descaled

The little end, or gudgeon pins have been thoroughly prepared for examination. They have now been measured for wear. 6 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The little end

The tyre edges on the bogie wheels have been cleaned off, the trailing set has been turned round to get it the right way round and the protective covers removed from the journals. The wheelsets sit on the NRM workshop wheel drop, originally part of York North depot. 6 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Bogie wheel tyre edges

The ashpan back right back corner has received further new plate. 6 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Ashpan back right back corner

The inside connecting rod has been retrieved from store, cleaned up and a start made on measuring it as part of its examination. 6 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The inside connecting rod

The clamp that pulls the regulator valve on to the internal steam pipe inside of the the boiler barrel was retrieved from store this week and prepared to be sent to Llangollen. 6 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The regulator valve clamp

At Llangollen work progresses on the tube plate and the regulator set up. This photo shows inside the stuffing box on the backhead with the reach rod that goes through the boiler to the regulator valve. 7 February 2018
Photograph: Paul Aston.

The tube plate and regulator

The floor plate is lowered in to position by Roger Turnbull and Ian Seales on 8 February 2018.
Photograph: Malc Bateman.

The floor plate

5 February 2018

I visited contractors this week where the clackboxes are being machined. They are now well advanced and the valves have been trial fitted. Both clackboxes have had another, intermediate pressure test and both passed, which is a relief after so much effort has been put into them. We are not there yet as when complete they will have to pass a final pressure test, however the machining has shown that the cast is very good with no noticeable porosity.

Painting has again this week focused on the loco dragbox and rear frame area with the volunteer painting team doing a great job. We are now very close to fitting the floor plate which allows the pipe fitting team to pin down the location of the pipework that goes up into the cab. On top of the cab floor there is structure that supports the cab floor. The platework that forms this structure was cleaned up this week and inspected. Unfortunately some of it has not survived very well and will need replacing as it has wasted quite badly in places along its bottom edges. The plates have been measured and new plate will be ordered.

Inside the frames the steel pipework has received further painting.

The refurbishment of the drain cock operating gear continues. We need a number of new studs for mounting the drain cocks and the drain cock operating linkage. Quotes have been received for Whitworth studs but they do seem expensive, probably as they are no longer used by industry. As we have now increased the number of lathe owning volunteers keen to have a go at this type of work suitable material was ordered and they will be made by volunteers.

The LNER boiler blow off cock machined over last Christmas received a final lapping in and was repacked this week now that the overhaul of the cylinder drain cocks is complete. The cock has now been put to one side and will be taken to Llangollen on our next visit.

The gradient pin bushes were pressed out this week. With all the bushes out the coupling rods were dye penetrant tested for cracks and defects. One side was completed this week. They will now be cleaned, turned over and the other sides tested.

The outside connecting rod bushes were also pressed out and the rods laid along side the engine. The inside diameters of the bushes were measured before removal. On Saturday the rod centres were measured by our CME. The connecting rods will also be tested for defects.

The upper slide bars have been measured on the surface table in the workshop. This week it was the turn of the lower slide bars, of which there are twice as many. Each in turn was prepared, put up on the surface table and measured for flatness. They all look to be pretty good, but a full report is yet to be prepared.

The tender brake hangers removed so far have received a cleaned prior to stripping them of scale and paint, before examination.

The reaming of the superheater header continued this week. It's slow progress but a good job is being done.

The GSMR was updated this week with a Network Rail representative visiting us on Wednesday. The system was charged and set up so it was a straight forward job for the NR upgrade. As we had managed to put the full electrical GSMR system together a full system test was carried out successfully. The refurbishment of the GSMR mounting rack is ongoing.

The bogie wheels were moved across the workshop this week and put on to the wheel drop rail. This gives us more room around the ashpan for further work there and puts the bogie wheels under the crane. I will help to have the bogie wheels under the crane for positioning the axleboxes when they are fitted on to the journals in a couple of weeks' time.

The ashpan was moved a little way from the walkway and there is a lot more room around it now the bogie wheels have been moved. Work continued on replacing plate toward the outside left where the flange has wasted. At the front angles have been put in to strengthen the front of the ashpan which warped during the last period in traffic. The thickness of the rear top of the ashpan was tested and it seems fine except for the very top back corners which will have to be replaced.

