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OVERHAUL 2015 - 2022

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

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Notes from information supplied by Darrin Crone, Locomotive Engineer.

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January to June 2021.

30 June 2021

The new handbrake screw has now been collected from contractors. It has a new shaft and screw and is welded to the old top section where the handle is fitted. It has been welded and examined by an independent third party. A new nut has also been made. The nut has now been drilled and tapped and fitted with a grease nipple. The assembly is now being painted before fitting.

Work on the Cartazzi trailing horns continues with the left side p rogressing. Work on the right side has started.

The left Cartazzi bearing has seen some further scraping in.

The left cladding panels approach completion with the left throatplate panel now being painted inside before final fitting. Since the last report the left and right panels to the rear of the steam dome, the last over the boiler barrel, were fitted. The left required a new bottom roll and a piece inserted to correct the geometry so the streamlining ran on to the next panel correctly.

The left throatplate panel has a lower section made from thicker material as it is pressed in to a more complex shape than the other panels and is obviously very old. The upper part is in the same thickness as the other panel material. The two sections meet about half way up and look to have been originally welded where the lower panel was thinned. At some time the panel had been cut through and pop-riveted and screwed to a joining strip. The strip has now been removed and the sheets re-welded along a new strip. The bottom roll was very corroded and had a number of overlays only fully apparent after a lot of filler was removed. So it was decided to replace the bottom rolled section. This had to be done in four pieces to match the shape of the old panel.

While the paint on the inside of left throatplate panel dries the last panel in front of the cab is being trial fitted and the insulation on the boiler trimmed back around the boiler doors. This panel is the simplest on the loco being just a flat sheet wrapped on to the crinoline with just two securing screws on the spine.

The outside connecting rods are complete and ready for fitting. The last operation was putting the right little end up on the Bridgeport to skim the little end bearing.

The coupling rod knuckle pin nuts were finally tightened and the cotters fitted.

All the piston valves complete with rings are now fitted. The middle valve having the head positions set and a new ground shim fitted.

Fitting all three piston valves has allowed the 2:1 conjugated gear lever to be finally fitted in place.

All the valve covers and guides have been painted with the outside ones now fitted. New shims for the guides have been fitted and the clearances checked. A bit of scraping and tweaking was required to ensure the correct clearances.

The outside valve gland assemblies have also been fitted and the Piping Team have began final fitting of the lubrication pipes. Some smart new lubrication pipe brackets that direct the oil flow to the valve spindles have been made.

The outside pistons are now both fitted with the heads and rods cleaned while the cylinder sealing faces and covers are prepared. Annealed copper gaskets have been fitted.

The outside piston rods have had their gland assemblies fitted with our CME inspecting and dressing the packings.

The outside pistons have been cottered to their crossheads.

Split cotter pins have been fitted to the valve guide bolts and gland studs, and to the last two left leading slidebar nuts.

The middle leading valve guides and valve cover are currently receiving final coats of gloss prior to fitting.

The tender has seen further filling and rubbing down on the left side streamlining above the beading, which is made up of a number of plates welded on over time. The plate edges have been filled which really takes away the obvious edges. A lot of work has been done along the tender side beading where corrosion repairs were made, and to remove evidence of service damage. The Painting Team have now given the sides and back of the tender a coat of undercoat.

When the tender was modified with a higher front to match the A4 cab a butt strap was put on inside the tender platework. Since the replacement of the tender front plate at this overhaul it has no use but has now been refitted as an authentic part of the tender, complete with cosmetic rivet heads.

The tender sump and strainer have been refitted with the internal sieve box. The water feed to the injectors is taken from the sump. The two water valves and the connecting pipework have also been fitted. There's still some bolting up to do but all the parts are in place.

A fabricated stand to support the check valve on the tender top air system has been fitted.

Inside the tender corridor the vestibule area and at the cab end the inside of the door has been needle gunned. In the corridor, loose paint and other rubbish accumulated during repairs has been removed in preparation for painting.

It was reported in the last update that we couldn't get the cover to fit on the vestibule bellows spring as new bolting in the new plates fouled. The bolts have now been removed and the plates tapped out. New screws were fitted using Loctite to ensure retention, then the cover was fitted and the footplating next to it.

Inside the bellows vestibule the platework has been painted to gloss which has allowed the refitting of the GSMR rack. Work continues with fitting out the rack with the electronics unit, batteries and the rack enclosure cover plates.

The conduit from the front of the tender to the new battery box is being ran in.

The refurbished tender water level gauge has been refitted.

The main intermediate draw bar machining by contractor has now been completed and it has been delivered to York FOC for a tour of the loco.

On the backhead a great job has been done of assembling the regulator cross shaft and stuffing box. A modification was made to the right support bracket that is fitted to the curved shoulder of the backplate. This is to ensure it stays in the correct location when tightened down to stop the end of the shaft binding. Inside of the stuffing box the cover and regulator reach rod clearances were also checked and some small adjustments made to ensure we have the correct clearances. Both regulator handles are now fitted and with the glands nipped the regulator operates smoothly. With our silky smooth reverser we will be spoiling the drivers.

On the backhead the Piping Team have ran in the steam heat pipe and the steam supply pipe to the air pump, from the manifold. The new air pump lubrication pipes are now ran to the backhead.

The AWS isolating valve has been stripped down and examined. It is no longer operative and is fitted as it is historically correct for our locomotive, but it is still connected to the vacuum system so has to maintain a seal.

The vacuum ejector was refitted, after the small ejector was refitted into the main body. Then the Piping Team trial fitted the vacuum brake pipe and reservoir pipes. A number of clashes were found so there is quite a bit of work to be done to get this assembly in. The ejector will have to be removed again when fitting the cab but hopefully most of the large diameter pipework can be left in place. The large pipes are joined with "air ministry" joints and a new cone has already been made to improve the pipe/flange/cone measurements. A lot more involved than a normal cone and nut arrangement.

The LNER blowdown valve has been refitted. The intermediate sealing cone was carefully dressed and it's fit checked in the boiler and valve.

The boiler registration plate has been refitted after one of the two screws holding it on to the backplate was found to be corroded through.

At the back of the ashpan there are two cut outs to clear the frame pads the boiler sits on. To ensure the ashpan didn't foul when fitting the boiler these cut outs are filled after fitting. New steel has now been welded in. It is important that it is not possible for hot ash to fall from the loco when in traffic.

The trailing grate support has been built up by and inch or so, this is to level this section of the grate as when tried in it was found that the grate sloped back, whereas it should be level. Lifting the back of the grate also gives us an extra inch of head room for routing the new ashpan sprinkler pipework. New material was added to the existing grate support.

The new ashpan sprinkler pipework is being installed. The new arrangement will allow easier clearing of ash from the top sides and back corners of the ashpan where it is very shallow. The new pipe has been bent to shape and the water jet holes drilled. Supports for the right side pipe have been made. Cone ends to the pipes have been soldered on to connect the pipes to the bulkhead fittings at the back of the ashpan.

The drop grate mechanism has been finally sorted. The reach rod was put on the correct way round as it has a very subtle curve, and the trailing pin hole reamed to suit the new pin. The indicator rod was heated and straighten, and the mechanism checked OK for operation. The pins at either end of the reach rod where then also cottered.

The ashpan hopper door linkage is pinned but in one hole there was a bolt. This has been replaced by a new pin made by one of our volunteers.

Under the loco the two brake pull rods that couple the trailing with the leading brake cylinders have been adjusted in length at a Teesside forge. They have no built in adjustment so this is the only way to do it. Upon return they were measured and were within 0.01" of specification, so they did a really good job. The rods were cleaned off and primed painted where they had been heated, and were refitted. The brakegear is now being painted to gloss in-situ.

