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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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April to June 2018.

24 June 2018

The loco footplating along the sides of the loco are held down outboard by the cylinders and slidebar brackets. They have all seen considerable wear over time. The holes are now of various sizes, have broken studs in, incomplete threads, so it was decided to repair them. These are important fastenings as they hold the outside of the footplating down. For the last couple of weeks the Engineering Team has been going round them and drilling the holes out so that stepped studs or repair bushes and plugs can be fitted.

Good progress has been made with the tender brake gear with their clean up and paint removal before full examination. The 1928 beading removed from the top of the corridor had left a series of holes, not good for keeping the rain out, so these were plugged with countersunk rivets that have been seal welded in.

Work continues on the fitting of the ashpan in the correct place in the frames. We will only know for certain where it should fit when attached to the boiler but by examining photographs we know it should be forward of the location it initially went in to the frames. Some adjustment of the damper door hinges has been required and this has been carried out. This also required the removal of the damper door and some trimming of its bottom edge.

The loco bogie sidebearers were worked on this week with some of the profiled plates cut and shaped to get the size required for the fabricated bearers.

Work continues on the valve gear components with di pen examination of the return cranks and combination levers. No faults were found. The expansion link trunion bearing housings were dressed last week, and this week the bearing assemblies were trial fitted. There is some wear as the bearings are not as tight as they should be but we think using a proprietary bearing housing sealant should solve that. Fitting the inner covers does show that some of the screws, which look very old, really don't have enough left of their heads to be reliable, so new screws will be made.

The expansion link trunions are bushed. A couple of these were loose so will have to be replaced, and the tight ones could be a better fit on the bearings, so it has been decided to replace all the bushes. One of the tight ones was removed and revealed damage to the trunion that will have to be repaired.

As mentioned in the previous report one of the return crank bearings require replacement. As a non-standard item according to current catalogues we have been investigating ways of getting a new standard size bearing to fit. We have talked to other loco owners and they have described how they have made spacing arrangements to fit a standard modern bearing, however our CME has found an exact replacement, though we have been warned that it has sat on a shelf for a long time, perhaps averylong time. Hopefully it will be free of corrosion and suitable for use.

The new end fitting that the steam sands shut off valve is connected to was fitted to the manifold this week. Its face being scraped until a good fit was achieved on to the manifold. Fitting without a copper washer in this location should give us the best chance of a reliable long term joint while allowing the valve to be tightened and positioned to where we need it to point. The plug at the opposite end of the manifold was also fitted.

The driving wheelset was removed from the workshop this week and this provides us with much more space around the front of the loco. This will facilitate the planned tender tank lift. Plans for the lift are going well, with confirmation of the delivery date of the equipment now finalised.

Progress toward the final completion of the coupled axleboxes has been made with the delivery of the axlebox thrust material. The twelve thrust blanks are now waiting their turn on the milling machine and fitting to the axleboxes. This is a subcontractor job and all the documentation required has been generated and checked by our CME, and sent to the subcontractor.

The new rubber for the spring behind the front drawhook has finally been collected from the suppliers. Normally on a one week delivery we've been waiting for this since May.

Sorry, no photos with this update.

22 June 2018

The preparation of the pressure testing of the superheater header continues with making up new plate for the anti-vacuum valve connection and fitting the plugs to the superheater element holes.

The new slidebar shim material has arrived and has been prepared. The profiling to fit around the shape of the outside sidebar brackets is very good. Now the shims are deburred they can be put on the surface grinder and finished accurately to size to replace the stacks of shim used in the setting up of the bars.

The AWS brackets on the front of the bogie are mounted on anti-vibration rubber bushes. Rail spare part stockists have been contacted for replacements and even though the same arrangement is fitted to some diesel locomotives they say there are no spares available. So, new bushes are being manufactured by the rubber manufacturer we have used for some other parts on the locomotive. The TPWS bracket and aerial, and the AWS receiver and carrier have now been fitted and new grease nipples fitted to the side bearers.

All the bogie spring hanger bolts have now been drilled for their split pins, and while out the spring beams were adjusted to ensure when the bolts are fully loaded by tightening the bottom nut, they don't spin. The bolts have a flat that locates against a face in the beam which is supposed to prevent this. The faces were repaired, so we shouldn't see a repeat of the difficulties we had when trying to remove the old bolts.

The reconfiguration of the air braking system is being progressed by the volunteer Piping Team. The team has done really well in recovering pipe and fittings but now we are looking and purchasing new. They are currently working on listing what we will need to complete the job. With the leading oil boxes mounted on the footplating the lubrication piping in this area has been inspected and annealed to prepare it for fitting.

Work continues on the outside valve gear and associated components with the rods receiving careful final cleaning. This has included the combination levers and union links. The rods have also been dressed to remove the sharp corners and dents and scratches the loco picks up. The return cranks have been removed from the crank rods and the spherical bearings removed and inspected. One of the bearings, most probably from BR use, has been found to require replacement. However these bearings are of a size unavailable as a standard catalogue item so we are investigating ways of replacing.

The inspection of the expansion link trunion bearing housings has shown up that there has been historical repairs to the locomotive. At some time the housings, part of the brackets on the loco have been re-bored and lined. Unfortunately they have not been bored on the original centre line, resulting in an offset liner in the bracket hole. We can only imagine that at some time the bearings have seized and damaged the housings requiring them to be repaired in this way. The off-centre repair has resulted in the rear cover plates not fitting accurately as they follow the original hole centre, and the right has been slightly deformed. The plate has now been heated and reformed so it is flat and the housings carefully dressed to allow the correct fitting of the plate. The inner plates are bronze as they fit between the bearings and the sides of the expansion links. These were found to be cracked. These have now been silver soldered and will require machining. Another job expected to be a strip down, clean and refitting turns in to a team effort with a series of defects requiring rectification.