The clackboxes at the works of TT Elecmech where they are being machined. The reconditioned valves are fitted to the clackbox castings to check fit and allow an intermediate pressure test. 29 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The clackboxes

At Llangollen the new firebox tubeplate is being marked for its flange to be drilled prior to fitting. 1 February 2018
Photograph: Paul Aston.

New firebox tubeplate

The regulator cross shaft and stuffing box have been trial mounted on the backhead of the boiler. 1 February 2018
Photograph: Paul Aston.

Cross shaft and stuffing box

The right side coupling rods have had their bushes pressed out and are being examined for defects 3 February 2018.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The right side coupling rods

The platework that stands on the cab floorplate and supports the wooden floor. The green primer painted plate can be reused, the plates beyond require replacement. 3 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cab floorplate platework

The left outside connecting rod has had its bushes removed and is measured. The rod projecting from the big end bearing hole allows a long internal micrometer to be used to check the bearing centres. 3 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The left outside connecting rod

The six lower slidebars have been on the surface table in the NRM Workshop and been measured for wear. 3 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The six lower slidebars

The reaming of the superheater element holes continues. 3 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Superheater element holes

The bogie wheelsets have been moved back on to the rail in front of the loco. 3 February 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The bogie wheelsets

29 January 2018

The brake beams that were sent for contractor repair have now been completed. I went to see them on Monday and they look very good. They are to return to York in the next couple of weeks.

The new air drive plate for the air pump lubricator has had its ends radiused to match the mounting flange on the pump and the air drive take off hole has been tapped. The air pump exhaust goes to the old exhaust injector steam supply flange on the middle cylinder casting. The flange connection requires the flange nuts to have spacers so that the old studs can be left in place. The spacers have been made and fitting them began this week.

The refurbishment of the drain cock operating gear continued this week. We have decide that a couple of the drain cock relief valve springs require replacement as they show signs of corrosion. The old springs have been measured and loadings calculated and these measurements are being compared to the LNER/BR drawings so that a purchase specification can be prepared. A service bogie spring and our spare have been sent to contractors this week for test to ensure our spare is of the correct specification.

Painting has continued on the middle cylinder cladding plates and the securing screws have been prepared for fitting. At the same time the bolts for securing the cab floor plate have been cleaned and die nutted. The floor plate has now been painted to gloss and is ready for fitting.

At the rear of the loco work continues painting around the dragbox and footplate angles where the cab floor plate will be fitted. The inside of the footplate angles have been needle gunned and painted. The tidying up of the paint on the bogie wheels continued this week. Further painting is also being applied to the steel pipework between the frames.

A new fitted bolt at the bottom of the left cylinder was driven in this week. There's not a spanner on earth that can tighten the nut on the back so it will have to be driven with a punch, a method used around the engine on a number of historical nuts.

The new platework for the ashpan has been prepared and welded in place. Good progress was made and a good quality job has been done, with the front left and rear right areas receiving new plate.

Work started this week on reaming the superheater element holes using tooling loaned to us by Flavell's when I went to see the brake beams they have done for us. This task is steadily advancing along the header and we are getting a good finish to the holes taking out ovality and taper with the minimum amount of material removed. This should help in getting a reliable steam tight joint and making the expansion process at Llangollen as straight forward as possible. On the subject of boiler fittings the contractor machining of the injector clackboxes is progressing well.

Further work to the air brake pipes was done this week with a section of new pipe being fitted behind the front buffer beam to the reservoir air valve. The quality of this work is a great improvement on the original contractor installation. Also at the front bufferbeam a new copper sealing ring was fitted to the steam heat valve.

The coupling rod bushes were removed this week, being pressed out on the workshop press adjacent to the front of the loco. The rods were then laid out for measuring. The holes in the rods for the crankpin bushes were measured as were the rod centres. The outside diameter of the bushes were also measured to see what interference is left, which will be used to decide if the bushes can be reused.

Work continued on the removal of the tender brake gear, with some of the brake hangers being particularly challenging to remove. At the corridor end the GSMR frame is being stripped and prepared for painting as the original powder coating is peeling off.

The clackboxes are being machined by TT Elecmech of Darlington. One of the castings is on the lathe having the valve threads cut on 24 January 2018.
Photograph: Tom Jones.

