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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 £800,000 plus about £100,000 for the support coach. 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 2022.

19 June

The removed regulator body casting was cleaned up, removing the thick boiler treatment accumulation inside. The sealing face with the main steam pipe cone end was cleaned and looks in good condition and free from marks or other defects.

The clamp that pulls the regulator on to the steam pipe was removed. It is a tight fit on the pipe and needs to be loose enough to pull the regulator on to the steam pipe cone. Surface corrosion on the inside of the clamp and pipe is tending to make the clamp stick on the pipe. One bolt had to be burned off in the boiler to remove it.

A plate was put on the end of the main steam pipe and secured by the existing regulator securing clamp. The main steam pipe was then pressurised as had been the combined regulator and steam pipe last week. The main steam pipe was then covered in soapy water and examined for leaks. It was noticed that very close, or even at the front tubeplate the soap was seen to foam. It was barely noticeable and had to be left for some minutes but the foam was definitely increasing. We sent in Our most mobile and adventurous worker who got as close to the tubeplate as possible to clean off the surface and re-apply the soap, and again foaming could be seen. This indicates we have a leak. This is very disappointing as the main steam pipe was hydraulically tested inside and out during overhaul at Llangollen.

The underneath of the loco has seen some cleaning starting at the back of the tender and moving forward.

During an FTR it was pointed out that the right steam sands pipe and a drain from the steam heat pipe above could do with clipping as they have quite long unsupported lengths. They haven't been clipped before, but it's not a bad idea so we repositioned the pipes, the steam sands now mirroring the run of the left. The drain for the steam heat is yet to be completed.

During the last run the bottom of the smokebox door sealing rope burnt through. Fortunately we have sufficient rope left from first fitting to put in an entire circuit of new rope, so this was done, ensuring good contact all round the door.

It was noticed that when in steam we had a leak at the cap of the ejector shut off valve at the manifold. So the valve top was taken off and the joint remade.

We had a problem with the middle outer firebars falling between the grate supports, the problem being the bars are on the short side, but also the locating ridge on the bottom of the bars being short allows the bars to shuffle forward and fall off the rear support. To prevent this the front of the bars were notched.

It was noticed when the boiler is hot that a couple of the washout door nuts are still contacting the blister covers. Further clearance has been provided by whizzing the holes in the blisters.

The DV2 regulator was fitted to a new supporting bracket, reported in the last update. The regulator has now been fitted with a protective cover, secured to the bracket, preventing damage and unintentional adjustment.

We experienced a false AWS signal during the inaugural run which did not re-occur. Back in the shed we powered up the AWS system and found that we had a fault as indicated by the TPWS diagnostics system. When powered up the system flashes an indicator to help identify a fault. To track it down the wring from AWS receiver under the front of the bogie was replaced by a reconditioned unit from LSL stores, the loco connections cleaned, but the fault remained. The continuity of the cabling from front to the TPWS enclosure was checked and the sunflower (AWS indicator) was also examined. No obvious fault could be found so the TPWS control unit was also exchanged with our old one. The problem persisted.

The system was then returned to normal with our new TPWS unit and our existing AWS receiver, and the system operated correctly. The only change being that a number of cable connections removed for testing had been remade. Our Network approved electrical contractor checked the system over and checked our OTMR download and agrees that the system is suitable for further use and the problem may have been a poor connection.

The AWS indicator cover is secured with screws which are difficult to remove as they are Philips type and a bit rounded. New slotted screws of the correct type have now been fitted.

The baffle plate behind the fire hole door is a bit of a pain to locate and likes to jump out of the firehole just as you close the door, so we have welded some lugs on the protection plate to better locate the baffle.

When the drivers side injector is operated the slacker pipe shut off valve can pass. The valve has been lapped in but this has not stopped the leak so the valve has been re-machined and reassembled.

After the inaugural run it was noticed that paint had rubbed off the leading right bogie wheel and that there was a witness showing there had been contact with the right drain cock pipes. These were repositioned and should now be well clear. It just shows how far the loco moves sideways on the mainline when there has been no contact round tight curves on sheds and on the SVR.

As previously reported there was contact between the middle trailing drain pipe and one of the leading brake cylinder hoses. The drain pipe had been wrapped to prevent damage to the hose, but now the hard pipes to the brake cylinder have been repositioned which takes the hose clear of the drain pipe.

The vacuum chamber hoses between loco and tender were contacting the tender brake shaft. To prevent chafing they were wrapped, but now they have been reconfigured so they hang clear. The old hoses have now been replaced by new and the whole arrangement is much improved.

It was noticed during the installation of the new pipework and valve to the TPWS isolation pressure switch that the electrical solenoid valve (E/P valve) had a continuous bleed. We weren't sure if this was part of the valve's design, so our spare valve was fitted and now there is no bleed at all. The existing solenoid had to be used as the spare had a 24V coil and the supply to the coil is 12V.

On the tender sump is a small ball valve used to drain the last of the water from the tank. To ensure that the valve doesn't empty the tank if it is accidentally knocked or struck by something when running, a plug has been fitted to the valve outlet.

It was observed during an FTR that it would be preferable to have a lock on the main electrical isolation switch rather than a security tag. This is standard at Crewe for their locomotives. It is also preferable to us, as it would have stopped the operation of the switch with a tag in place that recently nearly damaged the switch. A lockable cover plate for the switch is now being fabricated.

It was decided that to locate the cause of the apparent leak on the steam pipe at the front tubeplate, the flange on the front tubeplate and the end of the main steam pipe will require examination. To access this will require the separation of the superheater from the front tubeplate. Ideally this would require the total removal of the superheater header, however, we have our superheater elements expanded into the header, and to remove the header would require the elements to be cut off, re-ending and re-expanding in to the header. So it was decided that we should try to withdraw the whole header and element assembly far enough to access the front tubeplate joint. It was estimated that we would need about 2 feet for the work we need to do. We have now started this work.

It has been noticed that the cone on the end of the steam pipe, where it makes a joint with the regulator is steel, whereas bronze is specified on the drawing. We think a bronze cone will make a better joint, and the LNER thought so too, so we will fit a new bronze cone. Photos from the previous overhaul show a bronze cone being fitted so when the existing steel cone was fitted is a mystery. It certainly wasn't fitted at this overhaul.

The first job to do in the smokebox working toward moving the superheater, was to clean out the smokebox as far as possible and remove the spark arrestor plates and upper tray.

The atomiser/whistle supply pipe, blower pipe and whistle pipe were then removed. The whistle pipe nut goes down hard on its threads when is seals the joint at the atomiser/whistle valve so the nut was removed and was machined to ensure full clamping on its cone. The cone was also machined out to allow the pipe to enter more fully in the socket.

The air pump exhaust has been removed, as was the ejector exhaust pipe and the bolts securing the ejector exhaust elbow that go through the smokebox side. The atomiser pipe that goes across the top of the left nameplate was removed and put in the support coach to ensure it retains its shape.

The snifting valve and its sealing plates have been removed as has the streamlining plate in front of the chimney. The outer and inner header cover plates were removed.

All this being done in the running shed. It was planned to move us in to the boiler shop for the removal of the superheater so all the items removed so far, including Kylchap cowls and dome cover were moved to the boilershop. Room was made in the boilershop and 4498 was shunted in. Now under the large overhead crane we we were able to lift off the ejector exhaust pipe, front end streamlining and chimney fabrication.

The smokebox steampipes were left in for now as it would be easier to get them out with the top of the smokebox removed and we will have to do that to slide the superheater from the front tubeplate.

We first marked round the smokebox and planned the cut giving us as much space as possible for moving the superheater while retaining some of the fixing holes for the chimney. Locating marks were put on either side of the planned cut so we can accurately put the removed plate back on later. This is important as the accurate positioning of the chimney is important.

Bridge pieces were also welded on across the planned cut to assist in relocating the plate. To weld these on the GSMR, OTMR and TPWS electronic units had to be disconnected from the loco.

With these preparations complete the top of the smokebox was cut off with cut-off discs to give a small cut width and to make putting on a weld prep easier. The piece was then lifted clear and the steam pipes removed.

With access from the top the nuts were removed from the superheater joint at the tubeplate. We are now ready to split the joint and pull the superheater forward.

While in the boilershop it was decided that during the time spent on the superheater that the cab should be removed to allow inspection around the boiler backhead. A start has been made by removing speedo conduit clips and pipes from the cab roof mounted gauges. The side windows have also been removed.

Meanwhile the pipes to the duplex air gauge which were crossed have been realigned. The steam sands supply pipe has been adjusted as it was contacting the whistle shaft when the boiler expanded back in to the cab when hot.

All these parts coming off the loco they are being worked through to make sure they are ready to go back on. Most of the fasteners have been cleaned and die nutting and cleaning out tapped holes has begun. The flange face of the blower pipe has been cleaned of old gasket.

A view through the dome with the end of the steam pipe pressurised an Engineering Team member slides along the top of the flues to examine the main steam pipe for leaks. 31 May 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

A view through the dome

The firehole protection plate is fitted with lugs to locate the baffle plate. 1 Jun 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The firehole protection plate

The cover removed from the AWS indicator during fault finding. 1 Jun 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

Cover removed from the AWS

The smokebox being stripped to access the superheater. 7 Jun 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The smokebox being stripped

The cylinder drain cock pipes are adjusted to prevent contact with the leading bogie wheel. 7 Jun 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

Drain cock pipes are adjusted

The vacuum hard pipes have been repositioned to prevent contact between the vacuum hose and the hot middle cylinder drain pipe. 7 Jun 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Vacuum pipes repositioned

The loco now in the boilershop and smokebox stripping progressing. 13 Jun 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

Loco now in the boilershop

The front streamlining is removed. 14 Jun 2022
Photograph: Phil Gillespie

Front streamlining is removed

The top of the smokebox being cut out. 15 Jun 2022
Photograph: Darrin Cronw

Top of smokebox being cut out

The top of the smokebox cut away. 15 Jun 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

Top of the smokebox cut away

29 May 2022

With the regulator valve refitted the loco was steam tested. Initially the loco was blowing but this was thought to be due to the volume of water that could have already accumulated in the superheater and main steam pipe. After a while the loco settled down and was quiet. At the same time it was planned to re-set the safety valves, meanwhile work was being carried out on the electrical systems in the cab, so in the end there was insufficient time to complete all the work planned.

On the same day the final fitting of the toilet tank on the coach was carried out by contractors with the flushing pipework and a replacement solenoid flush valve fitted. The toilet flush now tested satisfactorily. The brake pull rod that goes through a slot in the tank was reshaped and weld repaired and this now fits satisfactorily. The pull rod is now in place but the coach handbrake needs setting.

The following day the steam dome was removed again by LNWRh and the valve removed to examine inside the valve body and steam pipe. There were no obvious signs of the regulator to steampipe joint leaking so all was reassembled for steaming later in the week.

Touching up paintwork has continued with the painting of nuts and screws that secure the weathersheet, and bringing various fasteners inside the front streamlining up to top coat. It has been a useful exercise revisiting them with paint as some have been found to have worked loose so our painter has been tightening on his way.

