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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 2019.

24 December 2019

The backhead cladding has been tried in position. The cladding is fixed on studs in bosses welded to the boiler plates. Some of these studs had been broken off so the bosses had to be drilled out, re-tapped and new studs fitted. The cladding isn't in very good condition and has a number of patches where sections were cut out and pop riveted back in to allow access to repairs to the boiler back plate. The pop rivets have now been removed and the patches will be welded back in.

The boiler insulation is now on order. The crinoline that goes over the firebox has been temporarily put on to locate the securing brackets cut off as they were foul of the boiler. Clearance is tight on these so the screw holes will be welded up and tapped out.

Also at the back of the loco work continues on the Cartazzi. Various components have been cleaned and examined. The rubber springs were removed from their boxes and are life expired. New rubbers are now on order. The Cartazzi hornstays have been tested and one is found to be cracked. This is a cast component and will require repair.

The measurement and assessment of the Cartazzi axleboxes, horns and bearings is ongoing. One of the bearings is damaged and shows cracking so will require replacement. The bronze wedges show wear and movement of their centres due to this wear. It is estimated that there is sufficient material in the existing castings to machine to correct the centre offset and to remove the wear.

The Cartazzi wheelset has been stripped back to metal. This has allowed it to be MPI examined by contractors, declaring it free from defects. After test the wheelset was again cleaned down prior to prime painting.

The NDT contractors also examined the inside connecting rod and strap as required by our "VAB". No defects were found.

The Cartazzi frames have also seen work. The frames have been needle gunned. This has allowed them to be examined and tested. No faults have been found and all the unloaded rivets in the spring hanger brackets are tight. The outer Cartazzi frames are now painted to undercoat.

The boiler expansion brackets have now been fitted. The last one on the right had a shim plate machined and fitted. Fitting this allowed the last ashpan cotter to be fitted. The ashpan sprinker bulkhead fittings just above the top of the diaphragm plate have been fitted.

The centre of the boiler barrel is supported by a pad on the top of a frame stretcher. This is shimmed to support the boiler. The shim has been fitted and secured. The damper door and spark screen have been refitted.

At the front of the loco the piping team have been running in the atomiser pipework as they have been unable to progress the re-installation of the cab pipework due to the cladding fitting. The steam supply pipework to the atomisers is now in place. It's a bit vulnerable and has seen damage so is now being repaired. Inside the smokebox there is a lubrication pipe to the middle cylinder and the fitting goes in to the top of the cylinder. The fitting was a poor fit and this area was saturated with oil when the concrete was removed, so the face of the cylinder casting has been worked on until we can be sure we get a good seal. The pipe to the fitting runs around the outside of the saddle and this has now been run in.

The last of the loco brake gear has now returned to the workshop. The arms that connect the leading brake cylinders to the leading brakeshaft have been examined and are free from defects and all the smaller links have been stripped. Each remaining bush and pin is being measured so new can be made as required.

The loco brake hangers have had their thickness rebuilt with weld. All six hangers have had the welded areas machined to give the dimensions shown on the LNER drawing.

The outside big end bushes have been white metalled and machined by contractors and are now back at York. With the side rod bushes they have been checked over and keys are being fitted. Some of the old keys are being reused after adjustment, but new keys will also have to be made.

The knuckle pins and the holes in the rods have been revisited. The holes were dressed and measured to check on the tapers and roundness. The knuckle pins have been examined and tried in. They are not a good fit. We had previously condemned one and now the decision had been made to replace both, the material cost not being excessive. Blanks are now on order and will be finish machined at York to match the rods. New bronze for the knuckle pin bushes has been obtained.

New bronze for the gudgeon pin bushes is also at York and the first has been on the lathe for roughing out. There is a mix of bronze and steel bushes in the conjugated gear, and they new are now being machined and fitted.

The new key for the LH gudgeon pin has been made and fitted. This has allowed the LH crosshead to be fitted and allowed the final fitting of the LH lower slidebars. The new bushes in the crosshead drop links have been drilled through for their lubrication holes.

Our new valve guide, to replace one found cracked through, has now been machined by contractors, and a lovely job it is too. It now requires careful fitting to the valve cover. Bushes are being made so that the holes in the cover can be accurately drilled through to the guide.