The snifting valve top plate spigot guides the valve, ensuring it lifts vertically on to it's seat. The spigot has been bushed previously and was breaking up so has now been replaced by an improved arrangement with a part machined and soldered in place. Meanwhile two new valves have been cast and we had been offered the use of a top plate pattern, however the pattern was not suitable for the A4 version, so it was a good job we reconditioned ours. The new valves will be machined as spares when we have the time.

The snifting valve was reassembled with new studs, one of which had to be stepped as one of the holes in the valve had been tapped out a size bigger, normally done to replace a damaged thread.

In the smokebox fabrication of the right steam pipe continues. The last iteration looks really good as it nears completion. Unfortunately the welding contractors are still unable to come to York.

Also in the smokebox good progress is being made with the fabrication of the lower spark arrestor tray as and when we have the time.

The coach toilet tank final design is just about there. The issues that we and our overhaul contractor identified with the last submission have now been largely addressed.

The embryonic Operations Team has now visited the coach for their first working party. The coach has been given a polish and they have been making themselves familiar with the what needs to be done with the inside of the coach.

Grinding the left trailing Cartazzi horn. 9 June 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

The left trailing Cartazzi horn

Taking the lightest of skims out of the right little end on 10 June 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

The right little end

The right piston valve and piston now fitted. 15 June 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

The right piston valve and piston

The new handbrake screw and nut, and adjusted brake pull rods. 15 June 2021
Photograph: Darren Crone

New handbrake screw and nut

The brake ejector fitted while repairs to one of the cladding panels. 19 June 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

The brake ejector

The tender has received a coat of undercoat. 19 June 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

The tender undercoat

The left piston about to be fitted on 22 June 2021.
Photograph: Richard SWales

The left piston

A lot of work has gone in to filling and sanding the tender. 22 June 2021
Photograph: Richard SWales

Filling and sanding the tender

The right cylinder looking quite complete on 22 June 2021.
Photograph: Richard SWales

he right cylinder

The inside of the tender corridor is now being painted. 22 June 2021
Photograph: Richard SWales

The tender corridor

The new main intermediate coupling with just some minor finishing required. 24 June 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

Main intermediate coupling

The lubrication pipes are being fitted. 25 June 2021
Photograph: Darren Crone

Lubrication pipes

12 June 2021

The right Cartazzi bearing has now been scraped in, while scaping the of left continues.

The left trailing Cartazzi horn liner is being ground to give the correct horn gap for the axlebox. This is a tricky job as the leading horn liner is ex service and has wear. Therefore the horn gap has to be set allowing for the leading wear, not simply setting a constant horn gap. The left Cartazzi axlebox was put on the marking out table to accurately measure it's width to ensure the required horn gap dimension can be accurately determined.

New valve crosshead cotters have been obtained as profiled blanks. They have to be finished to thickness and radiused along their edges. The bulk of the thickness has been removed by machining on a shaper and the remainder will be done on a surface grinder to get an accurate thickness and a good finish.

New spacing washers for the conjugated gear pins have been obtained and will be surface ground to thickness. Additional valve gear spacers with a groove for a cotter that fits on the lower ends of the conjugated valve gear pins have been made.

The middle piston valve head positions have been checked with all the conjugated gear connected and combination levers in dead vertical positions. Measurements show the head positions are satisfactory. With the completion of this set up the valve guides and covers have been removed for final painting. The left valve has been removed and its rings fitted..

The left big end bearing has been re-machined and pressed in to the rod with a healthy tonnage. The left little end keyway damaged by the key when pressing in the new bearing has been repaired. The new left little end bearing has been machined along with a new key and this has been pressed in to the rod.

The right inboard little end oiling ring recess was measured and the ring machined to size. The right connecting rod oiling rings are now both fitted.

The middle connecting rod little end bush has been fitted with its oiling rings.

The right big end bearing has been pressed in after boring out.

In the smokebox the fabrication of the RH steam pipe has begun. The pipe from flange to flange being all new material in three sections.

On top of the smokebox the condition and fit of the snifter sealing plates has been checked. They are OK for reuse as are the tapped holes in the wrapper. The snifter has been stripped down and faces prepared for gaskets. The old copper gaskets are suitable for reuse and have been annealed. New studs have been purchased to mount the valve, with a special stepped stud being made in a volunteer workshop. Due to wear and other damage the snifter valve top plate has had to be refurbished with the manufacture of a bronze bush to correctly locate the moveable valve. Meanwhile we are in the process of purchasing spare snifter valve components as they are subject to heavy wear and damage.

In the firebox the last grate support beam has been fitted. The drop grate was fitted and the end of the drop grate shaft fitted on the correct square for the linkage that goes back to the cab. Initially the grate fouled the front of the ashpan plate but when adjusted to its normal operating position it is now clear. However the drop grate did still foul two of the front grate support blocks fastened to the firebox foundation ring. When photos and the LNER drawing were consulted it was found that the two in front of the drop grate vary from the others around the foundation ring to allow the drop grate to clear. The blocks fitted were the same as the others so were removed and modified. They are now refitted and the drop grate operates correctly. The linkage in the cab has changed and it was found that we could not reproduced the ex service assembly and get full travel. This will be examined.

New pipe has been obtained for the ashpan sprinkler. The new pipe will require shaping, drilling and new mounting brackets fabricating. This work has started.

When the ashpan hopper door was tried it was a little tight. This was eased by the addition of a shim under one of the hopper shaft bearings.

A new pin for the trailing end of the damper reach rod has been made and fitted.

Work to repair and refit the boiler cladding continues. Some of the access doors have seen further preparation for painting by needle gunning. The shield that fits behind the mechanical lubricators and fastens to the cladding has been cleaned and fitted. All the boiler bands have now been painted to top coat on their inside surfaces to ensure maximum protection from corrosion. The inside of the next cladding panels to be fitted have also been painted to top coat. The cladding panels either side of the steam dome cut out have now been fitted and the next trailing pair are ready to fit. The left panel with the steam dome cut out is all new whereas the right has a new bottom roll.

As the panels are fitted the footplate beneath the panel has been repaired and painted, same with any crinoline defects. The gravity sands conduit under the left cladding required further securing and a new bracket was fabricated and welded in place.

The right cylinder cladding has been fitted.

There's a lot of painting going on at the moment. Amongst the items painting or painted are the tender filler cover, valve chest covers and valve guides, tender top check valve support bracket, tender trailing bufferbeam, shovel plate fabrication, loco brake gear, backhead corner cladding, tender corridor canopy. The inside of the cab is being painted with only a section of the roof not yet up to undercoat.

The installation of the loco pipework makes steady progress under the leadership of our Piping Team Leader. The steam supply from the manifold to the air pump governor has been fitted, with the pipe in the cab being lagged.

The ashpan sprinkler valve and cab pipework that is taken from the slacker pipe and runs from the right injector delivery pipe, has been refitted.

The small pipe runs from the air pump lubricator, to be relocated in the cab, to the air pump have been part ran in.

The atomisers have returned from contractors who were satisfied with our refurbishment so didn't actually do anything to them other than examine them. They have now been refitted and the oil inlet, outlet and steam pipes refitted. The atomiser nozzles that fit in the cast iron stub steam pipes have been trial fitted and the atomised oil pipes ran to them.

The atomiser isolation valve has been remounted on the smokebox side. It has been refurbished and the hole in the smokebox had to be enlarged to get it in. The valve gives another fixed point to run pipes to.

The steam pipes to the steam sand pipe nozzles have been refitted. One connection was unsatisfactory so the pipe was re-ended.

Also in the cab, the fireman's heat shield has been rebuilt. A new plate was made and bent up, and the assembly is now being painted.