Now the loco has seen some miles it is getting dirty between the frames and we have spent spells cleaning.

Operating the engine always shows up a few defects and the defect list ebbs and flows. One item was the locking cotter on the right leading valve spindle crosshead. The cotter had worked loose as it was not tight on the width of the slot, though it was tight on the vertical which is the important dimension to retain the main cotter. The locking cotter was removed and its thickness built up with weld and refitted.

The leading boiler band works back off the nose streamlining when the loco is working. A spacer has now been made and fitted to prevent this from reoccurring.

The primary spark arrestor plates have now been made and fitted. We would not be permitted to steam on the national network without the full spark arrestor arrangement in place.

The spark arrestor basket has seen additional support by a bracket being added to the front of the upper spark tray to secure it to the front of the chimney fabrication. The edging to the flat side pieces of the basket were completed and the basket reassembled in place. New closing plates have been made for the basket through which the vacuum ejector exhaust and the blower pass through. An additional closing plate has been made to cover a gap between the basket bottom edge and the old exhaust steam take off flange on the blast pipe casting. The spark arrestor is now better sealed than ever before and will be easier to work around in the smokebox and be more reliable in service. The risk is that is could choke the draughting of the loco. Fortunately our test running proved the spark arrestor did no such thing and is effective is self cleaning the smokebox.

Elsewhere new batteries were fitted to the electric headlamps that we use on the network. Over a few days the lamps were tested for duration and the batteries recharged. We now have two serviceable electric headlamps.

New GSMR radio system batteries have been fitted. The main supply batteries (TPWS/AWS/OTMR) were re-terminated to network standards under the supervision of our electrical contractor.

It was noticed that the bottom of the GSMR unit was loose, and upon inspection the captive nuts used to secure it could not be accessed without removing the radio unit, so the radio unit was removed and refitted and it is now fully secured.

The electrical systems have now had their final testing and sign off. GSMR unit had final testing as now fitted with new batteries. The operation of the new pressure switch to detect if the TPWS has been isolated was tested by examining the OTMR recording. We had to replace a standard isolation valve with a back venting valve to allow the pipe pressure to fall so that the pressure switch would detect the TPWS isolation.

A new pipe was taken off the vacuum chamber line to the cab gauge, to a sensor for the OTMR, the pipework being put in by LNWRh.

The loco was then steam tested again which allowed the air and vacuum systems to be ran and the electrical systems to operate under real conditions. The electrical contractor was then able to send our VAB (mainline certification body) confirmation of the operation of the electrics. Part of this was the operation of the speedo with the calibration rig used by our VAB to test that the OTMR was recording the loco speed correctly.

Our VAB also carried out their own steam test (hot exam). This is all part of the work necessary to generate the paperwork to allow us on to the national network.

The OTMR (black box recorder) was also tested for steam chest pressure recording. The line was first blown through by removing the pipe from the gauge and cracking the regulator until all the goo that accumulates in the pipe is blown out. The gauge was then reconnected and readings from the gauge taken and compared to the OTMR download.

During the same steam test the braking systems were thoroughly checked and the air brake off (running) pressure set very accurately against a calibrated gauge. The trailing boiler safety valve was also set after the leading was clamped to prevent its operation. This was done by LNWRh as we hadn't had time during the last steam test.

Meanwhile on the coach the handrail bent by a JCB was straightened (nearly) and refitted to the coach. The scratched paintwork was expertly repaired by LNWRh.

The regulator on the air side of the DV2 which was temporarily secured along with the vent valve on the air control pipe, modified at the SVR, have both now been properly secured on brackets.

The driver's side regulator handle securing bolt was found to have worked loose so has been tightened.

The blower valve gland was taken up as the handle tends to work loose and falls to the open position.

A section of cab floor was rocking so a new strip of packing wood was fixed to the underside to align with the trailing cab floor upstand.

Training of our Engineers for operational service continued with instruction in safety checks around the loco and lighting up before the prep day for our engine and van test runs. The next morning one of our trainees rebuilt the fire after again doing the safety checks.

As part of the prep the ashpan sprinkler valve was fitted with new seat made from rubber. All the safety critical valves and switches were security tagged, leaving the main power isolation switch to tag the next morning before leaving shed.

The air pump glands were tightened. The atomisers examined and cleaned out.

A vacuum hose from one of the leading cylinders just touches the trailing middle drain pipe so the pipe was wrapped to prevent damage to the hose.

The underkeeps were examined and oiled by one of our trainee engineers.

The loco was FTR (fitness to run) examined with no blowing from the front end even after a front end steam test with perhaps 200psi on it. Our front end is remarkably tight. The loco was also driven up and down the yard, again with no blowing.

As part of the FTR the examiner went through our paperwork and certification and we made up a EIP (engineering information pack) which goes with the locomotive when operating on the network and is a requirement of LSL.

We had quite a drama when almost finished for the prep day when we put the GSMR and main batteries on charge only to find that the main charger wouldn't work. Fortunately our new starter on his first day is an electrician and he fixed the charger.

Next day was our "light engine" test run to Chester and back twice. The engine behaved impeccably until it decided to blow after the first trip. After arrival back on shed it decided that it had enough blowing and settled down again. Otherwise the day was very successful with all running cool with speeds up to 60mph. We lost a cork from the left big end on one run but no damage was done.

Next day it was straight on to our loaded test run. Our trainee engineer again prepared the fire, and the sand boxes were topped up.

With the loco now doing more work and the pressure now regularly running up close to 250psi there are times when both injectors are required and they need to operate cleanly at 250psi. The fireman's side was accused of failing to pump water in to the boiler at times but that was put down to the steam valve not being closed properly by the fireman, letting the injector overheat. When cooled by water it worked well though at higher pressure it can waste a trickle. The driver's side always required accurate setting but it has developed a waste flow that was getting worse. This was concerning considering the power output required for our inaugural trip which would require efficiency from the injectors and with the distances involved between water stops we cannot afford any significant waste.

The loaded test run again went well with the loco never getting beyond warm. The load was 8 coaches and a 47 providing no assistance, which the loco easily took up to 82mph (10% overspeed for test purposes) witnessed by our VAB.

Next day we kept the engine in steam to enable us to work on the injectors. Fortunately one of Blue Peter's injectors is the same as ours so we decided to try the cones in our injector body to see if we could improve our driver's side. The cones were cleaned in vinegar to get rid of any scale deposits and the cones were then fitted. We first changed the combining and delivery end but this didn't work at all. We then changed the steam cone and the injector worked well and was tested to 250 psi with no waste, though it is a bit noisy and randomly changes the tone of its "singing" when operating. Visually our cones look better than BP's but I'm not complaining. Biting the bullet I have ordered new cones for both sides of the loco. Not cheap but we can't afford to have troublesome injectors.

The loaded test run also showed that there was contact between the air brake pipework and the leading left bogie wheel. This had been noticed after the light engine test run but it was thought that it could have been caused previously by the extreme movement of the wheel when being put on or off road transport. So tape was wrapped around the pipe to see if the contact was part of normal high speed running. After the loaded test run a witness could be seen on the tape so it was decided that the pipe must be moved to provide greater clearance from the wheel. A new bracket was made and the pipe run repositioned well clear.

The tender water valve bottom lock nuts had worked loose and these were re-secured.

After the loaded test, back on shed it was noticed that the main reservoir pipe pressure was creeping up so the pressure reducing valve (FVF2) was cleaned out and this rectified the problem.

The air actuator on the air pump lubricator started to clunk, though it still continued to work. The actuator was taken apart and we found that the spring inside had broken off its end coil. The broken pieces were removed and the pump is working satisfactorily but the seal on the actuator piston seems to be passing so a blow can be heard from the vent.

A vacuum hose and a flexible conduit between loco and tender are contacting the frames when running and will chafe so they have been wrapped in rubber. On the end of the conduit at the loco end the fitting was loosely assembled. It was separated and sealed and reassembled.

We've had blows from time to time from the middle and right piston glands so these were removed and examined. There was nothing obviously amiss and with our front end "regulator" blowing issue it may be caused by water carry over. The glands were dressed and reassembled. The clearance hole in the right gland packings has been made bigger to ensure the gland pieces are free to move on to the piston rod.

We have had our overhaul project and mainline documentation audited by LSL's head of engineering. This is yet to be completed, now moving on to supplier assessment and our competencies.

Prep day for the inaugural run was very busy with a three part FTR, safety systems, mechanical and movement, with the engine showing no signs of blowing. The FTR brought up a few glitches which were quickly resolved. The speedo conduit clips required tightening as did the U bolts securing the steam heat pipe through the tender, though they clamp on to soft insulation and the danger is that we cut the insulation.

On the tender one of the spring hanger nut locking plates did not contact the nut so this was adjusted. It must have been left like this after weighing.

The morning of the inaugural run our firelighters were on the loco at 3am to do the safety checks and build the fire. The ashpan was cleaned out and the rest of the team put the final finish to the loco, put the chargers and tools away and got the support coach ready.

The inaugural run went very well with the loco running well and the crews very complementary. Typical was the comment from one who said it was a dream come true to drive it.

Back on shed again we found the left big end cork had disappeared, though there was a section of cane from the middle of a cork stuck in oil to the coupling rod behind. Very strange. Again the rod was cool and no damage has been done. Unfortunately the left side of the engine could only be examined at Carlisle during servicing. The restrictor in the rod is tight so not working up and popping corks out.

Next day the support crew disposed of the engine. The front of the loco was cleaned down as it was covered in dead insects and the bright work was oiled to protect it from rusting. The grate and ashpan were cleaned.

The ashpan sprinkler valve was passing on the trip so the rubber seat was changed to a harder gasket material better able to withstand the force put on the valve by firemen.

The repaired steam chest pressure gauge has been collected from contractors and has been fitted. The service steam chest pressure gauge will be sent for repair as its pointer has been bent before the fitting of the snubber at the SVR.

The main electrical isolation switch was operated with the security tag in place and wrenched the unit. The switch has now been examined and it is suitable for further use.

The ashpan sluice non-return valves have been passing. These were examined and flushed through and they function correctly.

The dome cover has been removed again and the regulator valve removed. A plate was fitted over the top of the regulator body and the valve body and steam pipe pressurised with air to investigate where the leak to the front end is. To get pressure in the valve and pipe the chimney cowl had to be removed so that the snifter valve can be shut with manual assistance. The joint between pipe and valve was then covered in soapy water and bubbles indicated a leak at the joint. The valve body was then removed. In the bottom of the valve was a large deposit of tannin boiler treatment, indicating that water has been boiling in there. In the tannin are flow marks indicating where water or steam has been passing. This is very disappointing and the job now is to increase the contact surface between the pipe and valve to ensure reliable sealing.