The fitting of the return cranks by an Engineering Team member has now been completed. This has been a very skilful job and the volunteer should be proud of the work he has done on these key components. After finishing them on to the crankpin squares the bolt holes and taper pin holes were reamed out. We did not have the size of reamer required so at short notice another of our volunteers sorted out the purchase of one at a bargain price.

Work continues on the tender. The new upper plate for the tender front has been countersunk and fitted in the tender. The reinforcing lifting squares have been welded in place.

The coupling that connects the loco to the tender varies from the BR drawing, as did the loco front coupling. We seem to have a rubber spring on the coupling perhaps from another type of loco. We have no knowledge of it ever being changed so it has proved to be satisfactory in service. The drawing gives details of loading and compression so the spring was put on the hydraulic press to measure the load that the spring really gives. This information will be used to rationalise the collection of rather rough looking plates and washers used as spacers on the coupling bar, and to set the correct pre-load.

The OTMR sensors have been away for calibration. The results have been complied on a spreadsheet and will be sent to our "VAB" for acceptance before refitting.

Away from York, the coach has now left Cranmore and has been transported to Margate for secure, under cover storage, until the overhaul of the running gear can be organised.

The Cartazzi wheelset bring stripped to metal on 3 December 2019.
Photograph: Ken Woods

The Cartazzi wheelset

The left Cartazzi axlebox. 3 December 2019
Photograph: Ken Woods

Left Cartazzi axlebox

With the Cartazzi wheelset removed work concentrates in preparing the frames for refitting on 3 December 2019.
Photograph: Ken Woods

Wheelset removed

The holes in the coupling rods for the knuckle pins are carefully measured for the manufacture of new pins. 5 December 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Holes in coupling rods

The right outside big end bush is tried on the crank pin to check fit. 14 December 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Outside big end bush

On top of the Cartazzi axleboxes the bronze wedges are fixed by a spigot. This one is marked as belonging to 4464 Bittern. 14 December 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Cartazzi axleboxes

The Cartazzi frames painted in primer. 18 December 2019
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

The Cartazzi frames

The firebox crinoline tried in place on 21 December 2019.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The firebox crinoline

The Cartazzi wheelset has been stripped and tested for defects. 21 December 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The Cartazzi wheelset

The new upper front tender plate is now in position. Work now continues fitting the fairing to the top of the plate. 23 December 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Upper front tender plate

4 December 2019

With the boiler in place the Pipe Fitting team have been reinstalling the cab floor structure and pipework. A new conduit has been fitted across the floor to protect the OTMR cabling. The OTMR sensors have now been calibrated and the results are being examined. A couple are outside of manufacturers spec, but may be within what is required by the OTMR system. This is being investigated.

At the smokebox sides the atomiser brackets have been rebuilt. An improved arrangement has been fitted to add rigidity, and also the over-size nuts used as spacers have been replaced with machined spacers.

Meanwhile two of the valve crossheads have been welded up where the taper pin holes are oversized and threaten to break through. These will now require machining to size, redrilling and re-metalling. The new valve crosshead guide castings are now with contractors for machining.

The boiler washout plugs and doors have been stamped up with new identifying letters and numbers so these have now been noted on our drawing for future reference. Where the boiler has come to rest on the frames it is hard up on one of the crinoline brackets at the firebox end so it was cut off and will be welded back on when we fit the crinoline.

The boiler is held down at the rear by the diaphragm plate. All new bolting has now been fitted between the plate and the loco frame stretcher and the foundation ring. With this bolting in place the cab floor piping and the ashpan spray pipes can be fitted. At the smokebox end all the bolts around the saddle are in and any excess length ground off on the smokebox side. Under the foundation ring sides are retaining/expansion brackets that hook under brackets on the loco frames. The brackets foul new material put in the ashpan, so this was cut out on the left side and the bracket fitted. The right side required a shim plate to space the bracket correctly but a little more work is required.

The ashpan is held up on pegs and studs in the boiler foundation ring. The pegs have now been fitted and also the rocking grate shaft brackets that are fastened to the foundation ring. These brackets also hold the ashpan against the foundation ring. Cotters go through the pegs to secure the ashpan and these are now being fitted.