The large diameter vacuum train pipe from the ejector has had a new air ministry joint cone made.

The brake ejector steam supply pipe has been put up on to the manifold. This will help with the ongoing refitting regulator cross shaft assembly as this pipe crosses close to the shaft. A new regulator stuffing box gasket has been obtained and after a little filing fits satisfactorily to the stuffing box. The cover has been tried on but difficulty was experienced in getting the cover to close up correctly. An examination of the dimensions of shaft, housing and cover showed that the internal boss on the cover was just fouling the shaft. The boss has now been skimmed.

In the tender corridor all the brackets are now fitted for the mounting of the cods mouth door key, hopper lever and drop grate handle. The welds on the inside of the corridor roof are being ground back mainly for cosmetic reasons. The tender team have also fabricated a new shovel plate to replace the ex-service that was wasted beyond further use.

To access the back corner inside the tender tank one of the baffles is unbolted along its bottom edge and bent sufficiently to wiggle through. It was decided to make the baffle removable by cutting at the top and providing a bolted joint. This has been completed and will make it a lot easier to access the tank for maintenance.

The tender vestibule door has been descaled and filler applied, and can now be repainted.

The tender vestibule spring cover mentioned in the last report could not be fitted as it fouled bolts holding new plate at the back of the tender. The holes are now being tapped out and new screws fitted which will allow the cover to be fitted without modification.

Two new lower vestibule support rod bolts have been fitted. We had put new bolts in here but they turned out to be just too short when heavy d uty spring washers were fitted. The bolts are mounted with nuts on top so it they were to work loose they could just fall out. The latest version have also been made a little longer and provided with cotters as a back up to the spring washers.

On the outside of the tender the new streamlining on the right side has been filled and sanded.

The tender front conduit run has been planned. The conduit has now been fabricated and is being painted prior to fitting.

The GSMR rack is being fitted in the tender vestibule.

The loco and tender wheelsets have been ultrasonically examined by contractors. All have passed test.

The contractors preparing the design of the CET (toilet retention tank) have submitted a first draft of the completed design drawings. We've made a few observations and returned the drawings to the contractors. Copies of the drawings of the brackets that secure the main tank to the coach have been forwarded to the coach overhaulers and there is sufficient information for them to start manufacture of the brackets.

The left cylinder has been lagged and the cladding sheet put on. 18 May 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

Left cylinder

The right steam pipe is being fabricated on 18 May 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Right steam pipe

A box gauge is used to measure the gap across the offset Cartazzi horns on 18 May 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

A box gauge

The streamlined casing panels that fit either side of the steam dome have been refurbished or renewed and are being painted inside prior to fitting. 20 May 2021
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Casing panels

The inside of the boiler bands are painted and ready for fitting. 20 May 2021
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Inside of the boiler bands

More pipework is added to the backhead with the drop grate operating gear in the foreground. 20 May 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

More pipework

On the backhead the regulator stuffing box and cross shaft are being assembled on 3 June 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

The regulator stuffing box

The inside of the cab has been thoroughly cleaned down and painted, now to undercoat. 3 June 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

The inside of the cab

The tender is being filled and rubbed down in preparation for painting on 3 June 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Tender is being filled

The wheeldrop was tested and functions perfectly, it is ready to receive us when we need to refit the Cartazzi wheelset. The tender is above. 4 June 2021
Photograph: Darren Crone

The wheeldrop

One of the left piston valve heads has been fitted with its valve rings ready for final fitting. 5 June 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

A left piston valve head

24 May 2021

Work continues on the fitting of the Cartazzi bearings with scraping of the right. The end float has been scraped in and now the last bedding down is being carried out.

The Cartazzi horn liners have now been welded in place after pre-heating the horn castings. Pre-heating helps to prevent any weld cracking. The welds were then dressed back and cleaned up in preparation for setting the horn gap.

Other Cartazzi components have received additional cleaning.

The four Cartazzi hanger washers were dressed and have now been painted and are ready to refit. The ex-service hanger nuts have been retrieved from the old hangers and are OK for further use, and put on the new hangers ready for fitting.

In the last report it was mentioned that the 2:1 fulcrum pin wasn't sitting truly vertical in the bushes on the engine and this made the lever sit at a slight angle. The bushes were then pulled out and new offset bushes fitted. While the lever was out it was painted, and after the bushes were reamed through concentric, the lever was refitted. The lever is now level and the short links at the ends of the 2:1 and 1:1 levers and the valve crossheads can be coupled up. This allowed the middle valve position to be fixed and measurements taken to set the middle valve heads. The valve was removed and the middle valve head positions set. The valve was then refitted and the valve head positions rechecked.

The outside connecting rod big end and little end brasses are now being fitted. Unlike the coupling rods which went like a dream this job turned into a bit of a nightmare. The left big end went in fine and the right hand little end likewise. But the left little end key caught and the bush had to be removed. The key damaged the bush. After considering recovering them it was decided to replace them and new material for the bush was ordered on the same day. The left big end bearing came to a halt and wouldn't go down fully. The holes in the rod have had years of bushes pressed in and out and with corners rounded off it's difficult to measure exactly the rod hole and therefore fix the dimensions of the bush. The decision was made to press the bearing back out and reduce the flange depth on the bearing to allow it to enter further. The flange has now been machined and the bearing carefully measured to ensure we haven't lost any of the interference. Measurements show no loss so it can be pressed back in.

The piston gland follower plates have been clean off and painted.

The piston gland spherical bronze spacers show wear to their flat faces so they have been skimmed flat.

The piston valve gland spherical spacers are being renewed and made from new material.

The dressing of the lower outside slidebars has now been completed.

Work continues going around the engine fitting cotters with the brakegear receiving most attention.

The tapped holes in the cylinder castings and covers were cleaned out and the refurbished relief valves refitted.

The cylinder drain cocks were put up on the cylinder castings and a start has been made on reassembly of the drain cock operating linkage.

Boiler cladding panel refurbishment and fitting continues. The existing left panel with the steam dome cut-out was tried up. The bottom roll was cut off as it was badly corroded along its bottom edge. The panel did not fit well and it was a struggle to get the securing screws in along the top edge. The panel also had a set in its lower middle section that stood off the crinoline by a considerable distance. Some time was spent fitting new lomaterial section into the panel but eventually it was decided to call it a day and order a new steel sheet to make a new panel. The sheet is now being drilled prior to trial fitting.

As work progressed on the panel mentioned in the previous paragraph, four other panels were painted inside ready for final fitting. Of the four, three panels are entirely new, the 4th having a new bottom roll and other repairs. Before final painting of the new panels the access door cut-outs were finished and cut outs put in to allow the boiler bands to pass through the lower rolls.

The lagging and cladding has been fitted to the steam cylinder of the air pump.

The cylinder cladding on the right side has been painted inside and the cylinder lagged, the cladding has been put up but needs to be fully secured.

New brake block pins are being machined.

On the tender new brackets have been put up in the corridor to hang the hopper lever. Brackets have been made for the cods mouth key and drop grate handle. The new corridor door catch plate has been welded in place.

The tender team have also refitted the GSMR trunking that runs down the inside of the tender corridor. All new fixing holes were required in the tender as the trunking runs along new material. This also required another trail fit of the GSMR unit.

As mentioned in the last report, the tender vestibule leaf spring is pinned in place and when reassembled it was found our new pin did not sit true. The top plate was cut off and extended by a new piece of steel. The whole was then dressed to shape and was welded back in place on the tender top with the pin in place to ensure it was straight. The spring was then refitted. There are cotters in the rods that the spring locates on and these have been refitted and split. The assembly was greased. The spring is covered by a nice shaped cover, made at the last overhaul by a professional panel beater replicating the original. It was tried in place but does not now fit as there is a line of bolts in the tender backplate and some foul. This is all new material and originally the plate here was countersunk rivetted. Not wanting to cut the cover we will have to look at changing the bolting.