The loco being re-lit for steam test on the Crewe depot prep pits. 13 May 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

On the Crewe depot prep pits

Between the frames new brackets are added for the DV2 regulator and the control air drain valve. 13 May 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

Between the frames

On the morning of the light engine test run raising steam with Britannia. 16 May 2022
Photograph: Phil Gillespie

Raising steam with Britannia

A view in the cab with the air pump being started. 16 May 2022
Photograph: Phil Gillespie

A view in the cab

Turning on the triangle at Chester, the first time on the network unassisted. 16 May 2022<
Photograph: Phil Gillespie

Turning on Chester triangle

Waiting at Stafford for our high speed run down the WCML during our loaded test run. 17 May 2022
Photograph: Darrin Ctone

Waiting at Stafford

A close up of the loco front after the loaded test run. 17 May 2022
Photograph: Darrin Ctone

Close up of the loco front

The ex-service injector of 60532. The cones have been fitted in the driver's side injector of 4498. 18 May 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Ex-service injector of 60532

A warming fire was put in two days before our inaugural passenger run for our fitness to run exams. 19 May 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

A warming fire put in

Waiting for the signal to go into the platform at Crewe to pick up our passengers for our first passenger trip. 21 May 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Waiting for the signal to go

At the end of a very successful day, back at Crewe. 21 May 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

End of a very successful day

With the dome off the regulator before examination and removal. 26 May 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

With the dome off

The regulator out, no easy feat due to its weight and the lack of clearance through the dome. 26 May 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The regulator out

9 May 2022

We returned to Bridgnorth after loaded running-in to prepare the loco for its appearance at the SVR Gala. The gravity sands were again adjusted to close them as we found the loco parked at Bridgnorth with some sand under the left sand pipe.

The grate was cleared and the ashpan emptied, with the firebox examined. The smokebox was also cleared of ash and examined. A warming fire was then put in for preparation for raising steam to full boiler pressure the next day for examinations, for Gala running the day after. The prep day was also used for the mainline certification body (VAB) inspection required so that we could get our certification in place for the move via the network to Crewe at the end of the Gala.

The prep involves lubricating the loco and some of our Engineering Team received training from our CME, attending to axleboxes, mechanical lubricators, corks and buttons.

At prep a handle was sunk in to the cab floor so that the floor is easily lifted to access the air system AFT and TPWS isolation valves.

The VAB examined the loco and coach for our mainline move. This involved the thorough examination of the loco, operation of the boiler safety valves, examination of the boiler, injectors, operation of our braking systems and an examination in the smokebox while stationary but with regulator open. No blows being seen. The speedo was also calibrated using a jig simulating speeds up to 100mph.

The steam sands were again tested, for the first time with the rubber extension pieces on. After unblocking some damp sand from the left side they worked satisfactorily.

The SVR also examined the loco and took it for a spin up and down Bridgnorth platform. There was still a blow evident from the drain cocks when the regulator is shut but the loco was easily controllable and it was passed for service. That evening the loco was blowing and could perhaps use a lot of water overnight, so it was decided to be cautious and not to leave a warming fire in overnight.

The whine at the chimney returned, so it wasn't the blanking plate at the superheater header, however I' glad it was changed as the removed gasket was in poor condition. It was decided that we should wait until after the Gala to do more work on eradicating the whine. The figure "8" on the front bufferbeam had been cut, and the cut was getting progressively more obvious as it worked open, the corners lifting and collecting dirt. A new digit was purchased with the in-cab data panels and was fitted to the front of the loco. That should see us through to our repaint. The new in-cab data panel has been fitted, and one bearing number "60007" is now in stock for fitting after our repaint.

We worked all our turns throughout the Gala and the Team settled down in to a regular pattern. Through the Gala the SVR provided fire lighting but we did all the cleaning and other preparation activities. The SVR crews required support in the operation of the loco, including the use of the buckeye, so it was agreed that there would be either the Locomotive Engineer or the CME on the loco at all times. The SVR crews were very complimentary about our loco and the Gala was a great success with SNG clearly being the star attraction.

The Gala running gave some of the Engineering Team an opportunity for a bit of a less rushed day, getting some extra tea drinking in and even a haircut. The coach kitchen light was broken and a new light fitting put in which is a big improvement. The kitchen ceiling also being fitted after being torn down during the tank leak when first filled with water.

The bottom left of the coach was given a thorough clean down which is a big improvement in appearance.

During one morning's prep the small ejector handle was turned 180 degrees in its closed position to stop it clashing with the main brake application handle when opened. A further turn of packing was added to the blower valve.

The cap of the right hand injector had started to leak again so was removed and thread tape used, which appears to have been successful.

Immediately after the Gala both coach and loco were examined (FTR) at Bridgnorth shed by LSL for the mainline move to Crewe. We found a couple of things under the coach to secure but apart from that everything was OK. On the loco a couple of valves on the air system required mechanical securing to prevent them being operated, which was done with jubilee clips.

As soon as the FTRs were completed we steamed to Kidderminster and were turned on the turntable. We then went back on to our coach and moved on to the pit outside the carriage works for the night.

Very early next morning the engine was lit and steam raised while oiling round. Five tons of coal were delivered and lifted in to the tender. We were ready for the crew to arrive and then we moved off the pit and onto the running line across from the carriage shed where we could access a hydrant for water. We then waited for the LSL diesel to arrive.

Upon its arrival we were coupled up and were piloted to Crewe. On the mainline we went up to 60mph, the first time the loco has been up to these speeds. Though not requiring much power it was still a useful exercise. The loco rode well and quietly. Back at Crewe we examined the loco. The left Cartazzi axlebox was warm, all other bearings being cool, with the middle big end measuring 20C.

When we were back we had a discussion with LNWRh about the work we planned. It was agreed that the regulator to main steam pipe joint would be examined as the next step in determining the source of the build up of steam downstream of the regulator valve, the snifter valve would be removed to examine the joint as this was now the most probable source of the whine, and the primary spark arrestor plates would require fitting. It was also agreed that the flues and tube beadings would be attended to and the boiler would receive a washout, and an examination of the crown would be carried out to locate the source of an apparent steam leak from behind the cladding.

Next morning the rear of the grate was cleared to under the arch so that the boilersmiths could get in the firebox for the beadings. The smokebox was thoroughly cleaned out so that the washout plugs could be accessed and the spark arrestor could be worked on without working in ash. The brightwork also received a coat of oil.

LNWRh were straight on to the loco and carried out a washout and at the same time a visit from our VAB was organised so that he could examine the inside of the boiler.

The electrical work we had agreed to was commenced. A new sensor and switch were fitted in the OTMR sensor enclosure. While we had the VAB on site the speedo calibration rig was used to simulate the loco at speed and our OTMR unit just fitted after return from overhaul was checked to confirm it was recording the speed. So the record shows we did 100mph that day though the following deceleration was spectacular. The loco now requires steaming to fully test the brake and air systems and confirm the full operation of the electrical systems.

Meanwhile the snifter (anti-vacuum valve) was removed, after the chimney cowl was removed. It was clear from the removed gasket that it had been blowing so a new graphite gasket was made and fitted.

Our new painter has picked up the paint brush and applied paint to those nuts not finished inside the nose cladding and on the unpainted bands around the middle crank webs.

Up on the boiler LNWRh have ground the main steam pipe end and the regulator valve body to improve the fit. To get the valve out required the cutting of the hanger bolts and one of the valve body to steam pipe clamp bolts. New bolts were made and the valve has now been reassembled and fitted. Before fitting the dome the travel of the cab levers was tested to ensure the limit of travel is at the valve itself. During refitting the dome one of the boiler studs sheared off. A new stud was made and fitted.

The cab centre section has been removed and the areas around the manifold and safety valve pads has been examined for evidence of leaks. Nothing has been found.

New number 8 applied by committee on 20 April 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

New number 8

The speedo being calibrated on 20 April 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The speedo being calibrated

During examination by SVR for Gala use Nº4498 is taken for a test run around Bridgnorth Station. 20 April 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

4498 is taken for a test run

Nº4498 being prepared for the first day of Gala running. 21 April 2022
Photograph: Andy Barwick

Being prepped for Gala

Our reception upon arrival at Kidderminster on our first Gala arrival on 21 April 2022<.
Photograph: Andy Barwick

Arrival at Kidderminster

On the SVR on 23 April 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

On the SVR

Running in to the early evening the photo shows the cab illumination of the gauges in the cab on 23 April 2022.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Cab illumination of the gauges

Turning on the turntable at Kidderminster to get the right way for our move to Crewe. 25 April 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Turning on the turntable

On the pit at Kidderminster raising steam for our trip to Crewe. 26 April 2022
Photograph: Andy Barwick

On the pit at Kidderminster

With support coach waiting for traction to pilot us to Crewe. 26 April 2022
Photograph: Andy Barwick

Waiting for traction to pilot

Back at Crewe and being a steam engine there's still plenty of work to do. The chimney cowl is raised to access the snifting valve. 5 May 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

Still plenty of work to do

I think we found the source of the whine. The snifter seal clearly had been blowing. 5 May 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The source of the whine

The regulator body ready for refitting to the boiler. It mating face with the main steam pipe has been lapped. 6 May 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The regulator body

17 April 2022

With the loco in steam again we were able to run the air pump. At first the main reservoir air pipe pressure couldn't be achieved so the non-return valve around the MRP regulator was changed out to a spare with a better looking seat, and the MRP regulator valve seat was examined and dirt removed. The correct pressures were then achieved. There was still lots of contamination working its way through the system.

During this first steaming there was still a blow at the front end indicating a regulator leak but at this time it was not significant so it was decided to keep it under observation.

After getting the MRP issue resolved we left the shed and went on to the stock for the loaded test runs. Stock comprised seven coaches, our support coach and six Mk3 sleepers. During running a number of fizzes and weeps around the cab were observed and systematically dealt with over the next few days. Cab packings and glands taken up and a couple given another round of packing. All routine stuff.

As the loco was working that bit harder now and getting that bit hotter the expansion of the boiler fouled a couple more of the boiler mud door cover blisters so the cut outs were opened up a little.

We did have problems with the set up of the proportional application of the vacuum brake when controlled by the air braking system which took a couple of days to resolve, but this never stopped our booked loaded test running. We also had problems with the over-running of the air pump control governor compounded by the low setting of the main reservoir safety valve, so we resorted to manually controlling the air pump from the cab by the SNG rep. riding on the loco until the problem was resolved.

We'd also developed a slight blow on the right cylinder cover. All the cylinder covers were re-tightened, but the slight blow restarted on the right so the cover was removed and the joint remade after completion of our running-in turns.

On our second day of loaded running at Kidderminster, the SVR fitter riding out with us, reported a groaning at the front end, indicating a lack of oil, so the atomisers we stripped down and cleaned out. Some scale being removed from the restrictors.

Back at the shed after this first spell of loaded running we found a flue and a stay leaking in the firebox. Not too alarming and not entirely unexpected the first time the loco has had to work and had been given a good shake. Fortunately a LNWRh boiler smith just happened to be on site so he had a look in and it was agreed that he would carry out a repair at his next SVR visit. This was done a few days later before we re-steamed the loco, only taking him a few minutes.