The last of the tender tank bolts have now been fitted, the rear corners requiring shim plates put in between the tank and frame brackets. Progress is being made on the tender front with the fitting the large upper front plate. It required some effort to get it in the correct location as in places it has to align with, and is between existing brackets and plate. The holes in the tender structure have now been marked through and the plate is being drilled. The removable shovel plate has been stripped and examined and shows a lot of wastage. It is a relatively straight forward fabrication so should be easy to replace.

The return cranks have now been fitted to the crankpin squares. Some work was required to the squares, just as the radii on the crankpins had to be finished at York. The machining marks left on the squares required removal as the multiple passes of the tool during manufacture had left steps, which had to patiently remove to ensure a good fit for the cranks. The left crankpin securing bolt is now being fitted, which requires the half hole put in to the corner of the crankpin square.

The last slidebar bolts and nuts have been completed. All bolts now drilled for split pinning. We only await the completion of the left crosshead repair and all crossheads and slidebars will be finish assembled.

All the gudgeon pins have now been lapped in and they fit very well. The LH crossshead has a worn keyway, looking as if a gudgeaon pin may have been moving in the past. New key material has now been purchased and will be fitted. The keyway has been repaired by careful filing using slip gauges to ensure straightness and parallelism. The new bushes for the crosshead for the union link pin are now made and fitted.

After fitting the boiler the loco was returned to its usual position in the workshop. After securing the boiler the loco was then moved on to the wheeldrop to lower the bogie. With the loco on all its wheels it moves quite easily. When on the wheeldrop the bogie was lowered a few feet for fitting of the side-bearers to the loco frames. The new fitted bolts to hold the side-bearers were machined by one of our volunteers and they went in with a satisfying drive fit, with the side-bearers held tight against the frames. While on the wheeldrop the loco centre bogie pivot spigot was di pen inspected to complete our photo record of the inspection of the loco bogie stretcher. The bogie was then raised back under the loco and the side-bearer gaps either side are satisfactory and even. With the bogie back in place the bogie pivot bolt was fitted and the nut fitted and pinned.

The leading steam heat valve after failing pressure testing has been lapped in again using our new diamond paste. The same is now being done to the tender valve.

The loco adjustable brake pulls have now been fitted with new bushes and pins. All pins are also now drilled through for their split cotter pins. The short end holes are not bushed but did show some distortion so were bored out true. Half of the six loco brake hangers have now been machined where rebuilt with weld to remove wear.

The Cartazzi wheelset has now been removed from the frames. There was just enough room in the workshop to move the tender forward and get the Cartazzi on to the wheeldrop. A couple of pipes had to be removed, not greeted enthusiastically by the pipe fitting team. It was all a relatively straight forward operation by a well practised team. The wheelset was lowered just enough to get the top plates off then lowered to the bottom of the pit where the axleboxes were removed and lifted out. The wheelset and its components are now being examined. The left outer hornstay shows markings suggesting that in its history it had been fitted to locos 2548 (Galtee More), 2572 (St. Gatien) and R-LNE-2565 (Merry Hampton) , the latter looking like the first stamping.

As soon as the axleboxes were out they were taken to the prep pit and power washed while the other components are bing dealt with in the workshop. Components are being needle gunned and cleaned, and a number have already been di-pen inspected. Dimensional checks are now being carried out to check for wear and to determine the dimensions for the refurbishment of the bearings.

One of the radius rods being bored for new bushes in the workshop of one of our volunteers on 13 November 2019.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Radius rod

The bogie being lowered in to the wheeldrop on 16 November 2019.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Bogie lowered

One of the loco side-bearers fitted in place below the outside cylinders. 16 November 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Loco side-bearer

The bogie is now ready to be lifted and refitted to the loco. 16 November 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Bogie ready to be lifted

On the wheeldrop the Cartazzi wheel set is lowered from the frames on 26 November 2019.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Cartazzi wheel set

A view up toward the loco frames from the wheel drop pit. 26 November 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Loco frames

The cod's mouth gear is now reassembled with new bearings. 26 November 2019
Photograph: Ken Woods

Cod's mouth gear

The return cranks are now fitted to the crankpins. The crankpins are now being drilled and reamed for the fitting of the return crank securing bolts. 28 November 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Return cranks fitted

11 November 2019

The main activity this week was the fitting of the boiler, due back to York Wednesday with fitting planned for Thursday. Getting the frames to the boiler involved shunting from the back of the museum past a number of other vehicles and then back again. The shunts in addition could only be done out of normal museum opening hours. This meant a couple of long days and late finishes for the Engineering Team members involved.

