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OVERHAUL 2015 - 2022

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Sir Nigel Gresley is now out of traffic for overhaul. This will probably take six to seven years and cost about £750,000. If you would like to make a donation towards this overhaul please click on the the donate button.

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Notes from information supplied by Darrin Crone, Locomotive Engineer.

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Although work has stopped at York there will still be updates of work that continues to be done at various places off site (Note: off-site work only undertaken where fully compliant with all Government guidance).

The Overhaul PictureThe Overhaul PictureOur new publication,
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From January 2021.

18 February 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Horn liners are machined

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

New liner in place

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

3/8" pipe end cones

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

Repaired Cartazzi hornstay

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

Speed plaque

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

Blower support fittings

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

Valve crosshead jig

28 January 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The little end bearings

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

Atomiser supply pipe

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


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


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

Brakegear linkage

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

Steam pipes

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

Brake hangers

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

Brake hangers

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

Horn liners
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