After discussing our proportional vacuum brake issues with the contractors who overhauled our air brake components, it was decided to improve our piping arrangement from that which was based on our ex-service. This required pipe to be cut back from the cab in to the frames and a new valve installing. This has now been done, again between our spells of loaded test running.

When running, mainly late in the day it appears that the regulator leaks by, or gets worse. Occasionally the indicating blow gradually subsides, so we have the worst kind of problem, an intermittent fault. We have taken considerable care in the regulator set up. The regulator operates smoothly with no binding and at the regulator handle the backlash, when the pilot is lifted, then the main valve, can all be felt. This was discussed with the LNWRh Steam Engineering Manager. He offered a couple of their fitters to examine it. We agreed, so this was done, and again no faults could be found. This time though the pilot valve was skimmed to provide a new face.

Before next running the usual preparations were made. The grate cleaned and the back corners of the ashpan cleaned out. Also during prep identifying and information labelling were applied to the tender top air tanks as required by regulations.

Meanwhile the coach improvements continue. We now have shelving in the workshop and the work benches have been swapped round as demanded by the CME. The workshop is also being painted and gradually sorted through though it's not that easy with the coach on the move or with people going through looking for tools.

We were visited by our electrical specialists to take another look at the electrical systems and to plan work to be done when we get back to Crewe. There are two relays in the TPWS enclosure which are now regarded as obsolete types so they will be replaced. The wiring loom from TPWS enclosure to OTMR enclosure will be replaced and an additional pressure sensor will be fitted.

During running, our steam chest pressure gauge is exposed to high frequency pulses and the needle jumps around a lot. It was like this during its last period in traffic and causes the gauge to wear rapidly, so a gauge snubber to smooth out pressure changes has been fitted. Coincidentally looking at photos of our cab in BR days shows a similar fitting. Two other boiler pressure gauges found in antique shops and our first steam chest pressure gauge that didn't survive the steam test have now all gone for calibration and for now we have no serviceable spare.

Before our next running the loco was lit a day early so that we could carry on with our setting up of the air system. First the new pipe arrangement had to be soldered and refitted. The over charge control regulator was also refitted in to the proportional vacuum valve's air train pipe line and fitted with a direct mounted pressure gauge to enable setting and local monitoring. This proved very useful during setting up, assisted by placing the new air control line drain valve close by. The proportional vacuum valve's inbuilt overload valve was fitted with additional shims to reduce it's continuous bleed. The upper vacuum control valve spring was exchanged with our ex-service example and the proportional response of the vacuum brake compared to as supplied. With the supplied components refitted we fine tuned the vacuum response with the over charge control regulator.

The reservoir safety valve was set at the correct pressure as it was lifting early. The air pump governor was reassembled after an internal component was re-machined to remove wear, and the system ran. Before starting the main air pipe regulator was again cleaned out and now we have a stable and automatic air supply system.

Elsewhere during preparations for running the hopper door securing pin was dressed to better fit the operating lever. The leading boiler band had slipped off the nose cladding so this was repositioned and the team did a grand job of washing the bottom of the engine down.

New pipe clamps were fitted to the intermediate vacuum chamber pipes replacing jubilee clips. During lubrication the cylinder lubricator was found to be seized tight. The linkage was dismantled and the front ratchet assembly was removed and taken to the bench as it was solid. The assembly was taken apart but the one piece ratchet wheel and pinion were bound tight in its bearing. It took considerable force to get it out and this had to be carefully done to prevent damage to the cast housing and wheel. Eventually it was apart and the bearing inside was marked but was capable of further service. The parts were carefully reassembled and put back on the lubricator but would not line up to the linkage. The gland which spaces the ratchet assembly was then repacked and the ratchet aligned to the linkage. It would seem that the gland had worked tight compressing the existing gland packing and tightened in the linkage. If this hadn't been found and the loco moved we could have done considerable damage to the lubricator.

The atomisers were also cleaned out and more scale removed. The scale removed certainly being able to cause blockages in the oil ways in the atomiser restrictors.

In the cab a leak had developed at a stud on the back of the regulator stuffing box so the right gland was loosed and slid back on the cross shaft. The nut was taken off the stud and the hole packed with graphite grease and all the cover nuts checked for tightness. The gland was given another round of packing and then reassembled.

Next day, at short notice a further day of light engine running-in was carried out. We could't go loaded as a guard could not be found. The day after we were back on our scheduled loaded running. Back on shed in the evening the regulator was again blowing but after a short while reduced to nothing more than a wisp at the snifter, typical of the resting engine.

To provide some excitement the cods mouth door mechanism decided to bind. It required the right prop assembly to be dismantled, cleaned out and reassembled. The job was finished after 11:30 that night.

Meanwhile, in preparation for next days running oil was added to the lubricators, corks and buttons and axleboxes, and with the Cartazzi collecting water this was siphoned out. The setting up of the vacuum brake was continued and the cam on the ejector adjusted to maintain chamber side vacuum during application of the vacuum brake.

Our steam sands and gravity sands were tested for the first time. With only a little adjustment required to the closing of the gravity sands required. The steam pipe at the steam sands valve required tightening and this was quickly done.

Next evening after running, the cab lights were fitted, a requirement before we are allowed on the network. The brakes were also adjusted, a routine activity especially with new brake blocks.

Our next day was our last loaded running-in. A whine could be heard at the chimney that was related to steam chest pressure, and the regulator passing continued. Otherwise the loco has performed well throughout running in, all bearings cool, running smoothly and steaming well. We have had many compliments about the running of the loco by the footplate crews.

At disposal next day the right cylinder cover joint was remade as mentioned above. The brightwork was given a coat of oil and underneath, all the pin joints and handbrake screw were oiled. The right hand injector cap joint was remade as it was seen to leak and at the coach, the guards corridor door rehung as it's catching the floor.

At the loco the dome was removed and the regulator linkage re-examined. With everything uncomfortably hot the top yolk pin was removed and the travel of the linkage confirmed as not stopping the valve from closing properly. This also confirmed that there is no binding or stops in the regulator operating linkage going back to the cab levers. After leaving it overnight to cool a bit more, next day the valve was removed. The main valve skimmed and the top yolk reversed to match historical markings, and as this perhaps gave the valve a straighter lift. Pilot and main valve were lapped and blued to examine fit. The pilot valve nut was skimmed to square it up and tightened hard which has reduced the pilot valve travel a little. However, there remains no obvious fault, so suspicions are moving to the main steam pipe and joint between the regulator and pipe.

The smokebox was examined to try and determine what was causing the whine. The smokebox interior had an even coat of light soot which should show sign of blows in a disturbance of the soot. It can be seen that there is a blow at the blower joint at the tubeplate, but this is not steam chest variable and has not affected operation so can be attended to later. The only other mark was in the smokebox roof over the right front blanking plate so this was removed and the joint remade. As removed the joint was a soft jointing that had hardened and broke up when the plate was removed. The joint was remade with a high temperature graphite gasket.

To go on the network we also need the Network data, TOPS number, authorised maximum speeds etc., displaying in the cab. The data panels have been drawn up and have now been printed. The cab labelling for sands and cocks has been printed and fitted around the cab in authentic style italics from artwork given by Richard Green.

First loaded test run 4498 climbs Eardington Bank heading for Bridgnorth on 28 March 2022.
Photograph: John Titlow

First loaded test run

A view in the cab with water and pressure to go.29 March 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

A view in the cab

Coming on to the stock at Bridgnorth during loaded test running on 29 March 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

During loaded test running

During disposal, dropping the fire after another day of running in on 30 March 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

During disposal

We were moved inside the shed to release the outside pit during a spell between runs on 3 April 2022.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Moved inside the shed

Light repairs to the firebox between spells of running in on 5 April 2022.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Light repairs to the firebox

The dome removed to examine the regulator. 14 April 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The dome removed

The blanking plate removed from the superheater and joint remade. 15 April 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Blanking plate removed

An example of the signage now in the cab, copied from a works photograph of a V2. 15 April 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The signage now in the cab

27 March 2022

With the blasting in the tank completed we can close the access hole in the coal space. A new plate was purchased and had previously been prepared for welding in. The tender tank faces still needed preparing so were cleaned off the remaining silicon sealant from when the hole was covered, and the steel ground round for welding. The new plate was welded in by LNWRh, and proved leak free when the tank was filled with water.

With the plate in place and after the fumes in the tank had cleared the underside of the plate was coated with the epoxy paint used elsewhere in the tank. The excess paint was used in the back corners and under some of the platework not accessible to the blasters spray gun. One hole in the tank floor that fastens to the frames required a bolt was well hidden by an upright in the tank, a bolt was fitted and sealed and painted over.

The bottom sump and pipework were then fitted, and the sump water pipes connected to the water valves. The last sump plug was fitted so the tender was now ready for filling with water. Work then continued on coupling up the pipes between loco and tender, including vacuum brake pipe and chamber, water hoses and steam heat hoses. The steam heat hose on the tender needed a new seal and this was fitted.

Inside the tank the strainer box on top of the bottom sump was fitted using stainless steel bolting.

Meanwhile one of our volunteers collected and delivered to Crewe the tender buckeye coupling, which was then fitted.

All this work being done to the tender while the loco was being weighed. As soon as the loco weighing had been completed the loco and tender were taken outside the running shed and the tender coaled.

In the cab, the air brake test point hose was fitted and the M8 stand cover was refitted.

The whistle cable has been fitted between cab and the whistle valve over the left nameplate.

The inside of the smokebox has a concreted floor so that smokebox ash can be cleaned out. The concrete is put in as a relatively thin layer with a bed of sand beneath. A bed of sand using about a 10 bags of sand were put in and levelled. The concrete was put in by a team from LNWRh who had previously put the concrete arch in the firebox.

With the smokebox floor concreted the Kylchap cowls were put in, including the spacing fins that fasten to the inside of the chimney and centralise the top cowl. The upper spark tray fastens to the bottom of the chimney fabrication and this was also fitted.

Also in the smokebox a new drain pipe to the ejector exhaust has been fitted using a new nut made by a volunteer to replace the old wasted example.

While in the smokebox it was noticed that there was a slight weep on the end of the pipe cone on the atomiser supply pipe at the boiler end. It was shown up by a small damp patch on the new concrete floor. So the pipe was removed for repair. In the workshop the cone was removed and the end of the pipe refinished before a new cone was fitted. The pipe was then refitted in the smokebox.

With the completion of the loco weighing the height of the loco at its highest point was measured off the underside of the footbridge across the running shed. With this done the loco and tender were taken up the yard to settle the springs, and then propelled back on to the weighing gear and the tender filled with water for its weighing. The loco weights were checked and then the gear moved to weigh the tender. As soon as the loco and tender weighing was complete the equipment was packed back in to its crates, for transporting back to the NYMR by LNWRh.

Under the loco the finished cotters were fitted to the middle big end strap. The little end cotter required the washer under the nut to be skimmed to allow the cotter hole in the gudgeon pin to align with the slot in the nut, then the cotter was finally fitted.

