The Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust Ltd


OVERHAUL 2015 - 2020

All the overhaul photos may be found here.



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


To donate via PayPal (incl. credit or debit card):Donate         To donate by 'phone: Donate


Notes from information supplied by Darrin Crone, Locomotive Engineer.

Clicking on the images will display a larger version.
Clicking again will close the window. Where an 'X' shows bottom right of the image, click on this (or use the 'f' key) to display full size.
(You may wish to maximise your screen for this)



The Overhaul PictureOur new publication,
The Overhaul Picture,
is now available to pre-order. Details are here.

2020 CalendarNow available, the Sir Nigel Gresley 2020 Calendar.
Purchase details here.


From July 2019.

6 October 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tank being lifted to clear

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

Front of the tender tank9

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

Tank clear of frames

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

Frames under the tank

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

The frames positioned

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

The tank was lowered

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

The tank down on frames

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

The middle slidebars

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

Cod's mouth gear

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

Ashpan front sealing stip

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

Coach is being painted

22 September 2019

We have been finding it difficult to get a date for the lifting gear hire for lowering the tender frames on to the wheels from our usual supplier, so some other sources were contacted. Meanwhile, we investigated if we could assemble enough equipment ourselves. After examining what we could get our hands on, and coming up with a safe plan, it was decided that we could do it. So this week the frames were successfully lowered on to the axleboxes. We managed to complete the lift just before Museum Security would have locked us out.

Thanks go to the painting team who made sure all the bits that are going to be made inaccessible by the rewheeling, and the fitting of the tank are getting correctly painted.

Prior to lowering the frames the axleboxes were assembled on the wheelsets and packed to prevent them slipping round the journals, and the vacuum cylinder strap was fitted with new bolts. The axlebox top bearing plates were given a final clean off by our junior volunteers before oiling and fitting.

The wheelsets slotted straight in to the frames, even the end sets which are a close fit in the frames. This is a tribute to the volunteer Engineering Team members who did the tender frames and wheelset measurements.

The hornstays were all refitted and are a good fit thanks to their refurbishment. The new hornstay bolts made by our volunteers are also a good fit.

After the frames were down there were no clashes with the pipework or other components in the frames, however the Piping Team leader decided he could increase clearance at the front end of the steam heat pipe, so the pipe clamps were loosened and the pipe was moved slightly. Before the wheels were fitted, the steam heat pipe was pressure tested and checked for leaks.

The steam heat pipe under the rear tender buffer beam does not fit the new pipe arrangement, so a new bracket was fabricated. This uses existing holes in the rear drag box, looks like we are returning to a prior arrangement.

With the frames on the wheels the brake hangers were fitted. The pull rods that run either side of the wheels were also assembled. The transverse tie rods and front brake stay was also fitted and the assembly gently rocked backward and forwards. It's nice and free. The offsets between the brake block holes and wheel treads have been measured and the distances are consistent. This is important as there is no adjustment or compensation on the tender brake gear to enable the brake blocks to apply equally.

The tender brake pull rods have all rebushed. That allowed the rods to be trial assembled with the lower brake hanger pins. All went together well.

Work progresses on the valve gear and connecting rods. The gluts that space the big end strap off the middle connecting rod have been ground and fitted. The big end bronze casting has been measured to ensure there is enough machining allowance, and the job has been discussed with contractors.

The pinning of the valve gear continues with the fitting of the taper pins to secure the motion pins, now on to the lifting arms.

The feather keys are now all fitted to the slidebar bolts.

The return cranks are in the process of being machined. As mentioned in the last update the machining of the cranks brought up a number of dimensioning anomalies. This has resulted in some further rebuilding of surfaces with weld by contractors.

Further work has been done on the loco front end lubrication pipework, and further recovery of pipe ends and fittings.

Work continues on the front of the tender with the wasted steel from below handbrake shelf level is now being removed.

At Llangollen, all the superheater elements are now in place and the testing of the superheater is now being organised.

The finished gluts are fitted and the final measurements taken of the hole that will fit the finished new inside big end bearing. 5 August 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

The finished gluts

The tender frames being lowered on to the wheelsets. 10 August 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Lowering tender frames

The tender frames on the wheels and springs. 10 August 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Tender frames on wheels

The closeness of the pipework to the wheels and axles can be seen. The sump of the tank will fill the space above the pipes. 10 August 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Closeness of pipework

Before the frames were lowered, the axleboxes were assembled on the wheelsets. 10 August 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Axleboxes on wheelsets

The new motion pin is fitted in the end of the radius rod and is then secured with a taper pin. The hole being reamed to ensure alignment and the correct taper. 10 August 2019
Photograph: Andy Barwick

The new motion pin

A set of superheater elements having the ends pre-expanded before insertion in the header. 10 August 2019
Photograph: Paul Aaston

Superheater elements

2 September 2019

With the tender axlebox bearings all now ready for fitting, the tender frames are ready to be lowered on to the axleboxes and wheelsets. The tender axlebox rubber seals that seal against the wheels have now all been fitted and the only outstanding piping job, the lagging of the steam heat has now been completed. We are in discussion with suppliers for the hire of the necessary equipment but so far they have been unable to give us a date to collect from their depot. After the frames are on the wheels there will inevitably be some de-snagging then the tank will be refitted. Fasteners for the tank are on order.