The inspection of the outside trailing valve covers is complete. The left was defect free though the rougher looking of the two, but the right will require some repair work.

The damper linkage is now being refurbished. The damper reach rod has a forked end (clevis) which was heavily worn so a new end has been fabricated. The damper is on the front of the ashpan and the rod is part of the linkage that runs from the cab. Both the linkage and ashpan are required in position so that we can see how much room there is available for the pipe runs, so with the ashpan repairs completed the ashpan has now been trial fitted.

The last of our repair work to the ashpan has now been completed. An additional pin has been fitted to secure the ashpan spark screen and a new pin for the damper operating reach rod. As the platework on the ashpan is now complete the boilermakers have now started putting in the new tender corridor roof plates, with the first piece now tacked in place. Also from the tender the brake gear is now being cleaned and stripped of paint prior to inspection.

To fit the ashpan the cab has to be removed and placed to the rear of the frames. It's a tight squeeze and moving the ashpan around on hand trolleys was a delicate operation, requiring good teamwork. It took all day to move the ashpan in to position. When lifted in, surprise, surprise, it did not want to fit. However, a couple of the Engineering Team volunteers have been left with the job of getting it into its final position and they are progressing well.

The broken stud in the right cylinder flange was removed by drilling through its centre and when attempting to tap it out it gave up and screwed out. I was particularly proud of how accurately I'd drilled through its centre when it was at the bottom of a 6" deep hole in a top corner under the engine, however nobody else on the Engineering Team seemed that impressed. I was just told how many others had drilled bolts out all they were left with was a helix of thread. Where the stud had failed the saddle casting required easing so that a straight stud will fit without fouling the saddle.

The horizontal hornstay bolt holes are now complete with the countersinking finished. The new bolts are in stock, all sponsored through the pages of our Chime magazine. They will be machined to suit individual holes but will not be fitted until the wheels go in, so they will not be required to be removed, and refitted.

The thrust insert material for the coupled wheel axleboxes has now been cast and has been dispatched from the foundry. We await delivery.

The rebuild of the reverser stand continues with the alignment of the bearings for the trunions of the reverser screw nut housing. This has required the scraping in of the new bearing and the realignment of the bearing housing.

The steam heat valve from the boiler manifold has been returned from contractor repair. This valve required a new body, cast in bronze. As many parts of the old valve as possible have been used. The sealing copper rings for the valves mounted on the manifold have been annealed and the end fitting, also new and made from bronze is being fitted. The clackboxes have now been delivered to Llangollen.

The new piston was fitted to the change over valve in the air pump this week. The pump was then trial run and worked, reversing the power stroke down to low pressures only previously possible with soft packing in the old piston.

At Llangollen the regulator is now being finally fitted. New bolting has been manufactured for the regulator to main steam pipe clamp and the hanger bolts made by the volunteer Engineering Team at York are being fitted. These are used to accurately position the valve from the boiler. It is not now possible to access the boiler from the dome, so only individuals of slight stature can access through the belly door. A bit of a problem as most boilersmiths I know can't really be called slight.

The bogie spring beams have been dressed to be a good fit on the bogie hanger bolts to stop the bolts turning when their loading is adjusted. The new bolts are to drawing and have larger heads that the bolts they replace. 5 June 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The bogie spring beams

The left return crank is from 60026, as can be seen under the "07" stamping. Why they bothered to do this as 60007 would never go through works again at the same time as 60026, or any other A4s for that matter. 5 June 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The left return crank

The spherical ball bearing from the return crank rod. The bearing takes up any variation in the alignment between the valve gear and the driving wheelset. The bearing is historical, made by Ransome and Marles, who also made all the roller bearings for the original A4 valve gear. 9 June 2018
Photograph: Richard Swales.

The spherical ball bearing

The ashpan is moved under the crane to allow it to be lifted in to the frames. 12 June 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

The ashpan is moved

The diaphragm plate being lowered in to position. It fastens to the bogie stretcher below, and it fixes the position of the rear of the ashpan and boiler. 12 June 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Diaphragm plate being lowered

The ashpan is lowered in to the frames. The cab has to be removed for this and is placed to the rear of the frames. 12 June 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Ashpan lowered in to frames

The manifold is returned from store and the end fitting for the steam sands shut off valve is being fitted. 13 June 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The manifold

The "new" steam heat shut off valve has been returned from repair after having a new body cast. This will be mounted on the manifold. 13 June 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

"New" steam heat shut off valve

The slidebar shims have been profiled and dressed before going on to the surface grinder for accurate finishing. 13 June 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The slidebar shims

The AWS carrier, brackets and receiver have been fitted to the bogie. 13 June 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The AWS fittings

The TPWS aerial has been fitted as the final reassembly of the bogie continues. 13 June 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The TPWS aerial

The left expansion link trunnion bearing assembly components are laid out on the left slidebar during the inspection process. 13 June 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Expansion link trunnion bearing

The top bearings on the reverser column that support the reverser screw nut. New bearings have been fitted and the removable housing on the far side has required realigning. 13 June 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Reverser column top bearings

7 June 2018

The coupled wheels were given their final coat of varnish by the Painting Team who went in to the workshop on our usual day off, to avoid any dust contamination of the finish. They look great.

The ashpan is very nearly finished, as far as the work that can be done at York. There only remains the spark screen securing bolts to be fitted. There was one before but this time two will be fitted, one either side of the screen for extra security.