Clackbox machining

New plate in the front left of the ashpan. 27 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

New ashpan plate

The crankpin bushes were pressed out of the coupling rods this week and the rods are shown set up for measurement on 27 January 2018.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The crankpin bushes

The leading right coupling rod bush. The key stops the bush from rotating in the rod and the oily felt controls the flow of lubricating oil to the crackpin. The ring is fitted between the rod and the wheel to provide a side thrust bearing face. 27 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Leading right coupling rod bush

The dragbox area of the loco is receiving further coats of paint before the floor plate is fitted and prevents further access. 27 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The dragbox area of the loco

The superheater header element holes are being reamed to take out ovality and taper. 27 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

S'heater header element holes

The brake gear removal from the tender continues. 27 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Tender brake gear removal

The GSMR equipment is mounted on a rack fitted in the tender corridor vestibule. It has been dismantled and is being repaired and prepared for repainting on 27 January 2018.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The GSMR equipment

22 January 2018

We've been waiting for the delivery of a sealing ring for the large 24" cylinder. It arrived this week and has now been fitted. The lid was bolted down and that will be that for hopefully ten years. With the cylinder turned over the piston rod end of the cylinder was given a coat of gloss. Where the cylinder is mounted on the loco was prepped this week to receive it.

The cab floor plate has been turned and the lower surface cleaned off. It took a couple of days to get the hard coating of grime off. It has now received coats of paint. The frame area to be boxed in by the plate has also received paint along with the rear bufferbeam and footplate angles in this area. The inside corners of the bufferbeam brackets have had a final clean out and a coat of paint.

The drive to complete the painting around the inside of the rear frames and the cab floor plate is to allow fitting of the floor plate which will assist the piping team route the pipework that goes up in to the cab. The air brake piping that goes in to the cab near the driver's position is being re-routed as it takes it close to the Cartazzi wheel. In addition one of the air pipes at the front bufferbeam has been removed and will be remade.

At the other end of the loco painting has been resumed on the inside of the loco frames with the leading combined brackets and the frames from the 2 to 1 bracket, over the bogie stretcher to under the middle cylinder painted to gloss. At the bottom of the bogie stretcher another cylinder flange, frame and bogie stretcher bolt hole was finish reamed and a new fitted bolt machined.

Work on the bogie wheels continues with the final coats of gloss going on the wheels and axles. The excess paint is now being removed to give sharp edges.

The remaining unmeasured upper slide bar was put up on the surface table and checked for flatness of the rubbing surface. As the others that have been measured, the wear apears to be acceptable for further use without any further attention, however they will have to be mounted on the loco and rechecked to see if mountings cause any changes to the measurements. The bars apear to be original, as do many of the bolts. Some of the bolts require a little TLC, new keys (feathers) and nuts.

All the drain cocks have now been cleaned out of any grinding particles after they were lapped in and reassembled. The outside valves were mounted on the cylinders so that the location of the operating linkages could be determined. The linkage overhaul continues with one of the holes having to be welded up and remade. The sealing faces on the drain cocks and loco cylinders have been cleaned and new seals will be fitted.

Unfortunately the welder was unavailable to progress work on the ashpan, so good use of the time to do further prep work on the new plate work. The welder is organised for next week.

The tapping out of the threaded holes on the front of the superheater header was completed this week. The middle superheater header plate was retrieved from store and its sealing face cleaned. This allows us to assess it's condition. It will require some work.

The boiler has now been turned on to its back in the yard at Llangollen. It is now back in the workshop and work is set to continue on the preparation of the roof plate prior to fitting the new tubeplate.

The boiler is now on its back to allow work on the roof plate in the combustion chamber. The boiler was taken in to the yard at Llangollen and when turned returned to the workshop. 19 January 2018
Photograph: Paul Aston.