The plan for the tender frames and tank lift is being developed and the risk assessment is at draft stage, being circulated amongst the Risk Assessment team.

During the assessment and test of the leading tender dragbox it was decided that the material thickness around the safety link holes should be rebuilt. This is best done before the refitting of the tender tank so we have now had a contract welder in to do the work. To minimise the amount of time the welder has to spend on site we ground round the areas to prepare it for welding.

While on site the welder also repaired the valve chest cover that was found to be cracked during its examination.

Meanwhile the tender brake and suspension components have been painted. These components being easier to fit to the tender frames before the fitting of the tank. The tender springs were mounted on the tender frames and then the spring hangers put up.

The tender frames have now been painted to gloss and varnished. The last patches under the tender tank, inaccessible until the front end beam was moved for the fitting of the vacuum brake cylinders, has also been painted to top coat.

At the front of the tender tank the flanges wasted away that connected the front plate to the tank in the coal space have been drilled and are being welded in place. The front plates are being bolted to these flanges. The last corridor roof section has now been fitted and trimmed to meet the back of the front plate. This was not easy as the existing corridor slopes down toward the cab end. Good alignment has been achieved with the existing lower section of the corridor. The wooden template for the top section has been refitted and aligns very well with the new corridor roof.

Also on the front plate, the cut out where the scoop indicator pipe comes through was drilled and tapped so the indicator and cover plates can be refitted.

On the outside of the corridor the mammoth grinding job of removing the streamlining weld that ran the length of the tender to the water filler space bulkhead has been completed. The burring out the holes along the tender tank rear flange that were welded up to reduce their size to specification has also been completed.

Meanwhile welded patches have also been put in behind the corroded and holed plates around the tank left hand top beading.

At the back of the tender the vestibule handrail has been finished and it has now received a coat of primer. Looks like new. At the bottom of the vestibule work continued plugging bitumen leaks.

Work on the cods mouth gear continues with new bronze bushes being made for the horizontal shaft. Some final fitting is required. There is some damage to threads and other minor components which is being worked through.

The middle slidebar bolts are now completed and ready for fitting. All the others are drilled for feather key fitting, with some now done. It has been decided that one further existing bolt should be replaced. A new bolt has now been roughed out.

The pinning of the outside valve gear continues with all the outside pins now fitted. The pins that require locating with taper pins are now being drilled or notched and reamed for pins. A new bronze bush has been made for one of the combination levers and this has been pressed in. The dimensions of the taper pin holes have been measured and the size of the taper pins and reamers we need has been calculated. Ebay is now being monitored and one taper reamer already snapped up at a bargain price.

The middle big end bronze castings have now been received and a draft drawing produced of the finished bearing. The gluts that form part of the clamping of the bearing have been surface ground and are being fitted to the big end strap. The machining and metalling, to a procedure specified by us, is now being discussed with a contractor.

The RH eccentric, now part machined was brought in this week as we were concerned that the existing dimensions were not corresponding to the drawing being worked to. The old RH crankpin square was also retrieved and measured. It was found to be short, which corresponded to the eccentric being thinner than drawing. Only by a very small amount and not impacting significantly on the components strength. Attention then turned to the specified clearance between the eccentric and the eccentric rod, as the rod sweeps over the eccentric. This clearance is specified on the LNER drawing, and also noted in a BR(E) standing order issued to sheds during the 1950s. So the eccentric rods were measured and compared to drawings. As our crankpins are new the end squares are full length and with adequate clearances measurable it was decided to add material to the outer face of the eccentric regaining some of the specified thickness. This eccentric is now at subcontractors for rebuilding with weld.

The piping team has been tidying up the tender frames piping as described above, with lagging and clipping, as it will soon have its access much reduced by the fitting of the wheels and tank. It has also requested new bolting for the trailing steam heat flange, this is now on order. Fittings are also being assembled so the steam heat pipework can be pressure tested. Part of its last activities in the tender frames is the recording of the pipe systems and what new and existing material has been used.

Work also continues on the loco lubrication pipework to the outside slidebars and glands, and to and from the atomisers.

At Llangollen, under the close monitoring of our representative, the superheater elements are being expanded. A number of expanders were sent over from our collection and some borrowed. One difficulty was accessing the end rows. These are accessed through threaded holes sealed by plugs on the top of the superheater. During the refurbishment of the header these holes, requiring repair were welded up and remade to the original dimensions. This would allow the holes to be re-threaded to a larger diameter during future repairs. However, this also meant that expanding the elements below has been made more difficult to access. An extended expander has now been obtained and is now being used.

