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OVERHAUL 2015 - 2022

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

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Notes from information supplied by Darrin Crone, Locomotive Engineer.

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October to December 2018.

24 December 2018

The new pipe flanges have been machined for the steam supply run from the manifold in the cab to the air pimp governor. The Pipe fitting Team has wasted no time in attaching pipework and staring to route the pipe from the governor. Work continues both on the loco and on the tender pipe systems. The air brake hose connection flanges for the tender rear were stripped and cleaned up and fitted enabling an end point to be determined for the new air brake runs to the tender rear. To allow a better idea of the space available at the front of the tender frames the water valves, pipes and brackets were recovered from store and are now being refurbished before fitting.

The tender vacuum reservoir cylinder put in position to allow new pipe runs to be planned, is held up on a ratchet strap as the brackets and steel mounting straps need repair work. A new bracket was manufactured and is now fitted to the trailing dragbox. Material has now been purchased to make up new ends for the mounting straps. The remaining di-pen NDT on the trailing dragbox and brake hanger brackets has been completed, this completes the examination of the tender frames.

The tender vestibule end has received exploration over the last couple of weeks with needle gunning removing most of the steel in this area. The plate over the top of the vestibule including the handrail have now been removed. Internal brackets and rivets have also been removed. The top vestibule support brackets have also had to be removed. The new front floor plate is now welded in position. Further welding will have to be done to finish the fitting of this plate but it's looking really good. Some new plate has been purchased for the vestibule being bent up by our supplier on Teesside to our templates produced.

The Boiler Maker Team finished the frame top angles on the tender frames. I ran a straight edge across them and the leading dragbox and alignment is very good. The welds in the angles have been dressed to make it look like the original fitting.

The right driving axlebox that was at contractors for repair has now had the detached area of whitemetal replaced and the hornface skimmed. As soon as the box was finished it was collected by one of the volunteer Engineering Team who had a very early trip to Darlington to collect the box, bring it to York and then do a days work on the tender.

The rear tender footsteps are all now to undercoat. They will not receive further paint until fitting to the frames. The buckeye coupling has been re-bushed by, and the lock built up with weld as permitted by the BR refurbishment procedure. The lock will be filed and the buckeye closing dimension adjusted.

The tender brake cylinder connection flanges have now been fitted to the cylinders. The orientation has been checked to ensure train pipe and reservoir are correctly positioned. The tender rubbing block has been cleaned and received descaling and is now in undercoat and ready to refit. It has been measured so that new bolting can be organised.

The tender hornstays on the right frames are being repaired and fitted. Progress is slow but a fine job is being done to the heavy wear evident on the frames and hornstays.

The machining of the loco horizontal hornstay bolts is well advanced with the leading wheelset 8 completed and ready for fitting. With the day that the wheels will be in approaching, work has started on the brake gear with the return to the workshop of the first loco brake pull rods. These are being stripped prior to NDT.

Work continues on the slidebars. Now the middle is completed attention has turned to the right hand. The wire has been put up and the front alignment set. Unfortunately quiet is needed to do the job accurately using the audible detection measurement method we use and it's been a little noisy in the workshop lately.

Work continues on sealing and pressure testing the drain cocks. A further two valves being completed. Two valves were found to leak from the casting bodies when under pressure. The areas of the leaks were drilled out and silver soldered, unfortunately this was not entirely successful, though it did reduce the leaks considerably. Further soldering will be required.

Both leading axleboxes have now been scraped to their journals. Repeated trial fitting on blued journals requires two, one to operate the crane and one to carefully land the bearing in position on the journal. Then both to rock the axlebox. A time consuming job though made much easier by the availability of the overhead crane. The completion of the leading axle has allowed the fitting of the wheelset and the bogie.

The adjusting wedges on the loco horns has exposed some sharp edges which could possibly score the flange on the loco axleboxes, the the leading set have now been carefully dressed.

The leading wheelset was fitted on the NRM workshop wheeldrop. The loco was pinched forward so that the accommodation bogie was positioned on the far side of the wheeldrop. Prior to moving the loco the leading wheelset and bogie were placed on the south road in the workshop, being lifted there on the wheeldrop crane, the spectacle being appreciated by the public on the viewing gallery.

The leading wheelset was then lifted by crane in to the wheeldrop pit and placed on the lifting platform. While at the bottom of the pit the axleboxes were assembled on the journals complete with underkeeps and spring hanger brackets. The hornstays on the frames were previously removed in preparation. The lifting platform was then moved to under the loco and raised. With someone watching the entry of the axleboxes each side in to the horns, the platform was raised in small steps, and a little adjustment to the position of the wheelset made. The axleboxes entered easily and the clearances looked good. These will be confirmed by checking with feelers later.

With the axleboxes in position the hornstays, which are remarkably large and heavy once they have to be manually lifted and held in place, were drawn up on to the hornblocks by lengths of studding. The studding was made up for this job and will form a kit for doing this job in future. With the hornstays nearly up they were drawn in to their final position by horizontal and vertical bolting. Once started, with the hornstays off the frames, the job has to be finished, so thanks to the team who stayed back until completion.

With the leading wheelset in the axleboxes, they were packed against the frames and the loco was moved back to get the accommodation bogie over the centre of the wheeldrop. Thanks to the team who came in, without which we would have struggled to complete the job or even move the loco.

This time the bogie was lifted off the south road with the crane and lowered in to the pit. This was a close fit and had to be pushed with timber lengths to clear a modern cable tray on the wall of the pit. At the bottom of the pit, ropes securing the rubbing plates on the top centre of the bogie were removed. The bogie was then lifted under the loco. There's a lot more to watch with the bogie going up so with people all round we slowly brought the bogie up. It was clear we would be close to the vacuum cylinder flexible pipes. This was expected as it was the case with the last installation. When close to fully up the pipe routing was discussed by our CME and Pipe Fitting Team Leader and they decided it could be improved, so the pipes were removed.