With the tender and loco together, after weighing it was planned to take the loco outside for steam testing. To ensure we kept the cab dry as we could the cab roof weather sheet was retrieved from store for fitting. It was cleaned off and put up being held by securing strips on the cab trailing edge. To stop the sheet sagging in the middle bridging supporting pieces are fitted and new ones have been made and fitted.

The new cab floor has been finished off and very good it looks too.

We've been concentrating on improving the appearance of the right side of the cladding and while in the running shed another coat of top coat was put on. It's not that one side is better than the other, it's just a question of how much we can do in the time.

After filling the tender with water and operating the water valves we noticed a slight weep at one of the copper pipes at the flange where it is fastened to the right injector. The pipe was removed and brazed on its internal joint and refitted. A new gasket was made and the joint has proved to be tight.

At this point the only pipes required to complete the coupling of tender and engine were the air hoses. The ex-service and spares were in our Grosmont container so they were retrieved and taken to Crewe. New spares were then fitted to the loco.

With weighing completed and loco at the right height we progressed to completing the valve timing measurements. It was another long day so thanks to those volunteers staying the course. The loco was coupled up to the LSL shunter and moved up and down the shed while the valve travels were measured. Armed with his measurements our CME went in to a darkened room armed with a pocket calculator and an excel spreadsheet.

The results of the calculations required the valve cotters and spacing buttons to be accurately made. Under considerable time pressure the buttons were machined by LNWRh and the cotters and buttons fitted by the CME with the loco still hot from the steam test. When the valve cotters are fitted they were then secured by new locking cotters.

The air pump exhaust pipe runs through the smokebox and to a connection on the chimney fabrication. We have the old pipes and tried to refit as they had come off, but it just wouldn't go so the pipe had to be cut and re-ended. The final fitting being done with the help of LNWRh.

The spark arrestor was retrieved form store and the spark cage around the chimney fitted by LNWRh.

With the weighing complete the spring hanger nuts are locked in place using locking plates. It's quite a bit of work to get them all back in and with the hanger nuts now in different positions they sometimes need modification. Our volunteers worked through them until all were in position.

The crank rod pins and union link pins were eased by dressing the rod holes. The union link pins having to be removed for fitting the valve cotters and valve spacing spacing buttons. The crank rod pin being inaccessible previously due to the position of the valve gear when in the workshop.

By this point we were stood outside and ready for the steam test, though the piston valves hadn't been set yet. The fire was lit by committee, the first time the boiler had a fire in it in the frames. The time 18:40 15/3/22.

Next day the boiler was brought round, a little quicker that we would have liked but here we were facing another deadline. The loco passed the steam test with safety valves being set by LNWRh boilersmith. The steam heat system was also tested. The regulator was opened to test the steam tightness of the front end. The fireman side injector was the first to be ran at about 200psi because of all the rush, I'd have liked to try out all the new air ministry joints at lower pressures. All the joints were tight though the drivers side injector was a bit fiddly.

The air pump was also tested with steam for the first time after its comprehensive rebuild and ran well, however the air system didn't respond as expected. The next day, on workshop air the system was pressurised and a session of fault finding commenced. It was found that our new non-return valve wasn't sealing correctly so this was replaced. When operating with the air pump the air system works at higher pressure than that available from the workshop so there is uncertainty if any faults are due to the lower supply pressure. The system was then secured until the air pump could be run.

During the steam test we had a few weeps around the cab valves, not unexpected and these were attended to over the next couple of days, mainly by just having to tighten the odd nut. During the steam test the seal between the air pump steam valve at the manifold had a slight blow at the manifold so the seal beneath it was renewed.

The drivers side injector was stripped and examined and it was found that an O ring had been displaced, explaining its fiddly performance at steam test. The O ring groove was eased and a new O ring fitted. The injector has subsequently operated well. During test it was noticed that the ashpan spray valve, downstream from this injector was passing. It being a standard industrial valve it hasn't been opened so we examined it to find the seat seal damaged. This has been replaced but will need more thorough attention when we have the time.

When the regulator was opened to test the tightness of the front end our steam chest pressure gauge, so excited to see steam pressure refused to come back down to zero. So this was removed and replaced by our spare, complete with a new soft mounting rubber ring.

With the safety valves set their surrounds or shrouds were refitted and the middle cab roof section around the valves. The remaining boiler mud door blister covers were also refitted.

In the new tender front battery box, new holes were cut in the cover plate for the charging socket, isolator, fuse holders and voltmeter. New batteries were bought and fitted with the final wiring being carried out by contractors so that the installation is carried out by people competent in the eyes of the Network.

The electrical systems were tested using a borrowed OTMR unit as ours is still with contractors for overhaul, now 2 months overdue. The electrical systems finally being secured and tested as a complete system during the steam test.

As soon as the steam test was complete the loco and tender connecting hoses were removed and tied up ready for road transport. The vacuum chamber hoses being changed to an improved arrangement to get the coupling away from the tender brake shaft. New hoses have been ordered for this location.

Also completed was the foundation ring cladding, while the engine was still hot from steam test.

After the loco had cooled, the water was drained from the loco and tender ready for the road move to the Severn Valley Railway. The main drawbar pin at the loco was jacked out and the loco and tender held on the safety links for shunting to the road loading point. Also in preparation for the move the dead fire was dropped and the ashpan washed out.

While the 08 shunter was got ready to move the loco, the top of the M8 air brake valve was replaced by our ex-service one as its securing threads were in better condition that in the new unit.

The loco and tender were loaded at Crewe and delivered to Bridgnorth arriving the same day as our coach from Ramparts. The loco and tender were immediately recoupled and the transport packing pieces removed by LNWRh while the SNG Team were at Crewe completing our Personal Track Safety course. Immediately after the course we travelled down to Bridgenorth to find a warming fire already in the loco in preparation for running the next day.

Before finishing that evening we removed the drain cocks ready for blowing through the next morning, in the hope of removing any debris in the steam circuit before it clogs the drain valves. Early next morning as soon as we had a decent pressure in the boiler the regulator was opened and blew through a large amount of brown dirt, then we refitted the drain cocks.

It was all a bit of a rush cramming in a prep day in to an early morning. After blowing through and reassembling the drain cocks with new seals, the cylinder lubrication atomisers were cleaned and the brakes were adjusted. The vacuum brake, ran for the first time took some time to warm and start creating full vac but has subsequently caused no problems. A number of glands around the cab needed tightening, not unexpectedly with everything still getting used to being hot and seeing pressure.

There then followed our light engine running for the rest of the day with no issues. The inside slidebars were getting warm, not unusual for the inside where they see little air cooling but the lower right hand was noticeably warmer though this settled down to an even temperature all round the inside slidebars after a days running. All round the engine bearings and crankpins were no more that blood warm. Not bad for the first time the loco has moved under its own power, and it sounds superb when running.

During running a few fizzes and weeps developed around the cab valves that were systematically rectified. Now that the engine was getting warmer things start to move and we had washout plugs and mud door nuts contacting cladding, as the boiler expands inside the fixed cladding. The contact points were ground out to clear.

As the engine ran it continued to produce lots of brown dirt from the boiler with it accumulating around the glands and drain cocks.

On our first day the whistle was found to be sticking so the operating lever at the valve was shaped and we have had no further problems with it.

The coach arrived at Bridgenorth straight from its bottom end overhaul, and with the focus of putting as many hours as possible on the loco, we didn't have time to fit the coach out before arrival. In the platform at Bridgnorth a start was made in unloading our tools and equipment in to the coach brought down from Crewe. The roof tanks were filled with water which resulted in a flood in the kitchen. The roof was pulled down to find a parted pipe which was repaired and the tank refilled. The old flickering fluorescent lights have been replaced with LED and decorating the workshop end has started. The work benches have been re-secured to the coach side.

Before the coach could run with the loco the coach had to be accepted by the SVR as fit to run so was examined by their FTR examiner. He listed a number of glitches that were worked through by our volunteers. In addition the vacuum cylinder did not function correctly and contractors have agreed to visit and repair. We also are waiting for the toilet to be finished as it was supplied with a defective electrical component so it currently can't be used. By the end of the day the examiner agreed that the coach could run as air braked, which was the intention for the loaded test runs.

The coach was then shunted from the inspection pit and put in the station platform and the loco stopped off the coach ready for coupling on. This was the first opportunity to run the air pump and air brake system with air pump pressure. The air pump runs beautifully and operates the new lubrication system, which was very satisfying. However the governor was stuck and wouldn't shut the pump down when pressure was reached. The governor was dismantled freed off and reassembled. The adjustment is very sensitive and was difficult to set, in addition the safety valve on the air system was blowing light which prevented the governor from restating the pump before the air pressure was too low to maintain the required air pipe pressures. During this we found we had a leak from the tender reservoir pipe at tender bufferbeam, but this was quickly fixed by reversing the rubber seal beneath.

After this we found that we couldn't get the vacuum brake on the loco to proportionally operate with the air brake. With time pressing on we decided to do another light engine trip and pick up the coach on our next operating day.

Upon return to the shed it was found that the regulator appeared to be was passing so it was decided to stop the loco for the regulator to be examined and for the air brake system fault to be investigated. So sat on the boiler in the spring sun the regulator valve was removed from a very warm boiler. We had the assistance of the LNWRh rostered footplate crew. The valve was then examined. There was boiler dirt and scale about but nothing obvious, but the pilot valve and main valve were lapped and reassembled.

Meanwhile with the engine stopped we caught up with a few other jobs including fitting the new cab window runners, which are a great improvement and allow the runner assemblies to be tight and allow the windows to move.

The air brake system was put on the shed supply and the SVR 08 used to create vacuum. The system was then examined with various minor leaks nipped up and sections cleaned out. We also got one of our volunteers to bring our ex-service valves from store at Grosmont so that we could try swapping out valves to isolate the problem. By the end of Sunday the air system appeared to be working correctly so we were ready to start our loaded test runs the next morning. .

A new nut made for the ejector drain in the smokebox. 6 March 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The new ejector drain nut

Inside the tender tank after coating. 7 March 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales/p>

Inside the tender tank

A bed of sand put in the smokebox before concreting.10 March 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The bed of sand

The middle rod in place and all cottered up. 10 March 2022
Photograph: Tony Bickerstaff

Middle rod in place

Late in to the night measurements of the valve travels are taken prior to valve setting. 14 March 2022
Photograph: Tony Bickerstaff

Late night measurements

During valve setting the travel of the middle valve is measured. 14 March 2022
Photograph: Richard Swalesp

Middle valve travel measured

The first fire lit in the boiler in the frames on 15 March 2022.
Photograph: Andy Barwick

The first fire lit

Smoke at the chimney from the first fire on 15 March 2022.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Chimney smoke from first fire

During the steam test the safety valves lift for the boiler inspector on 16 March 2022.
Photograph: Andy Barwick

The safety valves lift

Loaded for road transport to Bridgnorth on 21 March 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Loaded for Bridgnorth

Moving under its own power for the first time after overhaul on 23 March 2022.
Photograph: John Titlow

Moving under its own power

The dirt from the boiler working its way out during running in. 24 March 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The dirt from the boiler

The regulator valve removed for examination on 26 March 2022.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Regulator valve removed

6 March 2022

The cab floor assembly has continued with new wood with all the planks now cut to shape. Some of the remaining wood has been taken for making replacement side window runners to replace soft wood.