The holes for the bogie sidebearers fitted to the loco have been finish reamed and we have come up with a scheme to ensure a good fit of the sidebearers. After examination of the exiting sidebearers it was decided that the work in recovering and fitting them would be excessive and it has been decided to fit new assemblies. Plate has been ordered to make up the new fabrications. The faces that the sidebearers mate with have been dressed.

The horizontal hornstay holes are now being countersunk with a special tool which is guided in the hole centre by machined bushes. It takes a lot of setting up so this job may continue for a couple of week yet, but the results are very good.

We are currently working toward the fitting of the outside valves so the assembly that drive the valves from the driving crankpins is being examined. The expansion links have been deep cleaned and examined for cracks and wear. The die blocks that run in the expansion links have also been examined. The components are cleaned and di-penned during the week, then our CME does the final measurements at the end of the week, a system that is working well.

Part of the valve assembly includes the trailing outside steamchest and valve covers. These were cleaned when removed from the loco but have now been stripped of paint and are being closely examined. They are stamped with the original engine order number so presumably are the original LNER fittings, in fact they are stamped with the LNER diamond symbol that the frames and bogie carry. As you would expect from components of this age they are a little battle scarred with evidence of previous repairs so are being examined very carefully.

The radius rods have now been cleaned and examined and found to be defect free. The radius rod die blocks and slots have also been examined. The lifting links, bushes and expansion link bearing assemblies have also been examined and our CME is identifying the refurbishment work that is required.

The left hand return crank and rod were dismantled to release the return crank. The crank was then tried on to the crank pin to examine the fit. Both cranks will need careful fitting.

Work continues on the superheater header sealing for pressure test. We have been on this job for a few weeks now, with all the flanges requiring sealing up and all the element holes requiring bunging there's a lot to do. We have been allowed to use the NRM's rubber bungs that are compressed in place by through bolts, made for testing 60103's header. A plate is being manufactured for the main steam pipe as the one we had has now been sent to Llangollen for the boiler.

The sizes of the shims for the slidebars has been finalised and new plate is now on order.

We had removed sections of footplating over the tops of the cylinders so that we could access the outside cylinder mounting bolts for the work that they required. Now that they are all fitted the nuts on the bolts were given a final torque check and the plating replaced. The plates were cleaned and prepped and stitch welded in place. Securing like this means they can be easily cut out again in future. On this section of footplating are the mounting brackets for the leading oil boxes so these have been given a final clean and new bolts were fitted. The oilboxes have now been fitted in place.

At Llangollen the foundation ring repairs are now completed and it has been reunited with the boiler. The new copper for the remaining combustion chamber stays is to be chemically analysed to ensure it has the correct composition before manufacturing the stays. We have supplied Llangollen with a drawing of the clamp arrangement between the internal steam pipe and regulator so that new parts can be manufactured.

The re-installation and modification of the pipework continues. As reported, the Pipe Fitting Team with our CME have reviewed the system and new piping is now being made. Part of this reorganisation is the moving of the air pump governor but there is also the reorganisation of under the drivers position where there are various take offs for gauges and drivers controls.

A key part of the cab assembly is the reverser stand, which locates the drivers air brake controls. This in turn fixes the positions of the pipes in that area of the cab, so we are working on the completion of the reverser overhaul so it can be fitted. The large reverser nut, a substantial bronze component, has been weld repaired by Engineering Team volunteers and will now be machined back to dimensions. The pawl and indent that releases the nut and operate the vacuum clutch valve are being refurbished, along with the linkage. The damper door linkage is also being worked on.

The vacuum brake ejector cam has been repaired and this was refitted to the ejector. The drivers handle lever was removed to allow the refitting of the cam and is being repainted before refitting. The air brake pump new control piston has been made complete with new rings. It is yet to be fitted and tested.

The reassembly of the bogie continues, though from recent photographs with it back on its wheels it may look complete. Now the AWS and TPWS are being refitted. The AWS in particular is carried on substantial bracketry. This has been painted to undercoat and refitted. When tightening the bolts some of the rubber anti-vibration bushes have cracking so it has been decided to replace them. The front of the bogie has been put on packing as the spring hanger bolts are to be drilled for split pins which has to be done off the bogie.

More work has been done on the tender corridor. The original 1928 tender top beading, hidden by the later streamlining has been removed to find a sound edge for welding to new plate. It was secured by rivets all of which had to be individually removed. A section of new plate has been tried in and further fitting will be required. Further planning for the tender tank lift has been done and the lifting firm we are discussing the work with have been very generous with their time.

The sling stays at the front of the firebox, that provide flexibility are being fitted at Llangollen This view shows the crown or roof of the firebox as the boiler is still on its back. The projecting stays will be trimmed back and nuts fitted to protect the ends from the fire. 22 May 2018
Photograph: Paul Aston.

The sling stays

A view inside the boiler showing how the stays are fixed to the outer firebox. 22 May 2018
Photograph: Paul Aston.

Inside the boiler

The radius rods are also being examined for defects. With the valve covers these are components that link the driving crankpin to the piston valves. The red is the penetrant dye that will enter any small surface defects or cracks, that will show up when a dry white coating is applied. 24 May 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The radius rods

The plates above the cylinders removed to gain access to the cylinder mounting bolts has now been refitted. On these plates are the leading lubrication oil boxes, which have been overhauled and are now refitted. 24 May 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Plates above cylinders

The AWS (Advanced Warning System) brackets have been refitted to the bogie. 24 May 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The AWS brackets

The lifting arms that control the valve travel are also being examined. At the left end can be seen the die block that slides in the radius rod. The die blocks and pins have been checked for wear. 24 May 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The lifting arms

The trailing valve chest covers are being examined before refitting. 2 June 2018
Photograph: Richard Swales.