It was also organised to incorporate a number of other activities in the shunts to enable a repositioning of vehicles in the workshop, including putting our tender in front of the loco.

To prep the tender for moving, the final oiler pads were fitted and the cotter pins on the brake gear between the frames were fitted. The tender to loco coupling was also refitted. During the shunt the tender was stopped under the wheeldrop crane and the front balance weight was refitted.

To prep for the loco move the driving wheels were fitted last week. This week the driving axlebox horn gaps were set and the springs reloaded. The horizontal hornstay bolt pins and the coupled wheel spring retaining box cotters were also fitted. The driving oiler pads and the under keep tray end plates were fitted, one with a new leather gasket, and we had to fit a new specially made stud as an old one was found to be broken off. All the axlebox oil levels were checked and the axlebox horns given an oil. The Cartazzi was oiled and the top oil box trimmings put back in. All the bright work on the loco frames were oiled to protect them from the forecasted rain.

Meanwhile around the loco and tender more normal work was carried on. The tender corridor received more needle gunning and painting continued on the bottom end of the tender. The tender front refurbishment continues with fitting of new steelwork. The coal gate hinge has now been drilled and tapped for new mounting studs. The left piston crosshead gudgeon pin has received a little more lapping in. The worn bushes in the loco adjustable brake pulls have been pressed out.

The night the boiler arrived the frames were shunted outside in to the North Yard. The move was done very slowly carried out by NRM personnel. The exit from the workshop being of particular concern as the the curves are very tight. Our frames being very lightly loaded were watched by the Engineering Team every inch of the way for any tendency for a wheel to start climbing the rail. Fortunately it behaved itself.

When shunted in to the final position the frames were covered by sheets.

Next day with the boiler on it's road transport, having arrived the night before, we were shunted by the same NRM team in to the car park, followed by an attentive Engineering Team. The crane arrived on time and was positioned between the boiler and frames. Before lifting the plugs and mud hole doors that need to be removed before a fitting attempt could be made were taken out. Then the boiler was lifted and after adjusting the slings we had a level lift. The boiler was then swung over the frames and very gently lowered.

The boiler was leaning a little so was not coming down level, so it was lowered on to the frames and the slings adjusted again. The crane took the weight again and the boiler was moved along the frames to give the correct positioning on the smoke box. When on the saddle a little podging while taking the weight and releasing it, soon got the smokebox in the correct position.

Inspection at the firebox end showed that one of the foundation ring pads was foul of the ashpan. So the boiler was lifted and packed and the ashpan was ground back, then the boiler lowered again. This time the fit was good at both ends of the boiler.

The boiler also sits on a bearer under the boiler barrel. One of the Engineering Team crawled between the frames to check the fit, and it was declared satisfactory.

With a satisfactory fit on the boiler all round, the smokebox to saddle was sealed using a special high temperature sealant donated by Everbuild of Leeds. An Engineering Team member negotiating the donation and then collecting it. With the weather threatening rain, the boiler was lowered again and the first bolts were put in around the saddle flange.

The same evening, with still a full Engineering Team in attendance, the frames were shunted back in to the workshop, and the tender positioned in front of the loco.