Boiler is now on its back

The cylinder drain cocks have been refitted temporarily to the outside cylinders to allow the operating linkage to be located and examined for fit. 20 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cylinder drain cocks

The superheater header middle front plate is in front of the header. The face that seals against the header has been thoroughly cleaned off and examined. 20 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Superheater middle front plate

The lower surface of the cab floor plate cleaned and now with a coat of undercoat. 20 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The cab floor plate

The floor plate sits across the rear of the loco frames so the painting of this area has also been carried out so that it can be fitted. 20 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The floor plate

The first two new valve heads have been delivered to the NRM for inspection and they are very good. When we receive the final two all will have the centre key ways cut in them. 20 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Two new valve heads

The bogie wheels are finished in gloss and are receiving a bit of tidy up around their edges. They are yet to be varnished. 20 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The bogie wheels

The bogie axle boxes were delivered last week and I overlooked including a photo of them. Here they are on the pallet in the NRM workshop. 20 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Bogie axle boxes

15 January 2018

We have been contacted to inform us that the GSMR system requires a software upgrade. We have also been informed that the body carrying this out require the system to be powered up preferably by the system batteries. As we have now removed the system from the tender this presented a bit of a problem as the batteries are charged with a special charger via the driver's interface unit which is still on the front of the cab. However, the connecting cables were released from the tender conduit and the batteries are now charged. We now await a date in the near future for the software upgrade.

The loco brake beams that are being contractor repaired were inspected this week. The worn surfaces have been rebuilt and they are now being put up on a lathe to check for straightness. Where required they are being heated and straightened and the end shafts are being machined.

The finished bored outside leading vacuum cylinder bearings have been tried in position and the alignment is correct. The centre bracket is fitted with new bolting and now fitted grease nipples have been fitted to the bearings in an effort to maximise the life of the cylinder trunnions.

The cylinder drain cock overhaul continues with the poppet valve spindle bushes all machined and fitted. The integral relief valves also required skimming and have now all been lapped in. Meanwhile the inspection of the operating linkage has been completed and it has been refitted it to the loco. New pins will be fitted as necessary from blanks machined by the volunteer Engineering Team.

The mammoth job of painting the wheels continues with the second, final coat of black gloss. The bogie wheels painting continues with gloss being applied to axles and wheels.

Piping around the cab end frames continues. With pipe runs in this area being dependent upon where they go in to the cab it was decided that it was time to put the cab floor plate in as this dictates where pipes come up in to the cab. So the plate was retrieved and moved to a space near the cab and is now in the process of being prepared for painting. The frame top where the plate will be fitted is also being painted ready to receive the plate.

The last of the hard pipes to the trailing vacuum cylinder have now been fitted and the flexi pipes to all the cylinders have been retrieved from store and inspected. The trailing vacuum cylinder was upturned this week and the bottom face glossed.

More wasted plate was cut from the ashpan and new plate trimmed to size and prepped for welding in place. We plan to have the welder in next week.

Now that the frame horns have been measured attention is turning to the coupling rods. These were positioned next to the frames this week and cleaned down. The remaining oil was removed from the reservoirs and has been disposed of. The coupling rod bushes were then measured and these measurements have been sent to our CME for consideration.

The upper slide bars are now being examined for wear. On the loco the gap between top and bottom bars were measured before they were removed but this does not give us a measurement for flatness. So the bars are being put up on the surface table in the workshop and the flatness measured. Two of the upper slidebars were measured and the third is to do. The table surface was prepared and its flatness was checked with a straight edge.

One of the operating cams in the vacuum ejector was found to be cracked. It is very small but it has been decided to make a new cam. When the can was measured it was found that the centre hole where it fits onto the operating shaft is distorted, so this week the shaft was removed and the new cam will be made to fit the shaft.

The superheater face on which the steam pipes are connected was cleaned off. It initially didn't look too bad, though we did expect to spend sometime on preparing it for sealing, however when the smooth, hard outer layer was wire brushed it exposed some quite deep corrosion and perhaps evidence of previous weld repairs. Concerned that this may present a leak path in future, it has been decided to more thoroughly repair this face. As a start the face will have to be cleared of studs. Again this is unfortunate because the condition of the studs was good and we had hoped to reuse then. The studs were heated and they were, mostly easily removed by double nutting, with a few obstinate ones removed by the stillsons. Most of the stud holes have been cleaned out with a tap.