Trailing valve chest covers

20 May 2018

The air pump governor has been remounted on the drivers side of the loco this week. It was mounted on the fireman's side, however it was decided to move it to the drivers side, as this is the safer side of the loco. If a fault develops with the governor it can effect the operation of the air pump, which it controls. The control can be over-ridden to keep the air pump going and maintain the operation of the air brake system. To do this access to the governor is required. On the driver's side that means accessing the governor possibly next to another running line. The fireman's side is more likely to be facing the lineside.

The ashpan hopper and damper operating gear was retrieved from store this week and fitted to the loco. The installation of these parts will assist in the re-routing of the pipework to and from the governor.

Piping of the air brake system continues at the rear of the loco. Along with our CME the pipe fitting team has reviewed the system schematics and a number of modifications will be made to allow the re-positioning of tees and gauge take offs to "tidy" the system and improve accessibility.

The new rings for the air pump shuttle valve were brought in this week and fitted. The air pump was tried but operation was not much improved on when the old rings were fitted. Again operation was satisfactory when valve packing was used in one of the ring grooves. Attention then turned to the shuttle which does have a very large clearance in its bore, so that there is very little of the rings in the shuttle piston groove, perhaps leading to excessive leakage around the inside of the rings. It was decided that a new shuttle will be made reducing the shuttle piston clearance and will be tried.

New hinges have now been fitted to the ashpan damper screen and some tweeking will be required to get the fit just right. Some small gaps here and there around the damper door hinges are being filled by small pieces welded in.

The bogie reassembly took place this week now the painting team have finished painting the bogie springs. Just about every Engineering Team member in attendance this week played a part in it. All the bearing surfaces were scrupulously cleaned and lubricated with new oil. As we have the bogie on the wheel drop, under the overhead crane it was a relatively straight forward job, after easing the fit between the axleboxes and underkeep trays. After the wheels were in the leading guard irons were refitted. There are still a few niggling things to sort out though.

At the front of the bogie are brackets and carriers for the AWS/TPWS equipment. These were retrieved from store, cleaned and are now painted in primer. These will be refitted to the bogie before the bogie is refitted to the loco.

New studs were fitted to the superheater header this week. Unfortunately some of the studs have gone further in to the header than expected so they will have to be replaced by longer studs.

New plate has now been supplied for the tender corridor roof. Six sections in total, rolled to the correct dimensions, reproducing the individual sections originally fitted to the tender. All the quotes have now been received for the tender tank lift.

The new piston valve heads for the right and middle engines fitted last week were measured for positioning on the spindles this week. Everything looks to be pretty much to drawing. Rings will be ordered and final measurements over the end rings will be taken. The valves are driven from the return cranks on the driving wheels so attention has now turned to this system. The expansion links were retrieved from store and dismantled by our 007 Gang of junior volunteers. After laying out the component parts they were thoroughly cleaned as they will require testing for defects. The clearances between the die blocks and running surfaces of the expansion links were checked.

The right hand return crank has been separated from the return crank rod and will require fitting to the crank pin. The crank pins on the driving wheelset are new, being fitted during re-tyring. Initially measurements of the crank and crank pin end were taken and then the crank tried on, confirming that there is a quite a bit of fitting work required here to be done.

Parts of the AWS/TPWS assembly that is fitted to the front and underneath of the bogie. 17 May 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

Parts of AWS/TPWS assembly

The axleboxes are lowered on to the journals of the bogie wheelsets, guided in to position by Peter Brackstone, watched by CME Richard Swales on 17 May 2018.
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

The axleboxes are lowered

With all the axleboxes in place the frames are lowered. A member of the Engineering Team at each corner to ensure that the axleboxes enter the bogie frame horns. 17 May 2018
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

All the axleboxes in place

The axleboxes entering the horns as the bogie frames are lowered on 17 May 2018.
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

The axleboxes entering the horns

After the frames are down on the axleboxes the weight is held on the crane while the hornstays are refitted. The hornstays close the gaps in the frames under the axleboxes. 17 May 2018
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

Hornstays are refitted

The assembled bogie stood on the wheel drop in the MRM workshop. 17 May 2018
Photograph: Richard Swales.

The assembled bogie

The right hand return crank has been removed from its rod and tried on the crank pin on 19 May 2018.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The right hand return crank

The expansion links are now ready for testing and measuring. 19 May 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The expansion links

13 May 2018

The removed coupled axlebox thrust inserts have now been measured and quotes for material obtained. Our repair method, including the specification of the material for the inserts, has been documented and when approved material will be obtained.

The painting team has now applied varnish to the coupled wheels and they've been prepped for their second coat. The outstanding bogie springs have been returned from the suppliers, with our new spare, and these are being painted prior to the assembly of the bogie.

The front coupling assembly that the loco carries in traffic varies from the original LNER/BR arrangement, as carried by 4468 and 60009. As we need to renew the front hook spring we are in the process of manufacturing new springs to the original arrangement. To adapt this layout to our loco an additional plate is required between the spring an the rear of the buffer beam. The plate is profiled to clear some rivet heads in the bufferbeam. To prevent it from moving and wearing the hook shaft the plate is now held on pins in the bufferbeam. The plate is presently being bored to increase its clearance on the hook.

The rubber for the front hook springs is on order and the plates between the rubbers require blasting and deburring.

The last of the lower slidebars has now been di-pen inspected and no defects were found.