The new main intermediate drawbar has completed its first machining carried out by one of the Engineering Team volunteers. It has now moved to contractors for final finishing of the profile radii that will be done with a CNC machine.

The new cemented vestibule floor has been coated with a sealer donated by one of our volunteers.

A support bracket has been made for the check valve on the tender top air system.

The front of the tender has seen a lot of work in filling and preparing for final painting.

The original cod's mouth door key bracket has been remounted on the tender front and is now welded in place complete with its cosmetic rivet heads.

The spark arrestor tray that fits around the top of the blastpipe casting was retrieved from store and measured up as it will have to be replaced. New steel has now been purchased.

The steam pipes where they go through the sides of the smokebox are sealed with plates. These plates have now been retrieved from store and have been refurbished. As we have new steam pipes the plates had to be altered and the fixing holes in the smokebox refurbished.

The snifter valve on the top of the superheater header also has sealing plates. The valve has now been stripped and sealing surfaces and gaskets cleaned. The blanking plate from steam testing has been removed from the mating flange on the superheater and the face cleaned.

With the left and middle steam pipes tacked up dates for the contract welding is being firmed up, but unfortunately it will be some weeks yet. In the meantime we will set up the right pipe. New formed pipe material for this pipe has now been delivered to York by one of our volunteers. As a start the old flanges have been machined ready for tacking the pipes up in the smokebox.

The material for new lens rings that go between the smokebox steam pipes was collected and pre-machined to size in a volunteer workshop. The blank rings were then delivered to a contractor for the spherical faces to be machined on a CNC machine.

The steam sands pipework has now been fitted from inside the frames to the sand pipes. The gasket between the steam sands traps and sand boxes were remade with thinner material than used previously to allow the securing nuts to be cottered with the holes in the studs on the bottom of the sand boxes.

The leading gravity sandpipes were put up and their lower brackets fitted. The right needed to be adjusted so that the pipe directed the sand on to the top inside of the rail so the pipe was heated and repositioned. The support bracket needed surgery as it is fastened to the leading right brakeshaft bracket which itself has seen extensive rebuilding which had moved the sand bracket fixing holes.

The vacuum pipework to the clutch valve on the reverser column has been refitted.

The steam heat cock for the tender rear bufferbeam satisfactorily passed pressure testing.

The fitting of the injector pipework continues by the pipe fitting team with pipes now being fitted up to the clackboxes. At the moment this is a trial to ensure that pipe runs below the cab floor don't foul. This required the fitting of the studs in the bottom of the clackboxes and the removal of plates put on for steam testing. All four4 injector pipes are now in place up to the clackboxes.

The left injector pipes come through the cab floor with the damper rod and the steam head pipe and it's been a challenge getting this all in without any clashes. The damper reach rod needed the front corner modifying to ensure clearance of the trailing brake beam that's behind the trailing coupled wheels.

When the damper was operated in the cab it was found that the damper handle is very close to the steam heat gauge pipe that comes from the main steam heat pipe. This probably accounts for the flattened section of pipe on the gauge pipe. Moving the steam heat pipe causes more clashes under the cab floor, so it has been decided to alter the steam heat pipe. It looks like it's had some treatment in the past so it is a bit knocked about, though measurements show it is a modern spec pipe.

Also on the backhead amongst these pipe runs is the heat shield so this is now being rebuilt as it was rotted through and will be refitted to help finalising the steam heat pipe run.

The adjusting and fixing of the top corners of the backhead cladding has been completed.

The regulator cross shaft is located at either end by a bracket and passes through a stuffing box in the centre. These components have to align very well for free and reliable operation. Time has been taken to align the brackets correctly and get the shaft to pass through the centre of the stuffing box holes. This involved making some special tapered spacers for the end brackets, particularly challenging as they are mounted on the curved corners of the boiler backhead. The fit now seems good and a new gasket for the stuffing box has been ordered as the old didn't make it back from Llangollen.

The slacker valve has been refurbished and refitted to the backhead. The pipe from the left injector delivery pipe to the slacker pipe has been trial fitted.

The reverser position indicator has been refitted and set to indicate the correct mid-gear position.

The whistle operating shaft which runs across the backhead has been cleaned, painted and refitted.

After cleaning off the backhead air gauges and the steam heat gauge were refitted on the backhead, giving the Piping Team more fixed point destinations for pipe runs.

The cab interior sides are now painted to undercoat and work continues on the inside of the cab roof.

The drop grate reach rod was stripped and inspected for defects. It is OK for further use so has now been refitted. A new pin was made for its trailing end.

The speedo transmitter has now been refitted.

The continuity and insulation of the cable run from cab to front TPWS and AWS units has been tested after pulling through the conduit mentioned in the last report.

The AWS "sunflower" box has been refitted to the backhead.

The direction indicator switch has had new conduit ran to it and the switch has been terminated.

The main intermediate drawbar is machined in a volunteers workshop on 25 April 2021.
Photograph: Tom Bickerstaffe

Cladding panels being painted inside to top coat to hopefully give them a longer service life than the previous ones. 6 May 2021
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

The lens rings pre-machined in a volunteers workshop on 9 May 2021.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The valve head positions on the middle valve are measured, viewed from the trailing end of the steam chest. 11 May 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

The valve head positions are set on the valve spindle. 13 May 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

A steel steam pipe flange is machined to accept new pipework on 13 May 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

One of the outside little end bushes is pressed in on 13 May 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Touching history, one of the cab spectacle window catches. 13 May 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

A general view of the last engine to receive repair at York North before the space is transformed for another use. 15 May 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The backhead is being fitted out as far as possible before the fitting of the cab. 15 May 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The speedo transmitter, overhauled and refitted. 15 May 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Recladding continues on 15 May 2021.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

30 April 2021

The trailing loco brake hangers put up in the previous report, are secured on their pins by slotted nuts. The old nuts were reused but were not slotted so these have now been machined to match the pins and the arrangement on the original drawings. Large washers are also required and these were machined from new material again to the original specification. The nuts are now pinned in place and allow free movement of the hangers.

The upper leading brake pulls have been delivered to the forge to have their length adjusted.

The brakeshaft bearing bolts have now been washered and cotterred. There's steady progress working through cottering the brake gear.

The leading brakeshaft bearings grease nipples have been fitted. Historical damage to the left side oil hole meant a special fitting had to be made and pressed in for this side.

The last of the leading valve guides, the middle, has now been finish machined and has been assembled in place. The matching valve crosshead has also been machined to suit the guides. This has taken a couple of iterations due to the valve cover introducing a slight misalignment of the guides, which is easier to accommodate by machining the guides and crosshead rather than the cover.

When the valve crossheads were fastened hard to their spindles this introduced slight movement of the crossheads. This has required some re-shimming of some of the base guides, under the crossheads. As new shims are to be made for under the guides that fit over the top of the crossheads, some new shims will be made for the base guides. The material is now on order and will be surface ground by the Engineering Team.

The 2:1 and 1:1 levers have been assembled and tried in place. It was found that the right end of the assembly was low and did not want to fit into the short link from the leading valve crosshead. On the other side of the engine the rod the lever was high. This indicates that the vertical height of the valves and rods are probably OK, but the 2:1 lever is leaning at its pivot. The assembly was removed from the loco and the bushes fitted into the loco frame that the 2:1 lever pivot fit into were measured. It was decided that the pivot bushes should be renewed and measurements indicate that this should level the 2:1 lever. The lower bush has now been made and fitted.

The lever assembly had to be removed anyway to allow the 2:1 lever to be painted and this is underway.