The drop grate is fitted in the ashpan and the frames can be seen without the boiler for the last time. 5 November 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

The drop grate

With the frames covered for protection from the rain, the Engineering Team waits for the shunter to arrive to take us out of the workshop on 6 November 2019.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Frames covered

The frames are shunted with great care observed by the Engineering Team on 7 November 2019.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Frames are shunted

The boiler is lifted off the truck that brought it from Llangollen on 7 November 2019.
Photograph: Ricgard Swales

The boiler is lifted

Lowered on to the frames for the first trial fit on 7 November 2019.
Photograph: Trevor Camp / SNGLT

Lowered on to the frames

After some positioning to ensure a good fit the boiler is lifted to allow the smokebox to be sealed on 7 November 2019.
Photograph: Trevor Camp / SNGLT

Boiler is lifted

While lifted the ashpan is ground back to prevent fouling on the foundation ring on 7 November 2019.
Photograph: Trevor Camp / SNGLT

Ashpan is ground back

The boiler lifted just clear of the frames to allow minor adjustments on The boiler lifted.
Photograph: Trevor Camp / SNGLT

The boiler lifted

With the boiler lowered for the last time securing bolts are put through smokebox saddle on 7 November 2019.
Photograph: Trevor Camp / SNGLT

The boiler lowered

The boiler on the frames, secured and waiting to be shunted back to the workshop on 7 November 2019.
Photograph: Trevor Camp / SNGLT

Boiler on the frames

4 November 2019

Over the last couple of weeks many jobs have been directed at preparing the frames for the fitting of the boiler. The crane company have visited the site and done the lift assessment and the transport of the boiler has been organised. Discussions are ongoing with the NRM regarding shunting the frames out of the workshop, to the lift site and back again

The ashpan needs to be in the frames to receive the boiler. Before this could be done the new trailing upper brake hanger pins have to be fitted as they are very close to the ashpan front. This required reaming of the holes for the pins in the frames to straighten them up and remove tapering. Each pin was finish machined to the hole dimensions. The old nuts were reused on the inside of the frames and after flogging up were split pinned

After the hanger pins were fitted the ashpan was returned to the frames. As usual with steam engines the refitted ashpan didn't seem to fit as well as when last tried in, though nothing has really changed

With the ashpan in, the drop grate shaft and end protection covers were refitted. A job much easier with the boiler off. The drop grate, grate components, and some boiler fittings, including the safety valves were brought from Llangollen by an Engineering Team volunteer. This has saved us the cost of a haulier, and ensured that such critical parts arrived safely and in good condition

The ashpan door and screen complete with hinges have been removed, which gives us greater freedom of movement for fitting the boiler

Probably the biggest prep job has been the fitting of the driving wheelset. The springs have also been put up and the oil trays put in. The end covers for the trays are ready to be fitted, with one of the trays requiring a new gasket which has been cut and is ready to fit. Two new oiler pads have been soaked and are ready for fitting

The pipe system checks we need to complete before the fitting of the boiler are now done. This has meant a lot of work from our Piping Team. All the critical runs through the loco and tender are now tested. A calibrated gauge being used when the steam heat pipework was hydraulically tested

The steam pipe run to the governor was removed from the loco and pressure tested. It has now been lagged and refitted

Work continues on the loco siphon lubrication runs

With the pressure testing complete the front middle lower section of streamlining nas been refitted. This enabled the front coupling to be refitted and correctly pre-loaded for shunting

When the loco frames return to the workshop with the boiler we will be removing the Cartazzi for examination. In preparation for this the split pins on the hornstays ave been removed and a start has been made on going round the nuts to make sure they are removable

When the loco goes on to the wheel drop for the Cartazzi it is also planned to fit the new loco side bogie sidebearers. The bolts have been machined to provide a good fit in the bearers and the frames, and hex heads have been milled on them, all done by one of our volunteers

The tender tank is now bolted down on to the frames all round many being in the water space. This has required a lot of work, making sure all the mating surfaces are clean and that a good water tight joint is made

Meanwhile work continues on the replacement of the platework around the front of the tender. New steelwork is now installed along the tops of the handbrake level shelves, and on the front below the shelf on the scoop handle side. Work continues on the matching steelwork on the handbrake side. It's quite a complicated structure and has been time consuming as we are replacing like for like to keep it as authentic as possible

Elsewhere on the tender painting is ongoing. The water filler space is being painted as is the brakegear and the inside of the wheelsets

The adjustable tender brake pulls have now been fitted, after a new pin was made

The cod's mouth gear refurbishment continues. The main housings that drive the screw props were tight so these have been eased to provide a running clearance between their bearing housings. There was evidence of wear here so clearance looks to have been a problem in the past. Reassembly of the gear is well advanced