The outside of the smokebox door has been needle gunned and has now been painted. The door bar and dart have also been worked on with the bar descaled and the dart cleaned for inspection. The dart threads are in good condition and have been di-penned. No defects have been found and after a bit of tidying up will be fit for further use.

The last of the leading and upper cylinder and saddle fitted bolt holes have been spotfaced and bolts fitted. This has been an awkward and lengthy process, requiring tooling to be made to fit specific holes and locations. The bolts are also made to fit their specific holes, for diameter and length. In a couple of locations the seats for the bolt heads have had to be cut by hand with hammer and chisel. In other locations special washers have been required. However the cylinders are now as well secured as they have ever been.

The loco bogie side bearer holes that are in the bottom cylinder flange have now all been reamed. The side bearers have been tried up and will need careful fitting and a method for the best way of doing this is still being worked on. As they are a relatively simple fabrication it may be easier to start with new material.

The final couple of horizontal hornstay bolt holes have been reamed. The holes now require countersinking, to ensure the countersinks remain on the hole centres. The countersink has been specially ground and has been received from our supplier.

Work continues on the safety valves with quotes for material and machining from solid and patterns, so that we can decide the best way forward. Simultaneously we have been talking to other loco owners about the possibility purchasing additional parts on their behalf so reducing unit costs to us. At the same time work continues on trying to determine original manufacturing dimensions and tolerances, as we only have access to worn valves.

We have now had visits from two lifting contractors with a view to obtaining quotes for the lifting of the tender tank clear of the frames. Both have described the same method of lift, which is the same as we had devised. Meanwhile work continues on the tank with all of the corridor roof removed, new steel work has now been ordered. More stiffeners have been added across the corridor to the outside of the tank now that it is not supported by the roof. Descaling around the outside of the water tank, along the corridor and vestibule has uncovered some holing due to corrosion, though this seems to originate from outside of the tank. Most of the way up the corridor the tank appears to be in good condition.

On the front of the tender the GSMR user interface unit and the AWS battery box have been removed, as there is work to be done on the tender front plate work.

The pipework fitting continues with new pipe installation giving the assembly a very professional appearance. A number of joints are being relocated to enable easier access when in traffic. The air pump governor and its pipework have been refitted temporarily as the governor is to be relocated. This gives us an idea of the space required for the governor pipe runs.

The ashpan is very near completion. The ashpan damper door screen requires new hinges and these are now being made.

The temporary screws holding the middle cylinder cladding have been replaced with permanent fasteners. Now that's sorted the ends of the drain cock cables to the linkage that runs under the cladding have been finally fitted. The cab handle has been operated and the linkage works well.

The drain cock operating rods are supported in cast slots in the side of the drain cock valves. The links being steel wear the slots. It is apparent that they have been repaired before by rebuilding with bronze weld, so it was decided to do the same again. This has now been done, and a really good job has been achieved. During this repair it was discovered that one of the valves had a pin hole, which would allow cylinder steam to escape. Upon inspection of the other valves it was found some show a surface defect in this same location, so it appears to be a common casting defect. Two valves were found to require the repair of a pin hole, both have now been repaired.

After a reorganisation of the workshop the large vacuum cylinder was moved to the rear of the loco and was getting in the way, so it was decided it would cause less obstruction in the loco frames. This has now been fitted. Before fitting the stirrups that accept the cylinder trunions were cleaned out and edge wear carefully removed. The stirrups were greased and the cylinder fitted. To stop it flapping around the cylinder has been tied up. The flexible hoses to the cylinder we tried on as there was concern about their fit as they have a larger outside diameter than the ones removed from the loco. The smaller ones being no longer available. The new hoses fit fine.

The superheater header continues to occupy us. The middle sealing face and the one at the end of the header, which has a blanking plate, have been dressed to fit their respective covers. The middle face is fitted with a gasket and a template has been made for the purchase of a new gasket. New studs have been obtained and these are yet to be fitted.

The reverser stand has been examined for wear in its bearings and it was decided that the outer shaft bearing required adjustment. As this is a split bearing this is relatively easy to do using the existing bearing. This has now been fitted. The bearings that support the trunions of the reverser nut housing will be replaced.

The new valve heads have been fitted to the valve spindles. They are all a good fit on the diameter of the spindles and butt up well to the spindle collars. The spindles have also been closely examined for knocks and burrs and any found have been carefully removed. The overall distance over the head ring grooves will be accurately measured and set to correspond to the distance between the valve liner ports, then the heads will be finally keyed to the spindles.

A section of the new air brake pipework before fitting in the loco. The curved pipes furthest from the camera are recovered from the current installation. 25 April 2018
Photograph: Peter Ellis.

New air brake pipework

The bronze bearing discs that are fitted between the loco and bogie are being machined. One has been faced the other is still a raw casting. 4 May 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The bronze bearing discs

The trailing vacuum cylinder was lifted in to the frames and secured. 4 May 2018
Photograph: Mike Page.

Trailing vacuum cylinder

The new piston valve heads are fitted to the valve spindles. Only the middle and right valve heads are new as it was only these valve liners that required renewal. 12 May 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The new piston valve heads

The drain cock bodies in which the pin holes were found have been repaired. All the outside draw-in cocks have had the side slots rebuilt. 12 May 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The drain cock bodies

Decades of paint, bitumen and filler have been removed in the corridor to determine the condition of the tank. This is a view in to the vestibule end on 12 May 2018.
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Paint removed in the corridor

The base of the reverser has a shaft that rotates and operates the reverser reach rod. The bearing nearest the arm has been re-machined and fitted to remove wear. 12 May 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The base of the reverser

New bolts have been fitted to the leading top of the saddle. These go through the saddle, frame plate and left hand cylinder. The upper left only fits if the head is shaped and the face for the head was cut with chisels. 12 May 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Top of the saddle

29 April 2018

The ashpan was turned over this week after the hopper door fitting last week. This week the damper door and screen were assembled on its hinges. The screen is hooked over the hinge pins, which, when in traffic allowed the screen to sometimes ride up and made it difficult to close when disposing of the engine. The screen hinges will be modified to prevent this. A further section of steel was welded in to the ashpan above the damper door opening.