The middle trailing guide bush that fits in to the middle trailing valve cover has also been fitted. It is secured by three studs and nuts, and prevented from loosening by split pins. This assembly is complete.

The left union link has now been adjusted and fits easily onto its crosshead and combination lever with no binding.

Work continues on the lower slidebars at their ends where assembly has led to them closing, reducing the clearance for the piston crossheads. The sidebars have been carefully dressed to even up the clearances. The right side has been signed off by our CME.

The six drain cock reliefs and the six main cylinder end relief valves have been overhauled and set, being completed by one of the Engineering Team at home. So no more mopping up in the home workshop.

The left and middle steel main steam pipes are now ready for final welding. A decision was made to renew the right pipe and the existing pipe was tacked in place to provide a pattern for new sections of pipe to be made. The right pipe assembly was then taken to pipe bending contractors.

The left pipe has had to be renewed into the leading flange. This required the old pipe to be machined out of the existing flange.

Our boiler insurer visited York to see the fabrication of the pipes so far and to discuss the boiler and our plans for hydraulic testing and steaming. The insurer and our mainline certification authority, who also visited, are all happy with the pipes, boiler and our future plans.

On the sides of the smokebox the drilling and tapping of the superheater header cover plate securing holes has been completed. The holes were a mixture of threads and some damaged. The holes were welded up as required, re-drilled and tapped out to a common size.

On the tender the vestibule bellows has been fitted. This involves dozens of small screws and backing pieces being fitted to secure the bellows to the tender. Some strips are wasted so new have been made.

The vestibule lower support brackets have also been refitted after it was found necessary to skim the lower support packing pieces.

The vestibule floor has been filled and levelled with cement.

The top of the vestibule connection is pushed out by a leaf spring pinned to a bracket on the tender top. A new pin has been made, but when fitted it was found the pin sits at a considerable angle. At some point the plate has been replaced and the holes for the pin are misaligned. The top plate has now been cut off and a new piece of plate will be fitted to align with the lower hole on the tender top. We are lining up with the lower hole as this one goes through, what looks like original platework.

At the back of the tender, and on the upper sides prepping for painting is underway. The final patches of paint around the vestibule have been needle gunned off. Filler has been applied along the top of the upper beading, at the back of the tender and along the new streamlining where welded to the tender side. Primer is being applied.

On the tender front the GSMR enclosure was put up and a new protective bar fabricated and welded in place. This will protect the edge of the enclosure from the fire irons that lay across the front of the tender.

The fire iron brackets have been finally welded in place, and cosmetic rivet heads added to them and they look really good. The holes for the the tender number plate have been drilled through as have the holes for the GSMR mounting bolts. Beading has been added to the new roof section above the corridor door. A new catch plate had been made for the corridor door catch.

The ashpan door operating lever and the cod's mouth key are kept on brackets in the tender corridor. With the renewal of the corridor upper sections the brackets have to be replaced. New brackets have now been made. The key was originally kept on the tender front and it was considered to return it to the original arrangement as we still have one of the original brackets, but we thought that if someone was to take it we'd be unable to open the front of the loco, so it's better out of sight.

The steel floor sections at the front of the tender have been drilled and tapped to accept countersunk screws and fastened down.

The main intermediate drawbar machining continues off site by one of our Engineering Team volunteers.

Scraping of the Cartazzi bearings has begun.

The cab interior is now being cleaned down and prepared for painting. Patch priming has taken place. The window runners were taken apart and some of the wood runners look in need of replacement. There are some sections of the brass runner sides that look to have either broken off or been cut away. This will need to be looked at.

The cab roof centre section has been removed and needle gunned and is now prime painted.

The piping installation on the tender top has been completed. A support bracket for the air delivery non-return valve is required, which won't be completed by the pipe fitting team. The system is now being readied for pressure testing. Our Piping Team have done a lot of work improving the tender air system arrangement.

A rubber guard was added to one of the copper pipes next to a steel water filler pipe at the bottom of the right tender top drain as they are close. All the pipework is well secured so there should be no contact but the rubber was added as a bit of insurance.

A start has been made on the assembly of the injector pipework under the cab floor. A lot of work has been done in this congested space so the first step is to assemble without pipe joints to ensure there is clearance on the pipe runs and no clashes.

The loco front steam heat cock was pressure tested satisfactorily after the pressure test equipment was returned after the completion of the relief valves. The tender cock is nearly there with just a dribble on the lower cap, where you would think it would be easiest to seal. The loco front cock has now been refitted to the loco.

The drip valve in the steam supply to the governor was fitted after a fitting was specially machined to raise the valve as high as possible to reduce the chance of damage in traffic or being a hazard when working beneath the loco.

The atomisers have been previously stripped and examined by us and appear OK, but as they are a critical piece of equipment it has been decided to have a contractor give them the once over. They have now been delivered to the contractor.

The gravity sands Bowden conduit has now been fastened to the new footplate mounted securing bracket. Now secured the left boiler cladding can be fitted over it.

The leading right boiler cladding plate received some final dressing around the access door hole and is now ready for painting and final fitting, much to the horror of the piping team who see access to their oil pots being much reduced.

On the left the leading boiler barrel and next trailing cladding panels are now fabricated and temporarily mounted on the engine and have been marked for locating the cutouts for their access doors. They will be removed, door apertures cut out, painted then refitted for the final time. It is not planned to replace any other full panels but other panels still require repair.

Work has now restarted on the electrical installation on the loco as our Electrical Specialist has now returned to work after Covid shielding. It was decided that refitting the AWS/TPWS conduit that runs the length of the left side of the loco should be the first job tackled. This runs over the left cylinder cladding and footplate angle, so in preparation the angle was painted to top coat. Then the right hand cylinder lagging and cladding was fitted. The conduit brackets were retrieved from store, these being repainted before being put in store some time ago. The conduit run was then installed. The cabling has also been pulled through but requires termination.

While painting the left footplate angle the reverser reach rod was also painted.

Quotes for the new section of handbrake shaft have been received and the order placed. The old upper handle section has been given to the contractors and work is underway in the manufacture and assembly of the handbrake shaft and nut.

The pipe connections at the boiler manifold have all now been checked. The new cone for the steam heat valve has been fitted to its pipe and a recovered cone fitted to the pressure gauge pipe as the original was beyond further use.

It was noticed that the air pump shut off valve appeared to be in the wrong place on the manifold! There are near identical valves at each end of the manifold but the fit of the cones indicated that the valves were wrongly positioned. This was confirmed from photographs looking at the minor differences between the valve handles. The valves have now been switched over. The dressing of the boiler mating face for the manifold was completed to our fitters exacting standards and the manifold fitted.

The fitting of the cladding around the manifold and the top corners of the backhead cladding was completed to allow the fitting of the manifold.

It was attempted to fit the cab warming shelf but we couldn't get it to fit as the cladding stood too far off the boiler. A plate was made to pull the backhead cladding toward the boiler and after a twang the plate moved in to where it should be and the shelf is now fitted.

The reverser indicator is now being fitted to the backhead cladding.

The drop grate cab mechanism has been fitted to the cab floor plate.

We have had a meeting at the coach overhaulers with the contractors, toilet tank designer and our TOC who obtain the funds for the work from Network Rail. The design should be completed soon.

The coach looked really good in the sunlight and seems to have weathered the winter well. One of our volunteers has kindly donated wash wax and polish for the coach, the best types in his experience of looking after a support coach.

The "new" coach air tank has been tested and I've been told it is a good one.

The tender vestibule bellows and end plate are fitted. 6 April 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

Tender vestibule

The gaps between the slidebars for the crosshead is carefully checked before adjustment. 6 April 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

Slidebars gaps checked

Now we know how old the tender is by counting the tree rings! 9 April 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Tender's Age!