The left piston crosshead that has been contractor bored has been returned to York and the gudgeon pin is being lapped in

Work continues on the TPWS and OTMR refurbishment. The TPWS enclosure is now being repainted and the OTMR sensors are being calibrated. A modification has been made to the OTMR enclosure bulkhead connections to make them more compact

The tender adjustable brake pulls ready to be refitted.
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

17 October 2019

New and old brake hanger pins. One of the new pins is covered in graphite ready for fitting. The new pins conform to the LNER drawing.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

24 October 2019

The coach at Cranmore is now approaching completion.
Photograph: Nigel Wilson

25 October 2019

The frames seen from the wheel drop pit. Once a common sight in many loco depots and works.
Photograph: Richard Swales

30 October 2019

The driving wheels being raised in to the frames.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

30 October 2019

It's a pacific again!.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

30 October 2019

The return cranks and one of the templates used to get the square positions correct, essential for the correct operation of the engine.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

31 October 2019

The right return crank being fitted on to it's crankpin.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

31 October 2019

26 October 2019

The big news of this report is the successful out of frames boiler steam test at Llangollen. The problems we had with the manifold and in particular the steam heat valve have now been overcome. The steam heat valve being a new replacement. The safety valves were fitted and adjusted, and operated very well, popping and closing very cleanly.

There were still a few fizzes but Llangollen are confident that a period of steaming over the following week will get all that sorted out. Our man in Llangollen had the situation well under control, and the representative from our mainline certification body was pleased with the boiler. Transport of the boiler to York and fitting to the frames is now being planned in detail.

Work has continued on pressure testing the pipe runs through the loco frames. It's also been a useful process to re-visit some of these pipe runs as we have made a few modifications. One of the pipe unions that runs along the frames near the ashpan was removed and replaced with a soldered connection. We certainly won't have that joint work loose. Also some additional clipping of the pipes has been put in. One interesting find under pressure test was a malleable iron elbow was found to have a crack in its body. The fitting has been replaced.

The remaining long tender brake pulls were di-penned. No faults were found so they were painted and have now been mounted on the tender. The Painting Team has been busy painting all the other tender brake bits stacking up to be fitted. The tender tie rods are now fitted, the tender vacuum cylinder links and the tie bar on the leading intermediate brake hangers. The hornstays are now being painted now they are finally pinned, and the finishing touches being made to the inside of the frames.

With the hornstays painted the oilier pads can be put in the tender axleboxes. The first two pads are now soaking in oil.

The tender adjustable brake pull rods are being painted and will be refitted when they are dry enough. A new pin has been made to replace one that is noticeably worn more than the others. The loco adjustable pull rods have been striped and di-penned. No faults were found but one end of each rod will require re-bushing and all the pins will require replacement. New pins have been made this week and now require cross drilling for split pins.

On the inside of the tender frames the TPWS conduit has been re-secured, and the cable re-terminated at the TPWS receiver. Work continues on the OTMR sensor enclosure and the OTMR control unit enclosure and wiring looms.

The tender tank bolts continues with bolting across the front of the dragbox. The front left corner frame bracket is lower than the dragbox so a shim plate has been fitted. Similarly there is a gap between the rear left bracket and the tank. In the past these were just wrenched up but we have fitted a shim in here as well. This will reduce the chance of damaging the brackets.

The tank is also bolted to the frames from the inside of the water space. These bolts have to be water tight so Andy Heald has cleaned out all the holes and the surface in the tank where the bolt heads will be sealed. He finished his time in the tank by giving it a good clean out.

Work continues on the tender front steelwork, with new steel now being put in the handbrake shelf. The new plate where the water scoop handle used to be is now replaced. The rear of this space is a corrosion trap so a new plate is being put in to close off any gaps and cavities that can collect wet coal dust. The plates are being drilled and countersunk for bolting in place.

On the top of the tender around the water filler has been coated in a corrosion stabilising fluid prior to being painted.

On the loco the fitting of the taper pins to the lifting arms has been completed. The new motion pins have also been fitted to the expansion links. The left hand piston cross head has been taken to contractors for the drop link hole, that connects to the union link, to be bored out. Our reamers wouldn't touch it as it's very hard. This is now ready for collection.