The middle upper slide bar on the forklift on its way to be measured for flatness of the surface the crosshead runs against. 13 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Middle upper slide bar

The studs have been removed from the superheater face where the middle steam pipe connects. This will allow the full face to be repaired and dressed. 13 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Superheater face

The cylinder drain cocks have two integral valves. An automatic pressure relief valve and a poppet valve operated by the driver to allow the cylinders to be drained. Both parts of the six valve units have now been overhauled. 13 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cylinder drain cock valves

The coupled wheels have now received two coats of black gloss. Nearly there just the varnishing to be done. 13 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Coupled wheels

The coupling rods now next to the engine. There overhaul has started. 13 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Coupling rods

The cab floor plate extends the full width of the loco with its outer edges forming the footplating outside the cabsides. 13 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cab floor plate

8 January 2018

Between Christmas and new year we visited the Grosmont workshop of the NYMR to see our bogie axleboxes. We had been notified that they were completed so we went to examine them before accepting delivery to York. The boxes were measured and compared to our specification, and they will now be delivered to York.

While at Grosmont we visited our storage container and retrieved the boiler blanking plates, of which there are quite a number. The plates have now been delivered to York. At York they were marked and listed so we know what we have. They will be sent to Llangollen for testing the boiler.

The machining of the piston valve heads is now well under way and we expect delivery of the ones machined from blank castings soon. Unfortunately one of the old valve heads we had planned to machine to our new required dimensions was found to be dimensionally unsuitable when it was set up in the lathe, so this will have to be scrapped and a new casting ordered. As we also want to have a couple of spare castings in reserve we decided that the last old valve head that we were going to re-machine should also be replaced with new, so four new castings have been ordered. The pattern has now been sent to the foundry.

The leading vacuum cylinder outside bearings were machined to finished dimensions over the Christmas break, along with the boring of the blow off cock. The lubricating plate for the air pump, which had been pre-drilled received some milling to match the slotted holes on the face of the air pump. The plate will now require its outside to be milled to shape.

The painting around the loco progresses. The coupled wheels have now received their first coat of top coat gloss, and they look really good. The axles of the bogie sets are now receiving their white gloss and further gloss coats have been given to the vacuum cylinders. The cladding sheets for under the middle cylinder received another coat of primer. Painting also continues around the loco particularly at the dragbox end, when the pipe fitters are not in.

Pipe fitting progresses around the dragbox area. This week the damper shaft that runs across the frames in this area was fitted so that the pipe runs could be accurately placed. The injectors are now also in place so their pipework can be routed. When pipes are being fitted the ashpan gets worked on. This week wasted sections and some areas too warped to be straightened were cut out on the right side and front.

With the paint dried the final assembly of the gravity sands operating gear was progressed with final pinning, while the cylinder drain cock operating gear received more cleaning off. New bushes are being made and fitted to the drain cock valves. These have to be accurately finished to reduce to a minimum the steam leakage from the poppet valve stem.

The measuring of the frames is now nearing completion with the measuring of the distances between the rear fixed coupled wheel horns. The alignment wire was taken down on Saturday and permission has been granted by our CME so that the various rods and bars used for measuring can be removed from the frames. These dimensions will have to be processed and then final specifications can be issued for the machining of the coupled wheel axleboxes.

Also concerning the coupled wheel horns the vertical horn stay bolting was examined in detail. The hornstays have previously been removed and closely inspected, which lead to the weld repair of two of the horn stays. We don't have any concerns regarding the stays fit as they have been previously examined and are good. However many of the nuts are showing signs of years of hammer examinations and flogging up. The measurements and observations taken will be considered and a repair procedure agreed with the CME.

The LNER boiler blow off cock required internal machining so that the valve could be ground in true. 24 December 2017
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

LNER boiler blow off cock

Painting team leader Peter Brackstone applies the first coat of gloss to the coupled wheels. 4 January 2018
Photograph: T Camp/SNGLT.

First coat of gloss

The trailing coupled wheelset make a fine sight with a complete first coat of gloss. 4 January 2018
Photograph: T Camp/SNGLT.

Trailing coupled wheelset

At Llangollen the firebox crown plate has been lowered at the tubeplate end and a template of the new tubeplate tried in place. 4 January 2018
Photograph: Paul Aston.

Firebox crown plate

The injectors and damper cross shafts have been fitted to allow the accurate positioning of the pipework beneath the cab. 6 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Cross shaft

New bushes are being fitted to the drain cock valves to mininise steam leakage around the valve spindles. Two of the old bushes are in the foreground. 6 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

New bushes

The boiler blanking plates will be fitted to the boiler during testing to close up the holes where the boiler fittings are located. 6 January 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Boiler blanking plates
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