Raising the bogie continued on to the centre bearing of the bogie but it was apparent that we would not be able to measure the side bearer gaps as the loco frames and bogie would not be evenly loaded before contact on the right side bearer. So the bogie was lowered and pieces of gauge plate put o n the bogie centre to give us a known stand off. With the weight of the front of the frames on the bogie the side bearer gap was measured. While this was being done the bogie spring hanger nuts were removed, greased and set to give equal compression to the bogie springs.

With the measurements taken, the bogie was lowered once again, the gauge plate was removed and the sidebearers removed. They will be skimmed to give the correct clearances and to ensure they are level to the bogie. Meanwhile screw jacks were set up at the centre of the frames to support them over the Christmas break as at the moment the frames are only supported at the bogie and Cartazzi.

The leading left coupled wheel axlebox during the process of fitting.
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

Coupled wheel axlebox

The bogie is lifted from in front of the loco to the neighbouring track to allow it to be lifted later on to the wheeldrop lifting platform.
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

Bogie is lifted

The leading wheelset with the journals cleaned, is placed on the wheeldrop before lifting on to the neighbouring track following the bogie.
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

Leading wheelset

With the bogie and leading wheelset out of the way the loco chassis is heaved forward in to position.
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

Loco chassis

A view from in the wheeldrop showing where the leading coupled wheelset will be fitted.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

View from in wheeldrop

The leading wheelset on the lifting platform in the wheeldrop, with the first axlebox being lowered in to position.
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

The leading wheelset

With the axlebox on, the top cover is fitted and in the bottom, the underkeep, pins and spring hanger. Old brake blocks are hung from the axlebox to reduce the risk of the axlebox slipping round the axle. 20 December 2018
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

The top cover is fitted

The wheelset is carefully raised in to position on 20 December 2018.
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

Wheelset carefully raised

As the wheelset is raised it is examined all round for possible fouling of the frames and other components on 20 December 2018.
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

Wheelset is examined

With the wheelset in place the frames are positioned with the accommodation bogie over the centre of the wheeldrop. The bogie is lowered so that the loco bogie stretcher can be accessed for checking on 21 December 2018.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Wheelset in place

The accommodation bogie removed. 21 December 2018
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

Accommodation bogie

The bogie is lowered in to the wheeldrop pit on 21 December 2018.
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

Bogie is lowered

The bogie is lifted on 21 December 2018.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Bogie is lifted

Spacing plates are positioned on top of the bogie to allow the side bearer heights to be measured. 21 December 2018
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

Spacing plates

With the loco frames loading the bogie the sidebearer gaps are measured. 21 December 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Sidebearer gaps

With measurements completed and spacing plates removed the bogie is in its final position and carrying the weight of the frames. 21 December 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Bogie in its final position

10 December 2018

The new rivets for the tender spring hanger bracket have now been made. We have yet to obtain a suitably sized snap for these large rivets. The machining of the horizontal hornstay bolts is being continued and so is the sealing and testing of the cylinder drain cocks.

The refurbishment of the tender hornstays continues with work progressing on the right frames. The right trailing frame has now been welded to restore the frames correct shape and the worn stays are also requiring welding and finishing to suit.

Welding also continues on the front inside of the right hand frames to restore the plate thickness. This job progresses between the platework jobs our welder is helping out with around the tender tank.

The computation of the tender frame measurements has been carried out. We now have sufficient information to finalise the size of the bronze bearings. In discussion with our CME it was decided to complete the work on the leading wheelset to confirm that the dimensions and methodology are correct and will work in practice. When this is done the remaining three wheelsets will be completed. Further dimensions are being taken of the tender horn gaps and the widths of the axleboxes to determine clearances.

The overhaul of the loco's electrical systems continues with the ammeter and isolation switch assemblies refitted to the AWS battery box. Further work has been done on various other components and the loco's left leading conduit run.

The last of the flexi pipes to the loco brake cylinders was fitted this week, the last one being to the large brake cylinder in the middle of the loco frames. All the clamps on the flexi pipes have been positioned to ensure they are in a safe orientation so won't catch anybody working under the loco. The securing bolts for the large cylinder were removed to put a little more thread on them as they were washered out, so now only a single washer will be fitted, and in addition the bolts will be fitted with split pins against the nut for secondary locking, as the LNER drawing.

The tender brake cylinder trunion refurbishment is complete. The mating faces on the cylinder and covers have been cleaned and dressed ready for resealing. The flange faces on the cylinders and the mating pressure connection flange have also been prepared and new seals cut.

The tender brake cylinder end brackets are to be replaced. The plate has now arrived at York has been drilled with the mounting holes and a pilot hole for the cylinder trunions, which will be bored out to finished size.

The water filler space on the tender top has seen a lot of work in descaling and getting down to sound metal. This has been a long and noisy job. Almost daily there have been reports of new holes being created by scale or filler coming away under the needle gun. This week staging was put up at the rear of the tender so that we could get closer to the outside top. Paint along the outside is now being stripped back to expose the area at the water filler space floor level where holes are coming through. This is quite a complex area as the top of the corridor connection is here. A scheme is now being worked out for the repair work.

Work also continues at the bottom of the corridor connection with the concrete removed to expose the plate beneath. This area is being worked on to find sound material to which new plate will be welded too.

The adjustment of the middle slidebar shims is now complete with the slidebar being within 1 thou of inch parallel to the cylinder centre. Attention is now turning to the outside slidebars, which are predicted to be easier as the initial fit is better. The measurements are taken from a taught piano wire, and I was asked recently what we use piano wire for on the engine. I then realised that many of our readers probably have not come across this before. So by way of explanation, we use the wire for projecting the centre line of the cylinders along the loco. We then measure from the wire to various critical locations on the loco. For example the cylinder centre passes through the centre of the driving axle, it has to, to ensure even stroke of the piston and minimise side thrusts. So we have to make sure when we set up the bearings, slidebars etc that all centres are where they should be and we do this by measuring to the piano wire.