The packing for the clackboxes was delivered last week and this week was used to pack the clackbox glands. The clackboxes are now ready to go to Llangollen. The smokebox door was also moved from its storage location by the 007 Gang of junior volunteers this week and the inside was needle gunned. The protection plate on the back of the door will need repair. When the ashpan is ready for moving to Llangollen the smokebox door will go too, to be fitted to the smokebox. At Llangollen the boiler is now ready to receive the foundation ring.

We had Engineering Team volunteers at Grosmont this week. They removed the renewable thrusts on the coupled axleboxes, as well as giving the SNG generator its occasional test run. The thrusts were locking in place by headless screw which had to be carefully drilled and extracted. The recesses for the thrusts in the axleboxes were also cleaned up then examined by MYMR MPD with a view to fitting the new thrusts.

The bogie side bearer holes in the loco have now been reamed. The side bearer brackets will now be made to fit.

More of the Bowden cable conduit was put in place this week while other pieces received their final coats of paint. While the paint was drying the Bowden cable team took on the insulation of the middle cylinder casting. In their haz-mat outfits the bottom and trailing faces of the middle cylinder were insulated and the cladding plates put up on temporary screws.

The adaptor plate to allow the air pump to be run on the workshop air supply was drilled, tapped and fitted to the air pump. With much anticipation air was put on to the steam cylinder of the air pump but it would not return stroke. If the change over valve was moved manually then a stroke could be got out of it. The change over valve did not seen to have much resistance to movement from its sealing rings so it was thought that the valve seal could be passing excessively. One of the iron rings was removed and replaced temporarily by a ring of valve packing. With this arrangement the pump works fine, running happily, though slowly at 100psi. It was then decided that all the rings on the valve should be replaced. As we have a member of the Engineering Team who makes rings of this approximate size for model engines, he has taken the job on of manufacturing new rings for us.

Work continues on the rearrangement of the air brake piping below the cab. This week a twin pipe run of large diameter air system pipes were soldered and mounted on a new bracketry welded in, routing the pipes well clear of the Cartazzi wheel.

Two more lower slidebars were cleaned and di pen inspected this week. No defects were found. The last lower slidebar to receive this attention began its final cleaning.

The piston and piston valve grooves have now been measured and the dimensions will be used to order new rings. The thread depth of the superheater middle cover holes have also been measured. These dimensions will be used in the manufacture of new studs.

The superheater header will need fitting with new studs where the middle cover is fitted. The thread depths are measured so that the correct size of studs can be specified. 28 April 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The superheater header

The piston valve heads are being slotted where they are keyed on to the valve rod. 28 April 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

A piston valve head

The inside of the smokebox door is needle gunned. 28 April 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Inside of the smokebox door

Two of the new valve heads have been slotted, one is setup on the machine and one to do. 28 April 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Two of the new valve heads

23 April 2018

The coach was successfully transported to Cranmore this week, meanwhile losing the York office space, accommodation and storage has involved more work at York. Last week the coach was emptied but this week we have had to sort where we can put everything we need to leave in York. The stuff stored at home has just about been sorted through and some bits have had to go back to York.

On the day of the move the progress of the DB loco was watched with anticipation on Real Time Trains. One of the Engineering Team volunteers had his phone at hand so he kept a watch on the website while a group of us gathered round. About 15 minutes after the booked time the loco was shown to be on its way, much to our relief. After another 15 minutes the DB guard arrived at the North Yard of the NRM.

We had thought that we would have to shunt a WCR 47 in the yard, which was fouling the run round. However, a WCR guard, who fortunately had just popped in to check the 47, and our DB guard discussed the local operating procedures and it was decided that we would propel the coach. This meant we wouldn't need the NRM yard run round, the 47 could stay where it was, and this also meant that we wouldn't have to run round in Holgate sidings.

We left the NRM Yard early and proceeded to Holgate Works without any running round or lengthy stops at signals, so arrived early. The Network Rail guys had set all the point work in their sidings so again we were straight to the traverser, where they had told us to leave the coach when we visited last week.

The next morning our CME, and a member of the Engineering Team volunteers, who had done so much to prepare for the move, and myself went to the Holgate Works to see the loading of the coach. Railway Support Services arrived after a short wait. The coach had already been moved to the road loading point on the traverser and we must thank NR for their cooperation and speedy work.

The ramp was laid out to the end of the trailer and the coach winched on to the low loader by the RSS team without a hitch. CTMS Cranmore were notified that the load was on its way and our SNGLT chairman witnessed its arrival next morning. Work will not start on the coach until summer, so we plan to visit during June and meet with CTMS staff to detail the work that we require.

Earlier in the week the raw cast bronze bogie bearing discs were delivered to the works where they will be machined. At York the existing discs were measured and compared to drawing, just to make sure of dimensions before we start to cut metal on these very expensive parts.

The superheater header delivered last week was stood up and strapped down this week so that the sealing face can be dressed and fitted to the middle cover. Meanwhile the removal of the tender steel work continues around the corridor door at the front of the tender.