The right hand crosshead is being lapped to its gudgeon pin, ready for fitting in the right slide bars.

In the last report the middle slidebars were fitted and the bolts flogged up and the crosshead fitted. Now the right hand slidebars are in place with the last few bolts being marked for drilling for split pinning.

The loco brake hangers continue to be drilled. The old trailing upper pins were removed recently for replacement as they are not recoverable. The holes have been cleaned out on the loco and measured. A drawing was produced and new pins have been made by contractors. They are now being fitted to their locations and the holes through the frames are being reamed.

While the ashpan is out the frames the frames are receiving another coat of gloss. All the pipework in this area has been tested so once the paint is dry the ashpan can now be refitted.

The cod's mouth gear reassembly continues. The modified and repaired shaft has been fitted and a couple of the bearing housings are being worked on as they show signs of wear from interfering with other parts of the mechanism.

The cylinder covers have been needle gunned and will be tested. 8 October 2019
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

The cylinder covers

The tender hornstays have been refitted with new fitted bolts and are now split pinned and receiving paint. 10 October 2019
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

The tender hornstays

The boiler under test at Llangollen on 10 October 2019.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The boiler under test

The safety valves blow on 10 October 2019.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The safety valves blow

New brake pins manufactured by the engineering Team. 19 October 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

New brake pins

The long tender brake pulls are refitted. 19 October 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Tender brake pulls

Inside the tender frames the links from the brake cylinders to the brake shaft have been refitted. 19 October 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Inside the tender frames

The tie rods between the long pull rods have been refitted. The distant one was fitted after the removal of the scoop during preservation. 19 October 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Long pull rods' tie rods

A close up of the tie rod end showing how it fits on to the new lower brake hanger pin. 19 October 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The tie rod end

6 October 2019

After the refitting of the tender wheels to the frames we then moved on to fitting the tank. The hire lifting gear had already been organised for collection and I met one of the Engineering Team at the hirer's site to collect the first instalment. The volunteer offering to transport the gear for us so saving us the cost. However, the gear wasn't ready for us, and the employee in the yard, though keen enough, couldn't find the items we were to collect. After spending a lot of time walking around the yard we eventually got away with what we could find. Unfortunately, this took most of the day, when it should have taken a few hours. As can be expected our volunteer delivery driver wasn't too happy with the thought of repeating the process the next day for the second consignment. So I contacted the hirer who were apologetic and immediately organised the delivery of the outstanding items the next morning with their own transport.

With the gear on site it was divided up in to the four corners of the tank. As the tank was to be lifted in four corners at once a big team was required so I won't mention all the names present but thanks for turning out. With the tank up in the air the assembled frames were rolled under the tank. With the frames chocked the tank was then carefully lowered. As the tank neared the frames, the frames were moved and the tank jacked sideways for fine adjustment. As when the frames were lowered on to the wheels, the tank went in to place very easily. The sump and the brake cylinders slotting between the installed pipework. A tribute to the accurate fitting of the new pipe runs.

With the tank down on the frames the lifting gear was moved to the back door of the workshop and collected the next day. The return load including the large stools and beams the tank has stood on for the last year. Some of the lifting gear is very heavy and I thank the NRM workshop staff for their help with the forklift truck.

The tank lift was completed over two days. At the end of the first day the tank was stood on packing on the frames and the leading beam was moved forward. This allowed the areas where the tank had stood to be uncovered for painting. Thanks go to the painting team who stayed late and then had an early start the next day to put paint on these areas ready for the final fitting of the tank.

With the tank on the frames some of the bolts were put through to temporarily locate the tank, most of them easily dropping through the holes in the tank into the brackets on the frames. The bolts across the leading dragabox have now been permanently fitted. The holes for the bolts in the tank are being cleaned up before the bolts in there are permanently sealed in to provide water tightness.

Before the tank was fitted the last of the pipe runs through tender frames were pressure tested, and passed off as tight. Also the last of the washering on the top tender spring hanger pins, this being completed the day before the tender lift with the fitting of some custom made spacer washers.