The tender vacuum brake train pipe was refitted to the tender frames this week and to allow positioning of other pipework the vacuum reservoir tank was refitted. The tank was cleaned up and prepped for painting and then refitted. The tank will be pressure tested as soon as we sort out a fitting that matches the unusual one the tank is fitted with. The tank is held up on straps. The straps require refurbishment and brackets on the dragbox are life expired and require renewal.

Scraping of the coupled axleboxes continued this week, when time allows. Last week Llangollen got in the way and this week the RSSB Mainline Heritage Roadshow took me away for the day. The right trailing is now effectively completed. Unfortunately the left trailing had a minor defect in the metal of the crown. It appeared to be shallow so I had hoped that scraping would remove or minimise it to acceptable levels, however it persisted so will require remedial work. Another box, the left driving will also require rework after close inspection after the discovery of the earlier defect. Both axleboxes have now at contractors for rectification.

Now that the pre-tubing boiler inspections has been carried out, tubing has begun with the fitting of the small tubes around the flue tubes. Work also proceeds on fitting and finishing the crown stays.

The small tubes are being fitted to the boiler. 6 December 2018
Photograph: Paul Aston

The small tubes

The axleboxes are carefully scraped by hand for final fitting to the journals to ensure a full and even distribution of load on the bearing. 8 December 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The axleboxes

A view looking forward toward the middle cylinder inside the frames just showing the wire and the middle upper slidebar. 8 December 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Middle cylinder

The new vacuum brake cylinder outside support brackets take shape and have been drilled. 8 December 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Vcuum brake cylinder

The vacuum reservoir tank mounted to the bottom of the tender trailing dragbox has been refitted to allow the rerouting of pipework. 8 December 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Vacuum reservoir tank

The completed left trailing tender hornstay. A good fit all round on both leading and trailing faces. 8 December 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Trailing tender hornstay

The flexi pipes have been fitted to the loco's refurbished brake cylinders. 8 December 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The flexi pipes

3 December 2018

Work on needle gunning the tender around the water filler, coal dividing plate and the plate forming the back of the tender continues. Areas previously identified as relatively sound are now giving up their secrets. There will be more plate work to renew up here where body filler has contributed to keeping the corroded steelwork together and obscured it's condition.

At the front of the tender tank the large cut out which allowed access in to the front of the tank has now been re-plated. Before this was fitted the new plate for the floor of the tank just inside was fitted and welded all round. A new angle plate that secures the brakeshaft safety link on the outside of the tank and is fitted below the new plate was made and drilled and the securing studs for it welded in to the floor.

More descaling has been carried out around the tender front bottom side sheets. This area was also thickness tested as we were concerned about the plate thickness and there are some little patches in it. It looks to be thick enough to take a little light patching and weld.

The welding up of the tender frames continues, a little at a time to avoid any distortion, and the tender wheelsets have now been painted inside to white undercoat. The tender rear footsteps have received more preparation for painting.

The renewal of the pipe systems continues to be steadily worked through. The steam heat and vacuum brake systems continue to be worked on but particular attention is now being given to the location of the air system runs in the tender frames. A mock up was made to identify the clearances available between the tender tank, frames and wheels.

I had hoped to leave the tender vacuum brake pipe in position but the pipe fitting team decided it was better removed to be worked on. This is a single continuous pipe run almost as long as the tender. It was removed, examined and is now being repainted.

The flexible pipes that run from the hard pipe to the loco brake cylinders have now been fitted. The hoses fitted were to the size of the originals but some had received wear damage so a few shorter ones have been purchased and these have been fitted in some locations. The hard pipes in this area were slightly repositioned to better accommodate the flexi pipes. Some pipe end threads were remade as in repositioning the pipes required therm to be dismantled which revealed some unsatisfactory threaded connections.

The tender brake cylinders have had their trunions rebushed. The bushes were gently heated and dropped on to the trunions. They were finally finished by filing them flush and chamfering the edges.

The bracket that secures the air pump governor to the loco has been modified to allow the output pipe to run straight forward. As the governor location was changed the pipe run is also being modified. Previously the output pipe dropped down but now it will be routed forward and up through the footplating, as 60009. The new run of the signal pipe to the governor is coming together by putting partial sections in place temporarily to ensure the run does not foul.

The refurbishment and fitting of the tender hornstays continues. The left side is now completed. This has been a time consuming job requiring repairs to hornstays and frames, and careful, accurate fitting.

The major event for me over the last couple of weeks was our visit to Llangollen to visit the boiler. Tubing the boiler was to commence during the period under review, however the boiler insurers and our VAB needed to do a final inspection of the interior of the boiler prior to fitting the tubes. Obviously once the tubes are in, it would not be possible to access or view areas of the boiler that have been worked on during this overhaul. So the tubing was postponed and a meeting to Llangollen organised. The day before the meeting the superheater header, manifold and numerous other items were taken to Llangollen.

The next day the meeting between the insurers, VAB, Llangollen Engineering and ourselves was carried out. The boiler presently remains on its side while the crown stays are put in and finished. I'm no boilersmith but the finish on the fitting of the tubeplate looks very good. The head boilersmith is carrying out much of the work on our boiler personally and the finish of work appears to be very good. The paperwork generated during the boiler overhaul was reviewed by the insures and all was found to be in order.

The AWS battery box refurbishment continues. Various old holes that were plugged with silicon have been cleaned out and welded up and the box is now on the painting bench.