Pipework fitting under the cab continues with new pipe being bent up to replace the pipework that ran too close to the Cartazzi wheels. The steam supply pipe to the air pump is also being worked on, annealed, and was cleaned this week.

The ashpan overhaul continues. This week the hopper door had its new cover plate fastened in and the door adjusted to fit. The locking bar was also fitted and the assembly is now very good. The ashpan is to be turned again and the damper screen and door fitted. The diaphragm plate that will locate the ashpan on the loco has been weld repaired where it had been damaged when the old bolting had to be removed by burning.

The insulation for the cylinders was ordered late last week and should have been with us by now. This week we checked round the screws we will need to fix the cladding plates.

The reaming of the horizontal hornsay bolts continued. More than half way round now. The countersink that will be used for these holes has been returned from the tool makers, ground to the correct angle. When not reaming the horizontal hornstay bolts the magdrill is used for the reaming of the loco bogie sidebearer holes. The progress with these has been much slower, however the set up it is much more difficult.

The coupled wheel axleboxes at Grosmont were visited this week by our CME and myself. Measurements were taken on the horizontal journal bearing diameters to confirm the necessity of replacing the horizontal thrust inserts. We also discussed the procedure for their replacement and the machining of the axleboxes with the MPD manager.

The cast bronze discs that fit between the bogie and the loco. They are 26 ½" diameter. 16 April 2018
Photograph: T Crone.

The cast bronze discs

The coach was shunted in the NRM's North Yard so that the DB loco could come straight on to the coach. 17 April 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

In the NRM's North Yard

Not mentioned in the report the reverser reach rod di-pen inspection was completed this week. 18 April 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The reverser reach rod

In the early evening the DB 66 is seen coupled to the coach ready to leave for the short trip over the network to the Holgate Engineering Works. 18 April 2018
Photograph: Malcolm Bateman/Trevor Camp/SNGLT.

DB 66 coupled to the coach

At the Holgate Engineering Works the coach is winched on to the low loader 19 April 2018.
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

At Holgate Engineering Works

At Cranmore the coach is winched off the low loader. 20 April 2018
Photograph: Nigel Wilson.

At Cranmore

16 April 2018

The main occupation of the week has been organising the move of the coach from the NRM to the coach overhaulers. As there are so many different parties involved it's been quite time consuming keeping everybody involved informed of any developments. As we stand at the moment the coach is due to move this week. I have to thank the NRM's Chris Graham for his help and support. Chris accompanied me to the Network Rail Holgate Engineering Works after being invited to walk the site by Network Rail. We were shown round and were taken through the procedure to be followed when the coach is brought on to their site, then where it would be later moved to for road loading. The NR personnel are very helpful and didn't give us any feeling of being in their way or it being too much trouble.

To prepare the coach it has now been emptied and its contents gone through and sorted. Much has gone in to store, some in to the NRM workshop, where we will have a further session of sorting through stuff. Quite a bit has been binned and my car was filled with the contents of the office.

The coach dynamo and voltage regulator were loaded in to the guards compartment. They will be refitted by the underframe contractors. The coach gas bottles were also removed.

Meanwhile work continues on the loco frames, tender and boiler. The tender corridor roof from the front of the tender to the rear of the coal space has now been removed. A sketch has been produced based on the LNER drawings and actual measurements of our tender with the intention of getting quotes for new plate.

The bogie frames and wheelsets are receiving varnish.

The first of the loco bogie side bearer holes have been reamed through with the arbour made by an Engineering Team volunteer. It took quite a bit of setting up. It has been found due to the length of the arbour, and the flexibility it introduces, that when going up a size on the reamer that the hole needs to be chamfered with a countersink to stop the reamer from snagging.

As the fireman's side drain cock handle assembly sits on the drop grate bracket that was retrieved from store this week. It was quickly prepared for painting and primed. It was fitted to the loco and the draincock handle put in. Its final alignment will be fixed when the cab is finally fitted after the boiler. New grease nipples were fitted to the draincock cable conduits.

The overhauled whistle and atomiser shut off valve was returned from contractors this week and it's a very good job. That is now in store and is ready to be fitted when the boiler returns. The superheater header and middle coverplate have been returned from machining and these parts will now require final fitting together.

The boiler blanking plates were sent to Llangollen this week, being taken by our official photographer. These will be used when pressure testing the boiler. Our Boiler Project Engineer reports that the copper tubeplate is now fully fixed in place.

The middle crosshead has been di-pen inspected and checked. It has been found to be defect free. The ends of the loco brake shafts have been measured and new bearings can now be manufactured.

Work continues under the cab floor with the pipe fitting team continuing to fit and reconfigure the piping. A hole has been added in the cab floor plate to allow the clear venting of the FVF2 valve which vents vertically downward from its base. Countersunk screws have been fitted in the floor plate where this gives us more space to position pipework.

After making sure of the fit of the coupled hornstays the reaming of the horizontal hornstay bolt holes continued this week. When reaming through the horizontal bolt holes it is very important that this is done when there is no more vertical movement available on the hornstay, as if the hornstay is put back on and the horizontal holes don't line up within a fraction of a thousandth of an inch, the horizontal holes will be damaged by the bolts and the tight fit will be lost.

The middle crosshead is inspected for defects and cracks on 12 April 2018.
Photograph: Richard Swales.

The middle crosshead

The horizontal hornstay bolt holes are reamed. Accuracy and care is needed as the minimum material must be removed. Tony Bickerstaffe operates the magdrill assisted by Roger Turnbull. 12 April 2018
Photograph: Richard Swales.