The tender brake shaft has now been fitted and the brake cylinder piston rods refitted. The leading intermediate brake hanger tie, bolts through the hangers. The tie is a bit of a rough fabrication, put on after the abandonment of the water pick up scoop. It does not fit very well so we have been working on the arrangement to remove wear and get a better fit. The trailing tie rod has been welded around one end to build up the material around the pin holes.

The long tender brake pulls were checked for fit on the newly installed refurbished brake gear, and they fit well. They have now been removed and stripped for NDT, having previously been rebushed.

All the new tender hornstay bolts have been fitted and flogged up.

On the front of the tender tank work has concentrated on removing the plate and angles making up the handbrake shelf and lower locker fronts. New material has been obtained to replace the removed steel.

When we were loading the tender springs it was noticed there was a variation in the nut sizes on the spring hangers. There''s a mix of pre- and post-war nuts, and another couple of odd sizes. It would be preferable to standardise on the nut size. As the prewar ones may have been with us for a very long time it would be nice to keep them, but they have to be specially made now, and we can't make prewar nuts from the postwar ones as they are bigger. So it was decided to remove the odd nuts and machine them down to the postwar size. Now we have the right number of each type to ensure that when we change a spring we''ll only need one spanner. To accommodate the postwar nuts we couldn't find the correct spanner in our collection, so one has been bought off ebay and it will be part of the loco's toolkit.

The fitting of the new motion pins continues with the taper pins being fitted to the outside gear. The new pins for the inside, conjugated gear are now at York.

Work on the cod's mouth gear continues. One of the ball bearings is heavily worn, with grit in the bearing, so we have obtained a new sealed bearing and this will be fitted. Another new bronze bush has also been made to replace a worn one. Wear to one of the shafts has been repaired by welding it up and machining it back to size. The arrangement has also been altered to ensure that the gear can be assembled without excessively stressing the ball bearing by incorrectly loading them.

Work continues on the return cranks with machining of the faces giving the correct distances relative to the crank boss.

The middle slide bar bolts were completed by drilling through for the split pins. The slidebars and crosshead were put in and bolted up. After a final flogging the split pins were fitted. Before the crosshead was fitted its bearing surfaces were given a final inspection and the gudgeon pin was given a final lap in. The right crosshead is now receiving the same attention in preparation for its fitting.

The ashpan was removed so that the new strip added to its front could be welded underneath. The top weld had to be ground flush to match the foundation ring and we were concerned about the strength of the weld. The ashpan came out relatively easily and was put in front of the loco. It has now welded it all along.

Before the fitting of the tender tank, the pipework in the tender frames was pressure tested. When this was completed the piping team moved on to testing the pipework through the loco frames. During testing it was found that one of the few reused sections of pipe had small cracks on one of the bends. This section of pipe ran behind the ashpan, so it was fortuitous that the ashpan had been removed. The section of pipe was replaced with new and the pipe has successfully been tested as pressure tight. Pressure testing of the steam heat pipe run is ongoing. With this close inspection of the pipe runs it has also been identified that some additional clamping will be provided.

At Llangollen the superheater on the boiler has successfully passed its hydraulic test, and that preparations are now being made for the boiler's final out of frames steam test.

At Cranmore the coach is approaching completion and is now being painted.

The tender tank being lifted to clear the height of the frames on 19 September 2019.
Photograph: R Hawkhead

Tank being lifted to clear

The front of the tender tank at full height on 19 September 2019.
Photograph: Richard Hawkhead

Front of the tender tank9

The tank is clear of the tender frames and the frames can be pushed under the tank. 19 September 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Tank clear of frames

The frames rolled easily under the tank, clearing the sump. 19 September 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Frames under the tank

The frames positioned for the lowering of the tank. 19 September 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

The frames positioned

The tank was lowered on to packing on the frames so the areas on the bottom of the tank that it previously stood on were uncovered and could be painted on ' 20 September 2019.
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

The tank was lowered

The tank fully down on the frames on 20 September 2019.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The tank down on frames

The middle slidebars are fitted and secured with new bolts. 26 September 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The middle slidebars

Some of the gears for the cod's mouth operating gear. 26 September 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Cod's mouth gear

The ashpan front sealing stip has been welded along. 26 September 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Ashpan front sealing stip

The coach is being painted. 2 October 2019
Photograph: Nigel Wilson

Coach is being painted
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