The coupled axlebox fitting progresses, though slowly at the moment due to Llangollen visits and other time consuming but necessary distractions. The underkeeps are now fitted to four of the axleboxes. Fitting the underkeeps requires the fitting tolerance to be maintained and the pin lengths to be checked in the final fitted underkeep to ensure they will not foul the horn faces on the loco. Two axleboxes remain to be treated as one is presently being scraped on to its journal and another is still with contractors for repairs to the white metalling.

When the wheels are refitted the new horizontal hornstay bolts will be fitted. These bolts are now receiving final machining to match each individual location.

New outside crank pin bearing castings have now been received. They are now in the process of being roughed out. Meanwhile the trunions on the expansion links are being rebushed. One set is now back at York to be reassembled and mounted on centres to measure the alignment.

The new bottom flanges for the safety valves have been received and inspected. They comply to drawing.

The fitting of the new shims to the slidebars continues. The measuring wire has been put up on the middle cylinder and the alignment of the slidebar checked. One of inside shims has required further fitting and this is being carried out and measurements taken. A report has been produced of the condition of the bolting so that we can sort purchase or manufacture of new bolting.

The underkeep brackets require careful fitting to the axleboxes. The axlebox is shown up side down. 20 November 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The underkeep brackets

The superheater header and other boiler components ready for sending to Llangollen to join the boiler. 24 November 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The superheater header

The boiler at Llangollen on 27 November 2018.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The boiler

The firebox tubeplate fitting is completed and is finished to a high standard at Llangollen. 27 November 2018
Photograph: Richard Swales

The firebox tubeplate

One of the axleboxes being scraped to it's journal. The axlebox is held in a frame which allows it to be lowered on to the journal for trail fitting. 1 December 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

One of the axleboxes

The trunions on the tender brake cylinders have been sleeved to bring them back up to specified size and are finished by hand filing on 1 December 2018.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Tender brake trunnion

The left hand side of the tender frames have had all the hornstays refitted. New bolting will be used when all stays are completed. 1 December 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

LH side of tender frames

The front of the tender tank has now been sealed up with this new plate now that the repair work is completed inside the tank at the front. 1 December 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Front of the tender tank

19 November 2018

The axleboxes were taken to contractors to have the horn faces machined. The transport was supplied free of charge by one of our Engineering Team volunteers saving considerable trouble and expense in moving these heavy items. The first axlebox was soon put on the machine and I witnessed the first two off. Five of the six were soon completed but while machining the right driver a section of whitemetal detached, so this will have to be re-metalled.

The five completed boxes were collected, again by an Engineering Team volunteer and delivered to York. At York they were put up on the surface table and the distances over the horns carefully measured. When the dimensions were digested the adjustable horn wedge on the locomotive was adjusted to give the correct clearances for the axlebox. The clearances will be checked when the axleboxes are in place.

The adjustable wedges are thought to have not been moved in decades so we were pleasantly surprised how easily this work progressed. There is still some work in dressing the sides of the wedges where edges have projected over the fixed part of the horn and this is sharp to the touch.

The first axlebox is now being accurately fitted on to its journal. The same procedure is being carried out as when the bogie boxes were so treated, however the coupled axleboxes are much larger and take much more time. However we were very pleased with the initial fit of the axlebox so the Grosmont machining of the axlebox is good and having the journals trued when at the SDR will save a lot of time.

While the axleboxes are being fitted to the journals the ones waiting their turn are having their underkeep brackets fitted. When happy with the brackets fit the spring hanger pin and smaller side pins are checked for fit, and to ensure they do not project past the axlebox horns where they could foul the horn faces on the loco.

Work continues on the piping systems on the loco. A plan has been worked out for the air pump governor position and the routing of the governor outlet to the air pump. New pipe and fittings continue to be purchased and collected from suppliers, all masterminded by our volunteer pipe fitting team leader. While working on the air system piping, work also continues on the new steam heat pipe installation on the tender. The rerouting of the air brake piping on the tender has had implications for the existing vacuum reservoir pipe run so this will be rerouted. This pipe has now been removed. Some will have to be replaced as when descaled it is now clearly life expired. This has turned in to probably the most labour intensive and complex part of the overhaul.

The tender tank refurbishment continues. The new bottom plate which was bolted to the lower side of the tender has now been drilled through. The new plate was removed then the old plate cut out. There is now a big hole at the front of the tender. The new plate for just inside the front of the tender tank to cover the thinned and holed plate was cut to size and the dressing of the existing plate and structure completed. The new plate was fitted and then welded in.

The front of the tender frames where is is badly wasted is being welded up a little at a time to minimise distortion of the frames, in between welding up the AWS battery box, various brackets and sundry other items. Our welder must be very busy as we keep running out of welding gas and MIG wire.

The water level indicator from the front of the tender tank was dismantled. The bronze valve at the bottom was removed and cleaned and the steel tube that makes up the main body of the indicator cleaned. The tube appears to be very old though the bottom end has been renewed at some time, however the bottom that the valve screws in to is corroded to such an extent that there are no threads remaining in it.

The refurbishment of the tender hornstays is continuing well, and quicker than I had originally thought thanks to the time put in on this job by one of our volunteer fitters. The left side is now approaching completion. The hornstay refurb has involved dressing the damage on the frames where the stays are mounted, rebuilding wear on the stay with weld and carefully dressing the weld back to get a good fit on the frames. A couple of the stays have also required straightening in the press.

The descaling of the tender trailing dragbox is now completed thanks to the persistence of our needle gunners. Some finishing was done to the frame bracket tops and primer is now being applied to the right tender mainframe.

The tender footsteps removed to allow the lifting of the frames have been cleaned and descaled.

As part of the refurbishment of the tender the main tender springs taken outside for storage some time ago have now been steam cleaned and given a coat of light oil, stood on pallets and covered. They await dispatch to contractors for overhaul.