Work has continued on freeing up the drain cock operating gear and setting up the travel correctly. This required changing some of the push screws that operate the valves to allow more adjustment.

The trailing middle valve cover has been refitted. It had been removed to start valve timing but we have had to change our priorities with the restricted availability of weighing gear.

The cod's mouth gear has previously been assembled but when operating it, it was felt to be "otchy" and a little heavy, being due to the bevel gears that take the drive from the manually turned key and the cross shaft gears being too close a mesh. The meshing of the gears was adjusted and this has made their operation much smoother.

The sand filler hatches for the leading sandboxes are weighted so that they automatically close when released. This is achieved with balance weights that are fitted to the moveable hatch. The weights were fitted and adjusted and the hatches work well.

New access hole cover plates were made for the leading sandboxes and are now fitted complete with new gaskets.

Before we steam we need to secure the new blowdown valve from accidental opening until the operating linkage can be fitted and locked. A locking arrangement has been made and fitted, in addition a blanking plug has been fitted to the valve outlet.

Painting has continued throughout with rubbing down and filling of the cladding, and touching up around the loco. Particular attention has been paid to the right side of the loco as we just don't have time to do both sides comprehensively.

The cab roof has seen its first new paint. The roof was rubbed down and painted to top coat and is a big improvement.

Before concreting the smokebox floor the middle cylinder and saddle casting tops were coated in protective paint.

Filling around the front of the right boiler cladding required fitting of backing plates so that filler could be used to close some gaps.

It was noticed at York that when a headboard was put on the middle bottom lamp iron that it was not straight across the engine. The lamp irons were refurbished at York and their upstands are correctly aligned with the rest of the iron but it was noticed that on the loco the iron is slightly out of line. The iron has now been refitted and a trial headboard fits very well.

Work on the manufacture and fitting of the firebox cladding below the footplating has progressed well, with the right hand complete and only the leading left corner to finish paint. Insulation has been retrieved from store to put behind the cladding, and to put over the steam dome after steam test.

Fitting of the smokebox pipework has progressed well with the completion of the main steam pipes. A new cone was fitted to the atomiser supply pipe at the whistle valve end, this supplied by the overhauler of the valve. The pipe from the whistle valve to the whistle has also been fitted, the ejector exhaust from the smokebox elbow to the chimney, and the blower pipe to the blower ring.

A new drain pipe from the ejector exhaust in the smokebox has been made. It's securing nut is badly eroded so a new nut has been made. Like the other smokebox nuts it has been made oversize to ensure a long life in the smokebox.

The gaps in the steam pipes where the lens rings are, have seen further packing and sealing.

The smokebox floor will soon be sealed with concrete, which makes the lubrication pipe to the middle cylinder inaccessible. To check it was secure a spanner was tried on one of the end nuts and it moved, and slightly twisted the pipe. Just to be on the safe side we took the pipe off for examination and was concerned by its lightness. It was decided to remake the pipe with our very thick walled pipe recovered from elsewhere on the engine. We used a new cone on one end and an existing cone on the other which seemed to be worn to one of the existing fittings and provided a better fit. When we took the cones off the old pipe the old pipe was indeed only a thin walled pipe, one which we would not use for atomised steam. When refitted the locking clamp on the bulkhead fitting on the trailing side of the saddle casting wall was correctly positioned and secured.

Outside the smoke box, the atomiser pipe that runs along the top of the nameplate has been finished and connected up to the atomiser system. The closure plates around the pipe on the smokebox cladding side have been fitted but we need a couple of nuts to fit the last screws. New nuts were purchased and these have been fitted.

In front of the smokebox door the ash protection plate and the covers to the cods mouth gear gearing have been fitted.

The smokebox door sealing rope has been fitted. It needed a bit of careful packing and adjustment of the door until we got a reasonable contact. The door has been left tight shut to hopefully set the rope though it will need further inspection before we steam.

The M8 drivers air brake valve stand was modified after members day to provide a side wall and protection for the internal pipes against the drivers leg, and an additional section to the leading side to cover more of the copper pipework. Inside the stand a new hose has been fitted replacing the exposed test point. The hose now carries the test point connection and is hidden in the stand when not required. A sturdy bracket has been made to support the hose and prevent any pull on the hose loading the copper pipework.

The top M8 cover has been secured with two new brass domed screws in keeping with the 1950s look of the engine.

The ex-service air system labels have been refitted around the cab. One of the labels is under one of the drivers steps and screwed in to the frames. One of the holes did not have a screw in as it had a broken drill in it. This was removed, the hole was then welded up and a new hole put through. The label was then refitted.

The cab backhead corner bracket securing the air pump lubricator pipes was drilled and secured with a 90 degree drill borrowed from the LNWRh carriage workshop.

Inside the frames the loco has been fitted with a pressure regulator to the DV2 valve, supplied with the overhauled DV2. The DV2 regulates the vacuum braking on the loco when we are running as air braked. The regulator looked a bit vulnerable so a vented cover was designed and fabricated. This is now fitted.

The right side builder's plate has now been fitted with bronze nuts replacing the steel ones we had to fit as we had no bronze. The nuts coming from the collections of a couple of volunteers.

Components for a new hopper door pin has been made. It is longer than the old with the intention of making it easier to fit and to clear the air pump governor which is now fitted to the left side of the loco where the pin goes in. The pin is now fabricated and ready for fitting. The pin is further secured by a toggle pin and the parts for this have also been made.

The OTMR sensors have been terminated. The speedo cable which passes through the TPWS enclosure on its way to the OTMR (black box recorder) has been remade.

It was decided to blast clean the inside of the tender tank and have it coated with a water tank lining epoxy. The tank was epoxy lined at the last 10 year overhaul and it worked well in protecting the tank from internal corrosion. As it is still mainly original material it was decided to repeat the coating at this overhaul. It would have been better done with the tank off the frames at York but we were concerned that the workshop wasn't a suitable place to do this work due to the dust it could have produced. So it was decided to do the blasting and coating when the tender was complete and could be moved outside. This has now been done at Crewe. The blasters found the job challenging to say the least, both due to the inaccessibility of the tank with its internal structure but also the resistance of the previous coating to the blast abrasive. So slow was the blasting that the blasters had to source a more aggressive abrasive. A one week job turned in to three weeks and this has put us under a lot of pressure to achieve the timescales we have previously agreed to. After the tank coating is completed there is still reassembly work to be done to the tank before it can be filled with water and coal, weighed and used for steaming the loco.

With the tender outside and the blasters getting access to the water space through a cut-out in the coal space, a sheet was put over the cut out to keep out any rain. The axleboxes, brake gear, cab handles etc were wrapped in plastic sheets to reduce the chance of dust or abrasive getting in to the working parts.

After the blasting was completed the masking was removed and the axleboxes inspected for contamination. Our preventative work, and the fitting of seals to the axleboxes prevented any contamination so with the addition of a little more oil the axleboxes were reassembled and the tender pronounced fit to move.

After some initial difficulties with the paint equipment, delaying the job, the tender was moved on to the loco and the tender and loco shunted into the running shed at Crewe and on to the weighing gear, this is described later. After the loco was secured the painters set up again and finished the job.

The plate that will be welded in to close the coal space access hole used by the blasters has been prepared for welding.

New gaskets have been cut for the refitting of the sump and its connecting water pipes. All these components have now been moved to the running shed for fitting to the tender.

A critical step in the completion of the loco for running is to have the loco weighed, this is setting the correct axleloads and height of the loco. This is done with specialist equipment that is hired in. This is a very busy time of year for this kind of activity and we found that we had to weigh the engine last week Feb/first week March otherwise we would have to wait until April for the hire. This would delay us a whole month. To weigh the engine it has to be complete so this would mean the middle connecting rod would have to be fitted and the concrete arch cast in place in a very tight timescale. Also we would have to have the boiler filled with water, and for this we needed to fit all the new washout/inspection doors.

The boiler doors were manufactured by LNWRh and due to their competency system had to be fitted by them. This is now done after a couple of the cladding holes were modified to allow the doors to be fitted. This is not unusual as the cladding never quite goes back on in exactly the same position relative to the openings in the boiler.

There used to be a boiler mud door at the bottom of the backhead. This is now covered with insulation but the back head cladding cut out is still present. To prevent the loss of the insulation, and to indicate to those who do not know our loco that there is no door lurking beneath, a cover plate has been made and fitted.

On top of the boiler the safety valve blanking plates from the hydraulic were removed and the safety valve pads were thoroughly cleaned off. New gaskets were made for the safety valves and tried on the valves to ensure they were a good fit. The split pins that secure the setting of the valves, and those securing the tops, which require removal when setting on the loco, were both eased to make them easier to remove once in the recessed cab roof when we reset them at steam test. The pads were smeared with jointing compound and the valves and gaskets fitted.

The casting of the concrete arch requires arch formers to be fitted. The formers were previously retrieved from Grosmont where they were last used and stored. They required repair before reuse. Photos of the formers in place from when previously used were studied and the formers refitted, after the grate was inspected in detail, as when the arch is in place we have lost the headroom at the front of the grate.

We have also retrieved all the firebar patterns we have and compared them to drawing. It was found that the patterns for a couple of the bars have no shrinkage allowance and as a result the cast bars have a lot of end clearance. When new bars are ordered they will be cast with patterns allowing them to be cast to full length. A couple of the front corner firebars were trimmed so that they were not too tight to the copper firebox. There is a unique firebar at the front of the firebox, in front of the drop grate. Originally cast this was fabricated for the last period in traffic. We have decided to reproduce this and a new example has now been fabricated. The front firebar bearers have been modified to accept the new firebar and the firebar is fitted.

The arch was cast by a team from LNWRh who recently cast Britannia's. As they have such recent experience I thought I'd let them do it. Well we might as well take it easy for a change! However, while they were casting the arch there was no let up for us as we were busy with other things.

After the arch was cast we left it a few days and then went in to remove the formers and supporting woodwork. The formers didn't come out without a fight. Now we know why the formers needed the repairs they did before reuse. A rethink on the way we do the arch is required.

Also to complete the loco the middle connecting rod is now fitted. The bearing machined by one of the volunteer Engineering Team was fitted to the rod with the old key and the fit of the bearing is very good. Measurements were taken of the key way and our skilled volunteer made a new key while the bearing was left in the rod for final machining. While waiting for the rod to be put on the borer for final machining the middle crank pin and web faces were cleaned off and a gauge made being a copy of the crankpin profile so that it can be used to check the bearing during machining.

Also with the rod waiting, a new oiling felt was cut for the big end bearing, leaving it overlong so that it could be cut back to suit the final machined bearing.

The middle connecting rod was moved and set up on the borer under the watchful eye of our volunteer, who stayed with the bearing throughout its machining.