The completed tender top air system. 14 April 2021
Photograph: Rod Thomas

Tender top air system

The tender is being prepared for receiving paint on 15 April 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Tender is being prepared

The pipes to the manifold valves are checked for fit before fitting the manifold on the boiler. 15 April 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

Pipes to the manifold valves

The assembly of the conjugated gear continues. Here is the left side on 15 April 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Assembly of the conjugated gear

The cab window runners are stripped, examined and cleaned as the cab refurbishment continues. 15 April 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

Cab window runners

The right Cartazzi bearing is being scraped to its journal on 16 April 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Cartazzi bearing being scraped

The under floor injector pipework has been refurbished and is about to be trial refitted on 16 April 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Under floor injector pipework

The right main steel steam pipe is assembled from sections and tacked in place on 20 April 2021.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Right main steel steam pipe

Various fittings are being put back on the tender front. 21 April 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

Fittings are being put back

The smokebox superheater cover fixing holes are drilled out, the left slidebars are adjusted and one of the cladding panels is being fabricated on 21 April 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Superheater cover fixing holes

The left and middle steam pipes are ready for final welding. 21 April 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

Left and middle steam pipes

The conjugated gear levers removed from the engine for painting while the pivot bushes are replaced. 22 April 2021
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

The conjugated gear levers

Our support coach looking good in the sun on 22 April 2021.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Our support coach

7 April 2021

We had some difficulty fitting the leading brakeshaft. With the bearings in position the shaft would not enter both sides of the loco. The set up was reviewed and everything seemed to be correctly positioned. A straight edge was then put across between the bearing housings and it was found that the left side is not square to the frames and this caused the shaft to jamb up after entering the bearing. Measurements of the misalignment of the bearing housing were carefully taken and the left bearing machined to its original diameter but at an angle through the bearing to offset the misalignment. The bearing was then refitted and the shaft went in.

The trailing brakeshaft went up with much less trouble. However it was found that the shaft seized when the last bearing bolt was tightened. As with the front there is a misalignment but in this case it is very small. This was quickly taken off the bearing and the brakeshaft fitted.

The upper brake pulls, that connect the leading and trailing brakeshafts were then fitted. The assembly was then tested for free movement and moves well with no binding.

The links between the rear brake cylinder and the trailing brakeshaft were then fitted, assembled with new pins and spacers, as shown on original drawings. The rear brakeshaft safety loop has also been fitted and the protective gaiter for the brake cylinder piston rod.

The leading levers between the leading brakeshaft and leading brake cylinders have also been fitted. The safety bar that is under the leading cylinder levers has been fitted complete with new bolting, after being painted to undercoat.

A jack was used to stoke the cylinders and their connections to their brakeshafts and they move freely.

It is important that the full stoke of all the brake cylinders is available when connected by the brake pull rods and links. There is no adjustment or compensation to the upper links that directly connect all the brake cylinders. The cylinder movement is also via long levers that amplify any error in the brake gear. So it is important that the pulls on the right and left are equal lengths if one side is not to do all the work, and that they are the right length to get the correct movement from the cylinders. After measuring the difference in the existing offsets between the pull rods and the brakeshafts it has been decided that both sides require adjustment and arrangements are now being made to do this. Interestingly the distance between the brakeshafts were measured in situ and were found to be very accurately parallel to each other. A tribute to the work done by the volunteer Engineering Team fitting the rebuilt leading right hand brakeshaft bracket.

With the leading upper brake pulls left off for now, the rest of the brakegear has now been put up. Apart from a couple of tight bushes that were easily flapped out the gear went up well and swings freely.

A new set of brake blocks have been ordered.

Requests for quotations for the manufacture of the new handbrake shaft have been sent out and a quote received.

The handle end of the handbrake shaft that is to be reused has been rebuilt with weld and fitted to the handle to provide a better fit.

After the brake gear is fitted the sand pipes and steam sand traps can be fitted. The pipes have now been painted to under coat and the traps cleaned out and fitted. The sand pipes are fabricated and the welds inside cause a restriction where damp the sand can block. So while on the bench the lumpiest parts of the welds were filed back.

The middle valve covers and valve have been trial assembled. This allowed the machined leading middle valve guides to be fitted to get final dimensions for the machining of the middle valve crosshead. When the trailing middle guide bush was tried in the valve cover it wouldn't enter. It has been re-metalled and it's not unusual for this type of bearing to deform slightly during the metalling process. It is now being fitted.

The outside crossheads are a little close in the slidebars at the ends of their strokes. This is due to minute twist or bend on the bars, probably due to uneven wear. The assembly has now been measured and we are only talking thou's. So we are now polishing some of the lower bars at their ends to provide the correct crosshead clearances.

Work continues on the fabrication of the main steel steam pipes. The middle is set up. The left is well on the way in the smokebox and the right has been started.

The left steam pipe is older than the others and is being tacked up to form a pattern for a new section of curved steam pipe.

The right steam pipe has a sharp return curve to meet up with the cast iron stub pipe which makes it very difficult to fabricate it from the existing pipe or new straight sections. So we have purchased a couple of preformed pipe bends. Gresley did like his streamlined passages with the sweeping curves to the steam pipes, combining that with a sloping top to the smokebox and 3 to deal with all adds to the difficulty of this job.

The tender vestibule bellows has been cleaned down and the side that will be inaccessible when fitted, has been painted. A lot of work was required to this neglected piece of the loco. A couple of rubbing plates required replacement as they had worn through. New plates were made and welded on. The whole thing was then moved to the tender and it was tried in place but the lower vestibule supports did not line up with the bolt holes in the bellows. The lower vestibule brackets were then removed for adjustment and this has been done.

The piping team have finally hard connected the tender top air tanks and have completed the steel drain pipe that connects all the tanks. The air system relief valve has been refitted.

The two drip valves to the loco steam heat pipe run between the loco frames have been fitted. The drip valve to the steam supply pipe to the governor was also fitted but as the pipe is now routed across the bottom of the ashpan it was decided to get a new mounting fitting to lift the drain as high as possible.

Refurbishing of the lubrication pipework continues. The drain cock copper pipes have been retrieved from store to be worked on. A 1/2" pipe cone gauge has been made to help in the assessment of the 1/2" lubrication pipe end connections.

The drain cocks are being overhauled and set up with another being completed last week. Four of the six are now completed.

The manifold pad on the boiler has seen some finishing with lapping of the face to ensure a good seal. A new copper ring has also been made for the joint. The ends of the backhead pipes that join the manifold are being examined to ensure they will be a good fit upon installation. Around the manifold pad the cladding is being tidied up and secured.

Due to work priorities elsewhere little progress has been made with the cladding. One of the new sheets for the left has been lined up with the old as a template to mark up for drilling. To ensure clearance behind the left cladding and to prevent chafing against the new air pump steam supply pipe, a new bracket has been made to secure the leading sanders Bowden conduit.

The cotters for the upper ends of the new Cartazzi hangers have been completed.

In the tender coal space an edge protector has been made for the rear of the battery box designed to prevent anybody stumbling when in the coal space from hitting the edge of the box. The protector also forms a useful hand grab. A new piece of plate has been put in between the end of the coal space liner and the tender front.

The machining of the main intermediate drawbar continues.

The designers of the CET (coach toilet retention tank) have been in touch and have said that the final design should be with us for approval imminently.