The dressing of the tender journals has now been completed. All the dimensions of the frames and axleboxes have been tabulated and a list of work required to the tender axlebox brasses, derived from calculations, is being prepared.

The tender buckeye coupling examination revealed wear in the knuckle bushes so these were removed. We have the BR instruction for overhaul but we wanted to be sure of the material of the knuckle and bushes so these have now been tested. New bushes will now be made. The other tender drawbar components have been dimensionally checked against specifications and the results recorded. The brackets on the tender rear that support the corridor connection have been removed as refurbishment will be easier on the bench. The support rods that fit the brackets have previously been rebuilt with weld.

The front of the loco has been lifted and the accommodation bogie refitted. This was done as the bottom of the loco bogie stretcher has been finish painted and the new side bearers have been pinned in place. This means that the loco is mobile again and can be moved forward on to the wheeldrop.

Putting the loco on to the accommodation bogie also allows the leading vacuum cylinders to be refitted. Not easy as they are a very neat fit and access for the crane from overhead is restricted by the frame stretcher the cylinders are suspended from. So the cylinders have to be positioned by hand.

Work continues on the tender vacuum cylinders with the fitting of new neck bushes. Both cylinders now have new neck seals and bushes fitted, and the piston rods tried in are a good fit. The cylinder mounting trunnions have been measured and new lining bushes made. They will be shrunk on.

The new slidebar shims are being fitted and the bolting closely examined. The examination has revealed that the fit between the right slidebar and cylinder casting is not satisfactory, so that the mounting hole in the cylinder casting has required careful adjustment. It also revealed that on the right side the nuts are not to drawing whereas the left are. I never noticed that before. This will be put right as new nuts will be required all round.

The testing of the cylinder drain cocks continues. Headway is being made in sealing and testing them.

The last of the conjugated valve gear components has now been inspected for defects. No faults were found. Meanwhile work continues on the expansion links with them being put on the milling machine for the trunnions to be skimmed before fitting with new bushes.

Our representative at Llangollen reports that the boiler is now ready for retubing. The final patch screws have been fitted to the copper tubeplate and the boiler has been positioned for tubing to start. Mud hole door seals have been ordered for the hydraulic and steam tests.

One of the coupled axleboxes on the milling machine at a contractors works. 5 November 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

A coupled axlebox

The boiler at Llangollen being moved on to its side for some final work to be done in this position prior to being put the right way up for tubing. 6 November 2018
Photograph: Paul Aston

The boiler at Llangollen

Back at York the axlebox is put on the surface table and the parallelism of the hornfaces is carefully assessed. 10 November 2018
Photograph: Richard Swales

Axlebox on surface table

The conjugated valve gear two to one lever is checked for defects. 14 November 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Two to one lever

The front of the loco frames are now back on the accommodation bogie. The removable panels under the buffers allow jacking on the front bufferbeam. 15 November 2018
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT

Front of the loco frames

The adjustable horn face on the loco is carefully positioned to give the specified clearance on the axlebox. 15 November 2018
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT

Adjustable horn face

Work in progress on the pipework below the cab floor on 15 November 2018.
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT

Pipework below cab floor

The last tender wheelset journal is dressed to remove wear damage. 17 November 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Tender wheelset journal

The leading locomotive vacuum brake cylinders have been refitted. 17 November 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Vacuum brake cylinders

The valve at the bottom of the water level indicator. Made of bronze it has survived well though the steel tube it is attached to will require extensive repair. 17 November 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Water level indicator

The inside of the tender frames where wasted are being rebuilt with weld. The beam at the bottom is temporary, intended to reduce any distortion. 17 November 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Inside the tender frames

5 November 2018

Pressure testing of the cast iron steam pipes has had to be put on hold as a crack has been discovered in one while the sealing face was being prepared. A repair will be necessary. Considering the condition of the other pipes they have obviously seen a long service life so more comprehensive refurbishment work on these pipes is now being planned. The rationale being if we have to pay for casting repair we should take the opportunity to carry out refurbishment work on a couple of other war wounds.

These steam pipes have been measured for thickness and though they have clearly lost material through wastage they are still serviceable. To ensure we have a full record of the pipe thickness along their lengths more internal decarboning will be required.

To keep the pressure testers busy we have moved on to testing the cylinder relief valves. The first two were tested this week, with less than satisfactory results so we are investigating why.

The buckeye coupling overhaul progressed by stripping this week. We are following the original BR overhaul instructions which details permissible wear and repair procedures. This work is ongoing.

As with the buckeye, most working hours are now being spent on the tender. This week the new plate for the tender front bottom plate was lifted and fastened to the exiting plate. The new plate was then marked through and drilling of fastening holes in the new plate is progressing. There are larger cutouts to be put in for the drawgear pins and water valve rods, but we didn't have access to the burning gear this week. However good progress has been made. The area inside and out where the old bottom plate will have to be removed has seen further preparation by the removal of scale, paint and filler.

The inspection of the tender frames continued this week with the completion of the testing of the spring hanger brackets and the horn cutouts. Next to one of the cutouts was a rather alarming looking crack perhaps six inches long. As these areas on the frames have seen previous repairs for such defects I thought this may lead to another major frame repair, however testing did not indicate any great depth. The defect was ground out by the removal of the surface skin of the plate. It appears that it was a surface defect rolled in to the plate, possibly at the Parkgate Foundry, Rotherham when manufactured c1928.

Inspection and testing of the tender frames also included the leading dragbox and the leading two frame stretchers, where a couple of failed rivets were found. The first of the refitted tender hornstays was completed this week and is now a satisfyingly snug fit. The second hornstay is now being worked on.

The dressing of the tender wheelset journal ends continued this week by Chris Whiteley, and a fine job is being done. The last one is now well on the way to completion.