Upon completion of the machining, the rod was returned to our work area and dismantled. The new key was fitted. The middle big end bearing halves were then tried on the crankpin and some scraping to the edge radii was carried out. As we have previously returned the crankpin to parallel and round no scraping was required to the main bearing surface. The felt pad was cut to length and put in to soak in oil with the little end felts. While examining one of the bearings a small piece of contamination was found. This was quickly cut out and the bearing spot metalled. The patch then scraped flush with the rest of the bearing.

As the overhead crane isn't available the rod was man-handled in to the pit, then along under the loco. The team then lifted the rod with a hoist up through the axles, brakegear and stretchers to near the middle piston crosshead and crank pin.

The bearing halves were put on the crankpin and held by hand until one of our volunteers, sat in the top of the frames, put the holding plates that fit round the outer lip of the bearings. The plates fitted excellently as they had been machined to suit the bearing. With the bearings in place the oiling felt was fitted and then the rod was moved onto the leading bearing until the key located in the rod. The strap and gluts were then fitted and the nuts secured.

With the big end secured the little end was put in the crosshead and the gudgeon pin put in and secured with its nut.

The cotter holes have been measured and new cotters are being made.

While the middle rod was being worked on the tender was cleaned down and unwrapped after blasting as described above.

As soon as the middle rod was fitted, the tender was shunted on to the loco, and loco and tender moved from the maintenance shed section to the running shed on to the weighing equipment. We are not expecting to return to the maintenance shed.

The weighing gear had arrived, a few days late so was immediately set up in place by LNWRh for us while we fitted the middle connecting rod. When shunted in place the main drawbar loco pin was put in as we need to be tight to the tender handbrake to stop the loco rolling off the weighing gear.

The weighing gear was then set up while the boiler was being filled with water. The rest of the day was spent weighing the loco. Weighing has been a lengthy job in the past but was are pleased by the results achieved during our first day.

Meanwhile the tender was given another good clean to remove dust and abrasive. While underneath our Painting Team Leader identified some further paint jobs so was soon back on the paint brush.

The hex head screws used to secure the tender corridor canopy were replaced with low domed screws as the tender weather sheet has to slide over the tops of the screws. The screws machined by a volunteer.

The weather sheet is secured to the loco by strips on the trailing underside of the cab roof. The strips have been cleaned and painted. The strips were retained temporarily by a couple of bolts each as the original bolts were corroded beyond further use. All the missing bolts have now been replaced.

The tender outside being blasted inside prior to coating. 16 February 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The tender being blasted

More work has been done in improving the appearance of the streamlining. 16 February 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

Improving the streamlining

The new M8 stand cover being worked on 16th February.
Photograph: Richard Swales

The new M8 stand cover

The smokebox pipe that supplies the atomisers with steam direct from the boiler has new cone and nut fitted. 16 February 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The smokebox pipe

After hydraulic testing of the boiler the safety valves are refitted, soon to lift during steam test on 18 February 2022.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

After hydraulic testing

The middle big end bearing is machined in the rod. 23 February 2022
Photograph: SNGLT/Trevor Camp

The middle big end bearing

The concrete is mixed for the firebox arch on 24 February 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

The concrete is mixed

The saddle casting in the smokebox is painted prior to being concreted over. 24 February 2022
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

The saddle casting

One of the middle big end halves having its edge radii scraped to suit the crankpin on 1 March 2022.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

One middle big end half

The loco leaves the maintenance shop for the last time on 3 March 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Leaving maintenance shop

The engine is stood on the weighing gear in the running shed on 3 March 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

On the weighing gear

The little end of the middle connecting rod is lifted in to the middle crosshead on 3 March 2022.
Photograph: Phil Gillespie

Middle connecting rod

The middle connecting rod being moved under the loco on 3 March 2022.
Photograph: Phil Gillespie

Middle connecting rod

In the running shed on the weighing gear at the end of this report period. 4 March 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

In the running shed

13 February 2022

The new air ministry cones for the injector pipes at the clackboxes have been finish machined by an Engineering Team volunteer and are a good fit in the clackboxes. The injector pipes have been finished prior to fitting then tried in. They needed some adjusting but when all the pipes were fitted and the air ministry joints tightened by their securing flanges, the results were very good. When these pipes have been fitted before it was very difficult to get in to the union type connections under the cab floor to tighten them up, so we have made some crow foot spanners that have worked very well. The Spanner jaws were ordered as profiled plate and fabricated to make the spanners.

The chimney fabrication has been refitted. The Chimney alignment has been checked with our set up gear. This comprises rods clamped to the top of the blastpipe casting that projects up the chimney. The distance from the chimney bore can then be measured from the rod. The chimney position was adjusted slightly and when happy with the concentricity the chimney was bolted down.

The Kylchap assemblies are located in the centre of the chimneys by guide vanes. The old ones were corroded and bent after the removal of the Kylchaps at this overhaul, so new guides have been made.

The Kylchaps have been recovered from store and one of the supporting legs straightened. They will be refitted later.

After fitting the chimney the smokebox door was refitted, the bracket that goes across the front top of the smokebox that holds the upper cods mouth door hinges was also fitted.

The door dart and bar inside the smokebox has been fitted, after the front streamlining was fitted.

Inside the smokebox, after the chimney alignment gear was removed the blast pipe nozzles were refitted, then the lower spark arrestor tray and the blower ring. The atomiser tee piece bolted to the smokebox front has also been refitted and the atomiser steam supply pipes fitted to it.

A new cover is being made for the M8 drivers air brake valve stand. A flat sheet was ordered and it was bent up to fit around the stand. A new cab floor upstand has been fabricated to support the bottom of the cover and to give additional protection to the air valves inside. The folded sheet was modified for a better fit and welded up in position. The M8 top cover and attached heat shield have been refitted.

Also in the cab, with the completion of the hydraulic test, the steam supply pipe to the air pump and the steam heat pipe, both from the manifold have been refitted.

The regulator handles have been refitted after having their paint touched up. They were removed for the refitting of the stuffing box seal mentioned in the last report.

Also in the cab, the pressure gauges have been fitted after being returned from calibration. The brass mounting screws being refurbished or renewed.

There has been the usual continuous painting activities with the additional work involved in preparing the loco for members day. New aluminium high temperature paint has been bought and used to paint the smokebox steam pipes and chimney. The boiler to the front of the loco has been repainted in satin black. The Crewe workshop isn't as good a paint shop as York but our painters have done a great job in the little time we have had to do the work.

Prior to painting more sessions of filling have been done to the boiler particularly around the boiler sections where the lower rolls are.

After the fitting of the smokebox cladding this was repainted. A remarkably good job in a workshop where there was constant grinding a couple of roads away.

The tender and loco bufferbeam air brake valves have been repainted.

The donated fireman's and driver's side builders plates have been fitted with captive bronze screws made by one of the volunteer Engineering Team and are now fitted to the cab sides.

A number of standard hex head screws were fitted around the front of the loco whereas they should be LNER low domed types, in-keeping with the streamlining. The reason some standard ones had been used is that the low domed types are prone to being damaged when being removed. This is because their corners can get easily rounded off. A drawing of the streamlined type screws was done using an LNER drawing as a guide, and a batch of screws manufactured by contractor. These were used but in some locations longer are required and these were made by a volunteer. Now all the ½" screws in the streamlined front of the loco are the correct type.

The chimney cowl returned to Crewe after repair. The cowl was prepared for painting and finished to top coat then fitted. With the chimney cowl fitted the service whistle was fitted.

An AWS conduit bracket was fitted to the leading end of the conduit. It was recovered from the Crewe scrap bin as it was recognised as identical to the BR type we were missing.

In the last report the steam sands valve at the manifold was repositioned. This has allowed a full bolt to be fitted to the centre section of cab roof directly above it.

With the steam pipes now in position the outside lens ring gaps were sealed up with rope and covered with high temperature sealant. With the smokebox sealing plates also sealed up the streamlined casing can be refitted. The first section to be fitted was the right hand nameplate panel. Before the panel could be fitted a new seal was made for the top of the sandbox which is behind a small access door in the panel. A seal was made from high density foam and is retained by plates. Some new plates had to be made as the old ones had corroded or were missing.

The same was done with the left side nameplate panel. Fastening down all the front end streamlining has to be done carefully while matching the panels together to get an overall smooth streamlined appearance. It was noticed that the front left section had cracked along a bracket where it joins the footplate. The crack was ground out and welded up. At the smokebox top the left streamlining has to be welded to a tab on the smokebox top to get the correct alignment.

After the front streamlining was fitted the balance weights for the sand box access doors were fitted. These limit the opening of the doors and ensure they fall shut.

The left superheater outer cover had some filling and dressing before fitting.

The right nameplate panel trailing edge does not overlap the crinoline so is not supported, but has to align with its neighbouring boiler cladding panel, both to look correct but also as the nameplate runs across both panels. The nameplate panel was recessed so was jacked out against the smokebox until aligned. This was done by drilling and tapping a series of holes along the trailing edge of the nameplate panel. When the panel was aligned the screws were cut off flush. With the panel aligned the nameplate could be bolted flat to the leading boiler cladding panel. As access to the back of the nameplate is difficult a custom screw was machined to fit.

A new whistle and atomiser steam supply pipe has now been fitted from the whistle valve across the left nameplate and through the closing plates in the cladding. Very nice.

The ejector exhaust pipe from the cab to the smokebox along the left side of the boiler has now been was fitted.

During the period under review the boiler hydraulic test was carried out in the presence of our boiler inspector. At the first attempt there was a run from the firebox tubeplate so the boilersmiths carried out some caulking and the test restarted. The test was then successfully completed with remarkably few drips or leaks from all the backhead fittings now in place. At the same time the steam heat safety valve was also checked and passed for use after it was adjusted to lift at a suitable pressure.

As soon as the hydraulic was concluded the boiler was drained and all the boiler doors removed for inspection. As covered in the previous report LNWRh have specified new doors be fitted and this work has now began.

The regulator clamps fitted for the hydraulic test have now been removed, after removing the dome cover. The dome cover has now been refitted after the sealing faces were cleaned and the seal remade.

New cladding has been made and fitted to the right firebox below the footplating around the foundation ring. The foundation ring was left exposed for inspection by the boiler inspector during the hydraulic test. The left side is still to do.

The middle big end has been pre-machined by an Engineering Team volunteer and fitted in to the rod. This being described in previous reports. We had a discussion with the LNWRh machine shop about the machining of the bearing in the rod, which is the last machining job before fitting. After this we closely examined the bearing looking at how much white metal would have to be removed and how much the whitemetal ends would clean up when machined. It was decided, to ensure that the bearing did finish correctly that we should add a little more whitemetal just to the ends. Eventually making up perhaps a couple of thou in some spots. The metal was added the same day and our volunteer has now finished the ends. The bearing will now be reassembled in the rod. As it has previously been fitted this will be quickly done.