Machining the main intermediate drawbar. 17 March 2021.
Photograph:Tony Bickerstaffe

Main intermediate drawbar

The leading brakeshaft in position and the right bearing. 17 March 2021
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Leading brakeshaft in position

New brake pins for the link between the trailing brakeshaft and vacuum cylinder. 20 March 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

New brake pins

The trailing brakeshaft in position, with safety link and pull rods. 26 March 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The trailing brakeshaft

The boiler top pad for the manifold has been prepared for fitting the manifold. 26 March 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The boiler top pad

The tender vestibule bellows with new top corner rubbing plates during refurbishment. 30 March 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The tender vestibule bellows

The tender has been prepared to receive the vestibule bellows. 30 March 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The tenderprepared

The left steam pipe is having a new section inserted. 31 March 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The left steam pipe

The leading brakeshaft and lower brake rigging in position. 1 April 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The leading brakeshaft

The brake rigging looking back under the trailing brakeshaft. 1 April 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The brake rigging

The middle steel steam pipe is now ready for final welding. 1 April 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The middle steel steam pipe

The middle piston valve and covers in place. 1 April 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The middle piston valve

15 March 2021

As the welder docs for the fabrication of the steel steam pipes were not acceptable to our insurance company I went back to our chosen contractor and requested alternative documents. Not unexpectedly, the contractors were losing interest so I had another attempt at finding welders interested in the job and who could provide the documents referencing the standards required by our insurers. Fortunately I found a company that assured me that they could and these documents have now been submitted to the insurance company, and have been accepted.

Unfortunately the new welding contractors require us to do most of the prep work. So the steam pipes have now returned to York. A new section of pipe has been purchased and is being used to form inserts to fill sections cut out of the original pipes. When the prep is done the welder will then come on site to complete the welding. This has given us a lot of work that was originally planned to be done by contractors at a time when we have reduced manpower. This is unfortunate as it impacts on other work.

The new blastpipe nozzles have been fitted to the chimney casting. The supports for the blower ring are mounted on the caps and these were also fitted. The blower ring was fitted after heating and adjusting its shape.

The new steel for the replacement left boiler cladding panels was collected from suppliers by one of the volunteer Engineering Team and delivered to York.

The long sections of loco boiler handrails have been stripped and are bring prime painted.

The upper ends of the loco brake hangers were finished and all have new bushes fitted. The centre holes that take the brake block pin have also been bushed. The grease holes have also been drilled and tapped. The hangers were given a final NDT examination and are now being painted.

New bolting has been made for the loco brakeshaft bearings. Both brake shafts were moved under the engine and the fitting of the leading shaft and bearings is now underway.

The housings for the brakeshaft bearings have been drilled and tapped to take grease nipples.

The rear loco brake cylinder link has been NDT inspected ready for fitting. The link had been modified to clear the piston rod whereas the original arrangement included spacers to clear the rod. The links will be reused but the original arrangement will be restored. The link was NDT examined and then painted.

The tender cab floor has progressed with the purchase of new ood boarding. A template was made for the steel floor plate where the bucket is located below the tender front water tap. This section of floor also clears the water level gauge so it's quite a complicated shape. A new piece of steel was profiled and has now been tried in place and fits very well.

The GSMR enclosure was tried up on the new tender front plate, with the fire iron brackets tacked on in their original positions. The irons used to lay across the top of the GSMR enclosure so it has been decided to move the fire iron pin to raise the irons off the top of the enclosure.

The tender handbrake screw is wasted beyond further use. The old has been examined and measured and compared to original drawings. It was found that the ex-service varies from the original arrangement. A new arrangement has been designed that will provide a greater diameter shaft, in line with the original design, but will retain the finer thread to allow improved locking on the thread. The handbrake handle originally had a bronze bearing beneath it and this will be restored. The new arrangement design has been submitted to our VAB for approval.

The main intermediate drawbar blank has been collected from suppliers and was delivered to one of our volunteers for machining.

The repaired right hand outer Cartazzi hornstay has now been fitted.

Both Cartazzi bearings have been machined by contractors and delivered to York and now require scraping to their journals.

Work continues on fitting the cotters to the upper ends of the Cartazzi spring hangers.

A batch of the 60s and overs have now reached 3 weeks since receiving their covid jabs and this allowed The Piping Team to return to work. Work has now recommenced on the tender top, with fitting the copper pipes up the drain ducts to the tender top.

A clamp has been fitted to the air pump steam supply pipe fastening it up on the underside of the footplating.

The annealing and preparing of lubrication pipes ready for refitting has restarted.

The air system safety valve and the drip valve both located on the tender top have been overhauled and are ready for fitting.

The manifold is being prepared for refitting.

Of the six combined drain cock and relief valves two have been overhauled and set up, and a third started.

The coach has now been revisited by the contractor doing the design work for the CET (tank) system and a provisional general arrangement has been received and the final design is now being worked on.

The coach air tank has been tested prior to being refitted and was found to be internally corroded beyond further use. It's not a standard industrial size and finding a spare was a challenge but we managed to find a second hand tank. We don"t know the internal condition until it is tested, but the tank was collected and delivered to our coach overhaulers by one of our volunteers.

We managed to find a replacement air tank for the coach. 25 February 2021.
Photograph: Mark Ashley

Air tank for the coach

One of the machined Cartazzi bearings. 26 February 2021.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Mmachined Cartazzi bearing

The new bolts and nuts for the brakeshaft bearings made by Engineering Team volunteers. 4 March 2021.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

New bolts and nuts

The new blast pipe caps and blower ring in position. 5 March 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Blast pipe caps and blower ring

The air system relief or safety valve has been overhauled and tested. 5 March 2021.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Air system relief or safety valve

The last bushes pressed in to the loco brake hangers were for the centre brake block pin. 5 March 2021.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Last bushes pressed in

The brake hangers receiving a coat of paint before fitting. 10 March 2021.
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

The brake hangers

The handbrake bracket from the tender front has a new bearing fitted. The pits are original casting defects. 12 March 2021.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Tender handbrake bracket

The right outer Carttazzi hornstay fitted after repair. 12 March 2021.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Carttazzi hornstay fitted

18 February 2021

The loco buckeye coupling has been transported to our coach repair contractors to be certified with our coach buckeyes. The loco one has been repaired at York and passed gauging, but our contractor will be able to supply independent certification. The buckeye was collected by the NYMR who were taking coach parts to the contractors. It was very good of them to call in and transport the buckeye for us

On the subject of the coach, the quotation for the design stage of the CET system has been reviewed with our TOC, and an order has been placed on the design contractors. We are now officially on the Network Rail list of coaches to be fitted

The trailing Cartazzi horn liners have now been fitted to the horns and are ready for welding in place. There was quite a bit of old weld to grind out to let the full length of the liner fit. It appears the old liners may have had shorter legs on the inboard sides

With the liners completed the right repaired outer Cartazzi hornstay is now being fitted. Where it had been welded the weld had partially closed one of the hornstay bolt holes. These holes are 16" long and the obstruction was about half way in. A tool was made to hold abrasive and the weld obstruction removed. The ends of the hornstay had been re-machined flat and parallel after welding so the faces on the loco, which show some corrosion and wear, are being made to fit the hornstay. The hornstay was checked with a height gauge on the workshop surface table and the ends are very good

The Cartazzi bearings are with contractors and are being machined. The first off was brought in to York and was checked against the journal disc and appears to be a good fit. Enough material is being left on to allow final scraping to suit the wheelset journal

The cotters for the upper ends of the new Cartazzi hangers are being fitted

In the office quite a bit of work has been done on job documentation. The piping systems job record draft is with the Piping Team for filling out and comment

Another batch of 3/8 pipe ends have been made and are now at York

The steel steam pipes have been taken from York and are due to be delivered to contractors next week. The insurance company have now agreed that we don't require a new contract for this job, which saves us a lot of money. However, they have reviewed the draft documents supplied by the contractors and have queried the standard detailed in the welder's qualifications, though the standard is listed as current by the British Standard Institute. The certificate is also issued by a reputable independent organisation organisation and is within date