The blocked mounting hole in the front tender balance weight was drilled out this week as part of its refurbishment before refitting.

The trailing dragbox received more descaling this week. The AWS battery box and associated components continue their refurbishment.

The machined tender vacuum cylinder was returned to York this week.

Work continues in the cab on piping, on rerouting of the steam and air supplies to the repositioned governor. Quotations for the steel pipe and fittings for the tender and the steam supply to the governor have been obtained.

The middle valve gear has now all been collected together with the last pins and the outside valve spindle extension links retrieved from store. All are now being examined for defects and measured to determine if they are suitable for further use.

The "crack" in the tender frames which was easily ground out. Above it can be seen the weld where repair plates have previously been put in. 30 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The "crack" in the frames

The bottom of the loco bogie stretcher is now being painted as we work toward refitting the bogie. One of the completed side bearers is pinned in place. 1 November 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Loco bogie stretcher

One of the cast iron steam pipes that are mounted on top of the cylinder castings. 3 November 2018
Photograph: Richard Swales

Cast iron steam pipe

The equal lever of the Gresley conjugated valve gear undergoes examination. 3 November 2018
Photograph: Richard Swales

The equal lever

29 October 2018

The bogie sidebearers after final welding are now refitted to the loco with close fitting pins. The overall dimensions of the brackets have been taken and the fitted bolts can now be finish machined. The bolts are already pre-machined and just need the fitted diameter and their heads finishing off.

The last three coupled wheel spring hanger brackets have had new bushes machined and fitted. The coupled axlebox cover plates have been dressed and are now being painted. The removal of burrs and minor marking to the white-metalled horns was required to allow accurate measurement. The dimensions taken over the last couple of weeks have been analysed and it was decided that some fitting along the horns is required. This is ongoing.

The pressure testing of the steam pipes has continued this week. The steel pipes are now completed and have tested satisfactorily so attention has now moved on to the cast iron ones that fasten on to the tops of the cylinder castings. Being iron they need a little more cleaning up and require plugging along their lengths as there are entries for lubrication, pressure take offs etc. The entry threads are being cleaned up and are in the process of being plugged.

Needlegunning is continuing on the trailing tender dragbox. The leading and trailing dragboxes have also been measured to assess the degree of wastage these castings have seen. The trailing dragbox measures in excess of the original drawing specified thicknesses in many places and apart from surface corrosion does not seem to have lost any significant material. The leading dragbox has seen wastage, the dimensions have been recorded, and will be considered.

The frames at the front of the tender require rebuilding as they are wasted below acceptable thickness. A beam has now been fabricated and this is fitted across the front of the frames, hopefully preventing any distortion of the frames when they are welded.

The tender frame hornstays are now in the process of repair work to improve their fit on to the frames. These are an important structural components and their fit is important to prevent damage to the frames. The hornstays will be rebuilt with weld and this will be then carefully taken back until a good tight fit on the frames is achieved. The first is now being worked on to identify a procedure that we will be able to apply to the rest.

Inspection and testing of the tender spring hanger brackets and horn cut-outs is continuing. The spring hanger brackets show evidence of numerous weld repairs in the past so take a careful looking at. The tender wheelset journals are being dressed to remove wear marks under the outer flange and this work has continued this week.

The tender brake cylinder overhaul continues with the right hand cylinder being machined to remove damage and wear to the mounting trunions. The cylinder was taken to the works of K D Flavell and put on their borer. The machined trunnions are now ready to be bushed, following an approved BR repair procedure.

Pipework around the M8 valve continues while the pipe runs through the tender frames is also being progressed. New material has been obtained and cut for the support brackets for the electrical conduit and air system pipework. New conduit and fittings have been obtained for the TPWS cable runs.

Below the cab the damper handle and cross-shaft pinning is completed and the cross shaft has been finally fitted.

The middle valve gear middle valve spindle extension has been cleaned and prepared for test. On the outside gear a liner has been fitted to the inside right expansion link trunnion bearing housing. This was drawn in to the housing as it is a tight fit. The liner was then finished to provide a good fit on the bearing. The final dressing of the outside driving crankpins was completed last week and this week they received a final polish.

On the trailing tender dragbox are historical markings including the LNER in a diamond stamp found on the loco frames and bogie. 24 October 2018
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT

Historical markings

The coupled axlebox spring hangers are completed with the fitting of new bushes. 24 October 2018
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT

Axlebox spring hangers

A view looking up under the cab. The damper cross-shaft can be seen and the handle with its new pin can be made out. 24 October 2018
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT

The damper cross-shaft

The slidebar shims were finished last week they are now ready for fitting. 24 October 2018
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT

The slidebar shims

The steel steam pipes shown have been tested attention now moves on to the cast iron ones. 24 October 2018
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT

teel steam pipes

Examination of the tender frames is now focusing on the detection of cracks and defects. 24 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The tender frames

22 October 2018

Surgery continues on the tender tank in the water filler space and preparing the area around the front of the tank to receive new plate. The area just inside the front of the tank was ground and wire brushed so that new plate can be welded in. The larger pieces of new plate have now been delivered from a local supplier. Other pieces that can be transported more easily will be supplied from Teesside where steel is cheaper. The rivets holding the tender floor to the original 1928 side brackets were burnt out as part of the the floor plate removal.

The inside of the tank has seen some cleaning out by the 007 Gang of junior volunteers. The team also started the removal of the tender front water gauge as access below it is required to access the floor plate for replacement.

The descaling of the leading tender dragbox has now been completed. The rear dragbox is being continued. The frame stretchers and internal pipework left in place are now being stripped and descaled. With the tank off it will now be possible to simplify the routing of the TPWS electrical conduit and some air system pipework which was fitted with the tank in place. The TPWS conduit has been removed along with its brackets. The brackets were supported by a rather flimsy length of angle and the pipe fitting and electrical teams decided it should be replaced with something more substantial, so the old has been cut out. The electrical conduit and fittings required have been listed and are in the process of being obtained.