We have again looked at the cab side window runners. They were previously packed out with washers to ensure the windows could be opened and closed. Without the packers some of the windows jambed. In preparation for the members day we had a look at the runners and found a section of runner that had broken away and had small rusty nails in it where it had been repaired previously. Some of the runners have been replaced historically with soft wood and this just isn't strong enough to hold its dimensions when clamped in position. To end this ongoing irritation we have decided to strip down the runners after the members day and come up with a lasting repair.

The loco fallplate with its refurbished hinges has been refitted.

New cab floor wood has been fitted to the tender, and a very smart job has been done. The thickness of the wood meant that the steel sections had to be packed up a little. The protection pieces to help reduce the amount of rubbish being lost under the floor through the holes for the water gauge and water handles were fitted after some modification to allow for the raising of the steel floor plates.

Our new Scoop instruction plate and "5000 Galls" plate, donated to us have now been fixed to the tender front in as near the original positions as possible. The level plates and scoop indicator plates which are historical fittings have been picked out with paint in keeping with our new plates.

We have been informed by our coach overhauler that we need a set of new brake blocks. Not an issue? Well at the moment there is a shortage of them for Mk1 coaches. Apparently they are on a long lead time, now produced abroad, and are only available in a pallet of over 100. We need 16. We are in discussions with a foundry who have a pattern to cast us what we need but they are far more expensive than the mass produced item. Other organisations who do have stock are holding on to theirs as they are unsure of future supplies.

The period under review ended with a very successful Members Day at Crewe. There was a lot of preparation to do for this so thanks to those who helped directly and worked so hard in getting the engine so complete and ready for public viewing. Prep included moving the loco manually in the workshop to fit the left expansion link bottom pin and the fitting of the front numbering vinyls. The artwork for the front numbering was donated by Richard Green of

The chimney alignment jig fastened to the top of the blastpipe casting. 25 January 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The chimney alignment jig

The chimney alignment jig in the chimney bore. 25 January 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The jig in the chimney bore

The chimney fabrication being fitted on 25 January 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

The chimney fabrication

The bodywork receiving another helping of filling and rubbing down on 26 January 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Another helping of filling

A new wooden floor being fitted to the tender on 27 January 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

New wooden floor being fitted

The new scoop and tender capacity plates in place. 1 February 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

New scoop and tender plates

The front steamlining during refitting on 2 February 2022.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

The front steamlining

Another coat of paint, from cab front to smokebox, for members day. 3 February 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

Another coat of paint

The chimney cowl has been repaired and is prepared for painting. 8 February 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The repaired chimney cowl

The chimney cowl is fitted. 10 February 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

Chimney cowl is fitted

The new right hand foundation ring/lower firebox cladding is fitted. 10 February 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Cladding is fitted

A view of the cab with gauges, injector pipework and air brake stand in place. 10 February 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

A view of the cab with gauges

The BR numberplate and shed plate have been replaced by LNER numbering. 11 February 2022
Photograph: Darrin Crone

BR plates replaced by LNER numbering

Loco standing outside at Crewe for Members' Day on 12 February 2022.
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Outside at Crewe for Members' Day

23 January 2022

The new toilet tank (CET) was tried on the coach and it was found that it fouled the brake pull rod to the passenger end bogie. The tank was then packed off the coach to clear the rod and shunted through some tight curves to ensure that it would be clear under all circumstances when in traffic. New spacers have been designed to locate the tank in its new position and these are now being fabricated. The new toilet bowl and the tank's outer insulation have now been delivered.

The coach guards compartment ceiling has now been repaired by the coach overhauler and we have asked for quotations for floor covering for the corridor and other areas currently as bare boards.

At Crewe the lapping of the lens rings was completed. The middle steam pipe assembly was fitted during the last report, the next to be fitted was the left followed by the right.

The atomised oil nozzles have been fitted to the 3 cast iron cylinder top steam pipes and connected to the atomiser oil pipework. All nozzles were cleaned and the threads refurbished and are now sealed in to their pipes.

Also on the right CI steam pipe the steam chest pressure gauge shut off valve has been refitted. Not happy with the sealing of the valve a spacer was made and new copper washers fitted. There was an ongoing issue with the fouling of the oil box lid on the pipe from the shut off valve the oil box bracket mounting holeshave been slotted and the box moved, now the lid is well clear.

With the steam pipes in place the smokebox sealing plates were fitted. Refectory rope was then packed between the plates to provide a gas tight seal, the plates on the inner left requiring adjustment on a hydraulic press to get a close fit on the smokebox wrapper.

The blastpipe casting has now been refitted. The blastpipe casting was turned over to examine the bottom face and to remove the last of the carbon deposits. The face is good as the casting is relatively new. The face on the middle cylinder is in fair condition but does run out to the outer edge so it was decided to fit a gasket to the face to prevent corrosion where the gap between the castings increases and in to the mounting studs, as well as ensuring a good gas tight seal.

The plate in front of the chimney, with the whistle stand was also refitted, being sealed in with webbing. The smokebox front plate was then similarly fitted and the chimney put in position ready for its alignment to be checked.

The chimney fabrication has seen further descaling. The guide vanes for the Kylchap cowls were removed and will require replacement. The threaded holes for the spark screen top that fixes to the bottom of the chimney have also been cleaned out.

With the left and right steam pipes fitted the outer superheater header covers were refitted using new countersunk screws and a webbing joint to ensure the smokebox vacuum is maintained.

The new snifter doubling plates have now been fitted. This should improve clamping of the seal around the valve body.

When the assembly of the smokebox is completed a new pipe will be fitted from the atomiser/whistle valve, along the top of the nameplate. The forming of this pipe has started.

The smokebox blower pipe to blower ring joint has been refurbished and a new joint made ready for fitting.

Good progress has been made with the cab injector pipes to the boiler mounted clackboxes. These needed the ends re-flaring to take new air ministry joint cones. New flaring tools were made by an Engineering Team volunteer as our loaned tooling was short of one size we needed. We eventually made two sets so that we have our own for the sizes we need. The pipes have now been flared using our new formers and the cones will now be machined to size.

The tender corridor floor and back of the vestibule door has received paint with the first coats of black top coat going on to the floor.

The tender number plate has now been secured by brass screws replacing the temporary screws used at York.

A new water scoop instruction plate and a 5000 Gallon plate, missing from our tender have been very kindly donated. Our donor painted them, with our paint, so they are ready for fitting.

The new driver's side builder's plate has been fitted with bronze captive screws and repainted.

Under the tender the filter box and sump on the bottom of the tender tank has been removed in preparation for the blasting and coating of the inside of the tank.

The loco nameplates have had their backgrounds painted red, in keeping with the wartime black livery.

Under the loco and tender have both seem further painting.

It was planned to hydraulic pressure test the boiler for the insurance company first week January. In the last report the boiler was filled with water, this was left over the Christmas break to warm to workshop ambient. The boiler was pressurised by LNWR(h) but the regulator stuffing box leaked quite badly so the exam was stopped. A new seal has now been put in, though this is no 5 minute job with a couple of the manifold pipes having to be removed and the regulator cross shaft. The cross shaft only being removeable with the regulator valve being slightly open. For the hydraulic the regulator was clamped closed so the dome had to come off and the regulator valve released. A new gasket was made and fitted to the stuffing box, and the regulator re-clamped and dome refitted.

During the test hydraulic it was noticed that there was a small run of water from the brake ejector steam shut off valve on the manifold so this was removed and a new seal put in.

The opportunity was also taken to adjust the position of the steam sands isolation valve to give additional clearance from the cab roof and to make it easier to get to from the drivers position.

We then pressurised the boiler to in excess of boiler pressure and both new seals held tight, but the firebox tubeplate leaked. It was decided by LNWR(h) that some caulking should be done on the joint and this is now completed.

During this high pressure test a leak the atomiser front tubeplate stub pipe joints was found to leak at the tubeplate. This joint has now been remade. The connection being behind the superheater elements and is very awkward to get to. The face on the pipe was refurbished at York but the tubeplate face could do with attention. Unfortunately this was overlooked during the boiler overhaul.

It is not unusual for water leaks during the hydraulic test, as the boiler is designed to operate hot, the LNWR(h) boilersmiths are not concerned with progress so far. Delays so far have been mainly down to the availability of boiler inspectors. At this time of year it is normal for locomotives to be going through their tests in preparation for the coming running season, coming out of winter maintenance so the boiler inspectors are busy and it can be a challenge getting their time. We were prepared for a second attempt at the hydraulic last week but the inspector didn't have time for us.

The safety valves require inspection by a LNWR(h) boilersmith before use, so they were stripped and components laid out. They were inspected and have now been reassembled ready for refitting.

The cladding was left off around the sides of the foundation ring for inspection during the hydraulic test but these areas will require insulation and cladding before running. The old cladding is in very poor condition so will be renewed. To support the cladding new brackets are being made and fitted.

The Bowden cables to the drain cocks and gravity sands have seen some attention. The gravity sands were set up and appear to operate satisfactorily, but we need sand in the boxes for final set up.

The draincock Bowdens are a different issue and were very stiff so the levers and rods that link all the drain cocks were dismantled and their fit improved. Thus got the arrangement working freely, but the cables are still stiff. We have found that removing some of the grease from the Bowden conduit does make the cables a little freer. This work, frustratingly, continues.

One of the right cab windows was put in the wrong way round at York. Did you notice? This has now been corrected and shims have been sized to allow the windows to slide freely.

With the lens ring lapping complete we have moved on to the fitting of the middle big end bearing key. The key was made from new material initially machined then fitted by hand into the rod. The bearing machined by one of our volunteers was returned to Crewe and then fitted into the rod, and the key fitted in to the bearing. During fitting it was noticed that the end faces of the rod and strap were not exactly flat to each other, not surprising after decades of being pulled up under considerable force, so a slight taper has been ground on to the spacing prices, called gluts, to accommodate the slight runout on the strap and rod. The final assembly was flogged up and is now ready for final machining of the bearing surface in the rod. We have decided to do this at Crewe on their borer.

The period under review saw a return to bodywork preparing the cladding for a touch-up paint job ready for members day and running in. The smokebox number plate and shed plate have been removed and the holes filled as these were post-WW2 additions.

The nameplates are being painted red appropriate for wartime black livery on 6 January 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales


Our safety valves have been inspected and are ready for refitting .6 January 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Safety valves

The regulator cross shaft stuffing box seal is replaced after leaking during preparations for the hydraulic test. 6 January 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

Cross shaft stuffing box seal

A steam pipe and lens ring are lapped together on 6 January 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Steam pipe and lens ring

The right and middle steam pipes in position. 11 January 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

Right and middle steam pipes

The new key in the middle connecting rod. 12 January 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The new key

The middle big end bearing fitted in the connecting rod. 12 January 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The middle big end bearing

Further work is being carried out to the cladding to improve its appearance. 19 January 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales


The blastpipe casting and the plate at the front top of the smokebox refitted. 19 January 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The blastpipe casting

Our new pipe flaring tools in use on 20 January 2022.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Our new pipe flaring tools

The new toilet tank in place on our support coach. 21 January 2022
Photograph: Richard Swales

The new toilet tank in place
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