Horizontal hornstay bolt holes

The superheater header and middle cover returned to York this week after having the sealing faces machined flat. 14 April 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

S'heater header & middle cover

The support coach has been emptied of our office and stores in preparation for its move to contractors for overhaul. 14 April 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

The support coach

8 April 2018

As weeks 13 and 14 were shortened by the bank holiday weekend, and further shortened by a couple of days break I gave to the volunteers, I decided to report both weeks together.

The superheater header and middle front cover plate have now been skimmed at the works of K D Flavell's and are ready to be returned to York for pressure testing with water, so I'll be looking for volunteers who don't mind getting their feet wet.

Good progress has been made on the bowden cables for the gravity sands and drain cocks. We obtained new stainless steel cables and put them through the conduits. The drain cock ones are now in position. The cab levers and brackets are now painted and the cab drain cock lever assembled. Further bracketry is required before it can be assembled in the cab.

The reverser column and components have been cleaned and prime painted. New ball bearings have been obtained for the assembly. The shaft was assembled back in the column and movement inside of the bearings was measured. We need to know the clearance so we can decide if the bearings need repair or replacement.

The reverser reach rod has been cleaned and initial di-pen examination has revealed no defects. It is in two halves fastened together with fitted bolts. The bolts are still a good tight fit and may be suitable for re-use. There are sharp inside corners at the rod ends and middle joint and these have been carefully cleaned out so that further inspection can be carried out before reassembly.

The assembled clackboxes were returned to York and the handles and squares on the delivery shut off valves were fitted. The squares are fitted with taper pins. It was when operating the handles on the steam valves that it was found that there was some difference in the number of turns required for the valves operation. This was investigated and we found that the steam spindle on one of the valves required some attention. Both valves now operate satisfactorily.

Good progress is being made with the atomiser and whistle valve. New connections are being made, a new valve spindle has been made and a new lever pin fitted. New pipe cones and nuts will be made for the pipes that join the new connections on the valve. The new steam heat valve mounted on the manifold is progressing with the casting of a new valve body.

The tender brakeshaft has now been thoroughly cleaned, finishing around the levers with the wire brush. There is evidence of wastage around the brakeshaft but after inspection it is judged fit for further use. The areas around the levers are yet to be examined for defects.

Further platework from the corridor top has been removed. All the roof has been removed back to the rear of the coal space. There is some more work to be done around the cab door end. Drawings of the tender have been compared to the tender as these drawings will form a basis for ordering the new plate. The cut out plate has now been removed from the workshop and put in the yard with other scrap.

The last piston crosshead has now been thoroughly cleaned and descaled, and is ready for examination. This crosshead looks to be an original 60007 part, whereas the outside ones are from 60026. The outside crossheads have now been examined for defects and measured with a special jig to find the centre of the piston rod taper. From this measurement the slidebar positions can be finalised. All three upper slidebars are now in position on the loco, after the careful alignment against a taught wire through the centre of the cylinder. After calculations are complete new shims will be made to lower or raise the slidebars as necessary to suit the crossheads.

Steady work continues on the ashpan with new plate now put in the bottom around the hopper door opening. The hopper door opening was intact but was thinning at the edges so it was decided to renew it. It is very important to keep the ashpan tight, as if fire can be seen from the outside of the loco it could result in its not being allowed to run on the network. With the plate in place the hole for the door has been re-cut and the door trial fitted.

Work continues on the pipework beneath the cab floor, which stubbornly refuses to go back where it came from. We must thank the pipe fitting team for sticking with it so determinedly.

A number of volunteers went in to the workshop during our break to tidy around our work area and wash the floor. A great job was done and quite a bit of space has been created by tidying up.

We have again visited Llangollen to view progress on the boiler. Along with Llangollen engineering staff, our boiler overhaul engineer showed us around progress so far. The copper tubeplate is now fixed in place all around by patch screws and the fit was closely examined by our CME. It looks to be very good. The re-staying of the back top corners is well advanced. The foundation ring repairs continue and should be finished shortly. We took the opportunity of the visit to deliver more boiler components overhauled at York, including the LNER blow down cock and the gauge frame fittings.

Though the coach still sits at York we are in the process of moving it to its eventual overhaul location. We have had a quote for moving the coach from the north yard to the road loading point in the old carriage works, and a quote for the road move. We have asked a number of traction providers and road hauliers for quotes. The coach requires certain documentation from competent individuals or organisations before it can be moved and this process is ongoing, but approaching completion. The coach has now been examined and brakes tested with a view to getting the certification we need to permit the move.

The bogie frames were moved on to the wheel drop and are now stood next to the bogie wheel sets and axleboxes. The rest of the bogie components have been positioned around the frames ready for the reassembly, however the painting team have stopped the job because they want the frames and wheels varnishing first, and now they want the springs painting for the official works photographs.

The piston rod taper jig in place in the right crosshead. 24 March 201
Photograph: Richard Swales.

The piston rod taper jig

The removal of the corridor plate work from the tender is ongoing. 24 March 201
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

The corridor plate work

The reverser column has been cleaned tested and prime painted. 24 March 201
Photograph: Peter Brackstone.

The reverser column

A view of the tubeplate from the firebox side. 29 March 2018
Photograph: Richard Swales.

The tubeplate

Our CME closely inspects every inch of the tubeplate joint inside the boiler at Llangollen. 29 March 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

Our CME closely inspects

The bogie frames, wheelsets and suspension components brought together for assembly, if only we could get close enough to put them together but the painting team won't let us anywhere near them during varnishing. 7 April 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The bogie frames

The middle crosshead is thoroughly cleaned prior to examination for defects and measurement of piston rod taper centre from bearing surfaces. 7 April 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone.

The middle crosshead
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