The AWS electrical system overhaul continues with the battery box refurbishment. The solenoid valve that operates the cautionary horn in the cab has been electrically tested.

While needle gunning around the tender frames continues, the wheelsets have received further painting in primer and undercoat. The tender draw gear rubber springs and plates are now being cleaned down and examined. They are suitable for further service so the plates, originally galvanised mild steel, have been painted with a zinc paint. One new plate is required and this is on order and to be made in stainless steel.

The leading tender frame angle tops are wasted and it was decided they should be replaced with new plate. The flanges were burnt off and existing metal prepared for welding on the new flanges. New metal has been trimmed to size and is tacked in place for final welding.

The detailed examination of the tender frames continues with only one loose rivet found, which has now been removed. The area of frames at the leading end are wasted in places and these will be thickened by the addition of weld. Welding the frames will have to be carried out by a coded welder and be accompanied by documentation. A start on the prep for this was made by grinding back to bright un-corroded material which will accept a good weld. More needs to be done. A supporting beam will be fitted between the frames to ensure the frame spacing is not effected during welding. The end plates for the beam have been made.

The measurement of the tender frames, wheelsets and axleboxes has now been completed with the distance across the frames between the horns being taken. The results will now be tabulated and the required dimensions for the brasses calculated. The tender wheelset journals are now being dressed.

More pipework inside the loco frames has been replaced where thicker walled pipe is required, and pipe to the M8 drivers air brake valve is now being positioned. The reverser stand has now been fitted to the loco. This is quite an operation as it requires the removal of the cab. With the reverser in position this allows the fitting of the M8 as it is mounted on a bracket hung off the reverser.

When the reverser was in the floor support rests on the reverser flange. This means that the floor needs to be removed before the reverser, in addition the floor support is not secured at the reverser, so a new arrangement has been made that secures the floor support to the loco and is clear of the reverser, and this adds more rigidity. The pipe runs around the reverser were examined and are clear. A board representing the cab floor has been fitted and the casing below the M8 fitted. Again there was no fouling of pipes, though it has been suggested that the casing be renewed as it bears witness to hundreds of strikes of the fireman's shovel.

The atomiser refurbishment is continuing. All the seats and parts inside the atmoisers have been removed and all the small steam and oil ways tested to make sure they are clear. A number of seats require renewal.

The coupled wheel axleboxes are being examined before fitting to the journals. The horn faces have not been re-metalled but have needed dressing to remove burrs and damage from the oil ways and around the spring hanger holes.

The last of the axlebox thrust securing screws were made and fitted. The tender brake cylinder bronze neck bushes are now being made.

The screws securing the thrusts have now all been cut and finished flush with the surface of the axleboxes. They need to be flush to allow the fitting of the oil seal. Measurements have been taken of the axleboxes and the spring hanger brackets and this will be recorded before the axleboxes are refitted. The axleboxes were put up on the surface table and horns measured for parallelism so that we can estimate the amount of fitting that will be required. Meanwhile three of the six spring hangers have now had new bushes fitted.

The right driving crankpin dressing has been completed, and the slidebar shims have now all been ground to size.

The bottom flange of the leading safety valve has been examined and a drawing for new has been produced. It was checked and we are now getting quotations for manufacture. We now have quotations for the casting of the bronze coupling and outside connecting rod bushes so we can now progress to getting them ordered.

Bolting was obtained for testing the steam pipes and a plate to seal the end of the pipes during test has been machined. A couple of the pipes were clamped together and pressure tested satisfactorily to the boiler test pressure.

At Llangollen the ashpan has been fitted to the upturned boiler. As expected a little bending is required to get a close fit to the foundation ring. The front of the ashpan fits really well and the remaining gaps will be closed by heating and forming the ashpan flange.

The tender rubber springs are in remarkably good condition though of BR origin and can be reused. A view before the steel plate is painted with a protective coating. 11 October 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Tender rubber springs

The overhauled reverser is lowered on to the cab floor plate. The cab has previously been removed. 16 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Overhauled reverser

The electrical systems on the loco are being examined and refurbished with work on the tender TPWS cable and conduit. 16 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

TPWS cable and conduit

At the front of the tender work continues on the renewal of wasted material. The joint between the floor and front plates is cleaned off all rust before the plate is cut away. 16 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Front of the tender

Not mentioned in the report but work has restated on the repinning of the ashpan damper mechanism. The damper handle is marked 4903 which became 60034 Lord Farringdon. 18 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Damper mechanism

The rear bufferbeam of the tender is actually the back face of the trailing dragbox. As elsewhere around the loco it is stamped with a diamond containing the letters LNER. 18 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Rear bufferbeam

The examination of the tender has revealed numerous historical repairs. This shows the trailing right bufferbeam which has seen extensive welding. 18 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Trailing right bufferbeam

The reverser mounted on the loco with the M8 drivers air brake application valve in place. 18 October 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

The reverser

One of the driving axleboxes on the surface tables for more dimensional checks before refitting. 18 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Driving axlebox

The tender frames at the front insides has seen much material corroded away. Here the area is cleaned for thickening with weld. 20 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The tender frames

8 October 2018

The tender tank had steel plate inserted and welded in position this week. This fills the holes in the water filler space side sheet. Work continues on fitting new plate to the bulkhead that separates the coal space from the water filer space. Now it's cooler in the workshop on top of the tender productivity is returning to normal.

More work has been done on the front of the tender with the removal of the rivets holding the bottom plate on to the original 1928 side angles. We also had a visit from a steel supplier to measure up, as they have been asked to quote for the supply of new plate. Our normal suppliers are on Teesside, but for large pieces of plate we would incur delivery charges.