Part of the plan for transporting the pipes to contractors is to collect the steel sheet for the new cladding during the same trip. This is now ready for collection so that's worked out OK. This is quite a relief as I was waiting for the supplier to say they couldn't get the material like others I asked to quote for this job

At York the loco brake hangers have progressed well. The boring of the upper ends has been completed and bushes are now being machined

The leading outside valve crossheads are completed and the jig for mounting the middle has been made. The crosshead will be machined after the valve cover and guides are assembled as measurements remain to be taken of the assembly

Material has been purchased for the new blower mountings that fit with the blastpipe nozzles on the chimney

One of the speed plaques has been stripped back to metal and prepared for repainting

The tender and cab floors has been measured for new boarding and the order has now been placed for the wood. Some areas in the tender are covered with plates and templates are now being made so the plates can be made

Our method for the replacement of the main intermediate drawbar has been approved and the material has been ordered. It will require machining and it is planned to do this with volunteer labour as far as possible. Not easy at it is nearly four feet long. Some tooling will have to be bought to do this but the cost is small compared to using a contractor

The sides of the Cartazzi horn liners are machined to make them square and the correct width. 27 January 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Horn liners are machined

One of the new liners in place ready for welding. 29 January 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

New liner in place

Another set of 3/8" pipe end cones have been machined. 3 February 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

3/8" pipe end cones

The end of the repaired Cartazzi hornstay during fitting. 5 February 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Repaired Cartazzi hornstay

One of the speed plaques ready for repainting. 7 February 2021
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Speed plaque

New blower support fittings with one of the new blastpipe caps showing where they are fitted. 15 February 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales

Blower support fittings

The middle valve crosshead jig that will enable it to be accurately machined. 15 February 2021
Photograph:Richard Swales

Valve crosshead jig

28 January 2021

As the Covid situation developed after Christmas fewer volunteers were making themselves available until eventually we could only support one day working on the loco. However, work has still progressed by our volunteers in their home workshops.

The left boiler cladding panels have been measured and the steel ordered. It is planned to replace two but there will be more bottom edges to do. It was planned to repair by welding in sections but this is time consuming and has not given satisfactory results when tried. We haven't used our usual supplier as there is a national shortage of sheet steel in the width that we need.

While measuring the cladding the LH trailing cylinder fairing was also measured as this was damaged and for the cost it is planned to get a new one profiled. We don't have drawings of the alterations made to the streamlining when it was reduced during the second world war. If anybody does please let me know. Before you send me photo copies of drawings from the railway modeller, they aren't really suitable, I need dimensions.

The last loose corners on the belly cladding has been rivetted.

The cast iron steam pipes have now all been drilled and tapped for their lubrication connections on the large Asquith radial drill.

Work continued on the front end lube pipes that are to be reused. The pipes are being annealed and also being re-ended where necessary. Further material has been bought to make more cone ends.

A new end and nut has been made for the atomiser steam supply stub pipe located in the smokebox mounted on the boiler front tubeplate.

Now all the brake pull rods have been bushed they have also been painted to undercoat on the bench. They will be finished painted when fitted as they are bound to get a few knocks. Woe betide anybody using them as a climbing frame.

The first of the brake linkage components has been fitted. These swing links support the pulls that connect the large brake cylinder to the leading brakeshaft.

Most of the brake pins are 1-3/8" diameter, with some at 1-7/16". They are fitted with a washer but washers in these sizes are not available, or I couldn't find any. The sizes being made non-standard. So metric washers were bought and machined to size.

The brakeshaft bearings have been finished and have all been trial fitted. This required the housings in the loco to be dressed to return them to round to provide a better fit for the bearings.

The bolts for the bearings will be renewed. Bolt blanks, cheap compared to finished bolts, were bought and are with an Engineering Team volunteer for machining to the LNER drawing.

Work has been done previously on the re-bushing of the loco brake hangers but this was not completed. Work has now recommenced on re-bushing them. The first has been put up on the Cincinnati milling machine on a jig, and has had its upper end hole skimmed true to the centre of the lower end hole. This will remove any twist from the hangers that was noticed when they were examined. The lower ends take the brake tables, which have had their trunnions rebuilt and machined true.

The LH union link has now been bored true, through the combination lever pin hole.

The machining of the trailing crossheads has been completed by one of our volunteers. Now the leading valve crossheads are underway. This requires a jig to be made to locate them on the valve spindle hole so that the surfaces of the crossheads can be accurately machined. This was done with the trailing crossheads but the leading valve spindle holes are different from the trailing so the setup cannot be reused.

There was a gap between the tender vestibule floor plate and sides which wouldn't close up when bolted. So shim plates to fill the gap have been made and fitted.

The shortening and refitting of the bolts for the tender right guard iron, to ensure they will not contact the right trailing brake hanger, has been finished.

The handbrake shaft was tried through the tender floorplate and lines up satisfactorily with the brakeshaft. While working on the tender floorplate the cab area has been measured up for floor boards.

The cotters for the Cartazzi hangers were fabricated and machined to thickness and are now being fitted to the Cartazzi hangers and top nuts in a home workshop.

The Cartazzi bearing that required extra whitemetal adding to its ends has been collected from contractors and delivered to the machinist.

The new liners for the trailing Cartazzi horns have finally been collected from suppliers. These were months overdue, the first batch were made out of the wrong material so were rejected, so it was good to hear they were finally ready. They are now being machined to size and then will be fitted to the loco. They require machining as they can't be pressed with sufficient accuracy to provide a good fit on the loco and provide the correct overall width to suit the axlebox. They will then need welding on.

Getting the steel steam pipes welded has proved to be more of a challenge than was expected. A number of contractors were asked to quote but most were either uninterested or could not give adequate assurance that the pipe ends would end up where we wanted them. Which is the whole point of the job. As the pipes are live steam and part of the insured locomotive, the insurance company was kept informed, and when a contractor was finally selected their documents were sent to the insurance company. The insurer decided that a new contract should be started for this job and a quote was supplied. Now the insurance company want more money for the job than the welders! Don"t tell the welders. I've had a conversation with the insurers and they are reviewing the quotation. If this is how they are going to handle repairs its a major change of approach and will be very expensive for us and anybody else in our business.

After examination of the coach as reported in the last update, it was lowered back on to its bogies and moved outside, while we waited for the design for the new Controlled Emissions Toilet. It had been planned or the SNG Operations Team to go and sheet the coach but at the time it was postponed due to a bad weather forecast. This was rapidly followed by lockdown which has put a stop on the job for now. This is a shame as the visit was also for planning the fitting out the workshop and kitchen.

The design proposal for the CET has now been received and we are examining it before a purchase order is placed.

The little end bearings are keyed in to the connecting rods. New keys being ground to size.
Photograph: Tony Bickerstaffe

The little end bearings

The new end for the atomiser supply pipe with the new nut behind. The hole in the nut will be bored out to suit the connecting pipe. 1 January 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Atomiser supply pipe

Typical of the corrosion to the bottom edges of the left streamlining. This section cut off the main sheet will be replaced. 5 January 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone


The last of the trailing valve crossheads being machined. 6 January 2021
Photograph: Richard Swales


The first loco brakegear linkage components to be refitted, upper brake pull swing link. 15 January 2021
Photograph: Alan Evans

Brakegear linkage

The three new cast iron steam pipes have now been drilled and taped for lubricator connections. 15 January 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Steam pipes

One of the loco brake hangers being set up for machining. 22 January 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Brake hangers

The loco brake hanger being skimmed. 22 January 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Brake hangers

The pressed Cartazzi horn liners are being machined. 22 January 2021
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Horn liners
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