Work has continued this week on the tender frames with needle gunning of the frame plates complete, attention is now concentrated on the dragboxes. The frames are now being closely inspected so that a refurbishment programme can be planned. The measurement of the frames, axleboxes, wheelsets and bearings continued this week. Cleaning and painting of the wheelsets continues.

The neck bushes were removed from the tender vacuum brake cylinders and a start has been made on the manufacture of new ones.

Work continues on the replacement of some of the smaller diameter air system pipework, replacing it with pipe more resistant to damage. The problem is that to identify the existing pipework type, fittings have to be de-soldered and removed, though our volunteer leading this job is adept at identifying pipe types by weight.

Work has also progressed on the manufacture of new pipe clamps for the lubrication pipes and the atomisers have been retrieved from store for refurbishment. The atomisers are in the process of being dismantled and the internals cleaned out and inspected.

We now have all six coupled axleboxes on site and preparation work for their refitting in underway. The axleboxes have been cleaned down, and a start has been made in the manufacture and fitting of the locking screws for the thrusts. The brackets that fit in the bottom of the axleboxes, on top of which the underkeep oil baths fit, were tried in this week. They have to be fitted before the axleboxes go into the frames. More work is required on fitting these. The brackets have a large pin passing through them and the axlebox, from which the main spring is fastened. These pins wear and eventually require replacement. We now have a full serviceable set as where required new have been made at York.

The steam pipes from the supeheater header to the cylinders are to be pressure tested. This week the faces of the pipe flanges were lapped with a tool made at York and the lens rings cleaned up.

The front coupling hook was fitted with a lock nut this week after being made from one of the old nuts, and the cotter to the end of the hook shaft was fitted. The cotter again being original but requiring modification to fit the new arrangement.

New plate welded in to the rear left side of the tender. 3 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

New welded plate

The atomisers are stripped and inspected. The atomisers mix boiler steam with oil before it enters the cylinders and steam chests. 3 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The atomisers

The tender rear dragbox also forms the rear bufferbeam. As with the front dragbox a lot of surface area in a complex casting to strip down. 4 October 2018
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT

Tender rear dragbox

Work continues on stripping, cleaning and painting the tender wheelsets. 4 October 2018
Photograph: Trevor Camp/SNGLT

Tender wheelsets

The tender wheelsets have plates riveted on their insides. 4 October 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Tender wheelsets

The front hook spring arrangement as Gresley intended it to be. 6 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The front hook spring

The steam pipes and lens ring sealing faces being prepared for testing. 6 October 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Steam pipes & lens ring

1 October 2018

The tender tank progresses with steel obtained and being fitted to the removed wasted sections in the water filler space. The floor in this space has been needle gunned and it will be treated before painting with a corrosion inhibitor.

At the front of the tender a large section of steel that was holed has been removed. The inside of the tank behind the cutout has been chipped and descaled, and has revealed a number of holes beneath the sealant lining. As elsewhere on the tank it appears corrosion from the outside is responsible. The bottom plate in front of the cutout has been descaled around the corners to identify where the old plate should be cut out and where new plate can be welded in. Measurements have been taken and a shopping list of plate is being put together.

The cab piping continues to be worked on with our CME identifying more piping changes he requires. Attention has also moved to the steel piping in the tender frames as all the steam heat pipework is to be replaced, as well as wasted steel vacuum brake piping. A number of propriety pipe brackets and clamps have been obtained to provide support to the smaller lubrication pipework between the frames. Previously the pipes have been wrapped with rubber to protect them from vibration damage in steel clamps.

The superheater has now been "unboxed" with all the sealing plates and bungs removed. After drying out, the sealing faces required cleaning of all sealant, gasket and surface corrosion. The same was done to the middle and end blank cover, and these were reassembled on the header for transport to Llangollen. The element holes have been cleaned out and all the bright surfaces given a smear of grease. The end threaded plug holes have been cleaned and the plugs fitted.

The front centre bufferbeam section of streamlined casing was finally fitted this week and the reconditioned drawhook fitted by Bob Shearman. The new springs were also fitted. A new spacer for the securing nuts was machined at York this week, the old one being not to drawing. The front shackle was detail cleaned and di-penned this week with no defects found. It has previously been dimensionally checked to ensure it is not below scrapping size. It would be a shame to have to replace it as it is a nice old fashioned BR marked type.

The loco fitted bogie sidebearers were finish reamed in position this week, and pinned up with silver steel dowels. The bottom plates have now been marked up with the machining that they require.

All except one of the coupled axleboxes have now been returned to York. The outstanding axlebox required a little further work. I visited Grosmont this week to view the last box in progress and to inspect the other three completed ones. The axleboxes at York have been put under the wheelsdrop crane ready for fitting. The dressing of the driving wheelset outside crankpins is being continued.

Invitations have been invited this week for the large bronze coupling rod and outside connecting rod bearings, in addition to the small end bearings. The patterns we have for these bearings were identified and have been added to our parts control system.

The finishing of the valve rings was completed this week. They are now ready for fitting to the valve heads. 25 September 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Valve rings

Incredibly we are still finding corners of the tender frames that need further scale and corrosion removing. 25 September 2018
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Scale, corrosion removed

The left coupled wheel axleboxes positioned under the wheeldrop crane. They require some external cleaning and then will be fitted. 29 September 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Left coupled axleboxes

The pipework from under the drivers position and along the frames has been extensively reorganised. 29 September 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone


The superheater pressure tested and sealing parts removed. Ready to be dispatched to join the boiler. 29 September 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Superheater tested

The section of plate removed from the front of the boiler. 29 September 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Plate removed from boiler

In the front corner of the tender are curved brackets that indicate the profile of the original 1928 tender sides. 29 September 2018
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Curved brackets
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