The superheater elements are now being fitted to the boiler at Llangollen. 15 August 2019
Photograph: Paul Aston

Superheater elements

The 2:1 lever mentioned in the previous report on the marking out table. 17 August 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

The 2:1 lever

The leading tender dragbox has received some overlay welding to restore material thickness to the safety ink holes. 21 August 2019
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Leading tender dragbox

One of the return cranks being ground after machining on 23 August 2019.
Photograph: Tony Bickerstaff

Return crank ground

One of the eccentric rods on the marking out table being carefully measured so that the specified clearances from the return cranks can be calculated 29 August 2019.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Eccentric rods measured

One of the radius rods with a motion pin fitted is drilled through for fitting the taper pins that locate the motion pin in the rod on 29 August 2019.
Photograph: Richard Swales

Radius rod drilled

23 August 2019

New plate for the tender front has been delivered and is now being fitted. The two lower front plates are now in place. Some new steel pieces have been made to replace various wasted flanges around the front plating. They are being drilled and will be welded in place. The last patch to go in the rear of the tender top has now been welded in place. There is still some work to be done to the outside bottom right of the tender tank where bitumen is slowly oozing out. Is it too hazardous to weld near this so it is being mechanically patched.

Meanwhile a new strip was welded to the front top of the ashpan to provide additional sealing against the foundation ring of the boiler.

The old streamlining weld that runs the length of the right hand tender coal space is being ground away to prepare for the welding on of new materia.

The vestibule handrail complete with its new section is being fitted. The left vertical and top arch are now tacked and the right is ready for tacking.

The tender bearing scraping has now been completed. The back of the axleboxes were originally fitted with rubber seals, which fit in a recess in the axlebox, and the recess is drained through holes in the bottom of the axlebox casting. A lot of effort has had to go in cleaning these recess out and unblocking the drain holes. New rubber seals are now being fitted. The left side being completed.

The tender vacuum cylinders have now been refitted on the new mounting brackets. Grease nipples have been fitted and the cylinder trunions greased.

In the tender frames all the pipe runs have now been completed with the routing of the air pipe from the compressor to the reservoir tanks. This is a new run through the frames and at 35mm is a large diameter to find a route for, so well done to the piping team. Attention has now turned to lagging the steam heat pipe.

A new flange has been made for the steam supply to the air pump. This allows full bore steam supply right up to the pump in heavy duty steel pipe.

The tender rear bufferbeam steam heat valve has been stripped for overhaul. New stainless steel cotter pins have been purchased for its reassembly.

The spacing blocks for the mounting of the tender vacuum reservoir tanks need to be the correct thickness to clamp the tank tight while supporting the brackets on the tank straps. Blocks have now been machined to give the correct size and have now been fitted.

Before the tender tank can be refitted, the frames need to be painted inside as many areas will be inaccessible to the paint brush, so we have been very busy around the frames, while having to stay out of the way of pipe and bearing fitting. The tender spring components are now painted to top coat and are ready for refitting.

The tender lower vestibule support rod brackets have had wasted surfaces rebuilt with weld and are now at contractors for machining.

Work on bushing and drilling the loco brake hangers has continued. The completed hangers have been tried up with the brake beams to check fit, and all appears to be fine.

The assessment of the cod's mouth operating gear shows wear to some of the bearings. In traffic it has been found that one of the bronze bearings had become displaced and damaged. This is now in the process of renewal.

Work on the slidebar bolts continues with all the bolts made trial fitted and tried in. The heads have been drilled for fitting of the feather keys, to the BR drawings

Work continues on the fitting of new valve gear pins and bushes to the combination levers.

The return cranks are being machined with the weld recovered back faces recieving attention. They have now been machined to original dimensions using the crank rod pin as a datum in a special jig we have made.

New guts for the inside big end bearing assembly have been machined. These will be surface ground to ensure the correct thickness is achieved to give us the best circular recess for the new bearing. The bearings are on order after modification of the pattern, and are due for delivery to York.

The 2:1 lever overhaul is complete. It was put up on the urface table and examined for deformation, and all appear to be OK. The ball bearings at the fulcrum have been reassembled and greased.

Work on the electrical systems continues. The OTMR sensor box has now been painted after repair, as has its mounting plate. The GSMR radio unit has been reinstalled in its cabinet and the door remounted.

The new battery box is taking shape with a wooden mock up being made. The tender front plate pattern is being altered to accept the battery box.

The piping team are now returning to the loco, and are working on the lubrication pipework around the atomisers and to the valves and slidebars. The atomisers require new cones and these are being progressed. The other lubrication pipework is to be tidied up and will require new brackets and clips. These are made on formers and we have been assembling these.

The replacement steam heat valve, that showed porosity during the steam test has been replaced with the new valve now at Llangollen.

The superheater elements are now being fitted with the first row now expanded in place.

The tender spring hanger bolts painted to undercoat. 23 July 2019
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Tender spring bolts

One of the loco brake hangers with a new bush fitted is drilled through to ensure correct alignment of the bushed holes. 25 July 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Loco brake hanger

The GSMR radio is housed in one of the original tender lockers. The locker has been refurbished and the radio refitted. 25 July 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

The GSMR radio

A wooden pattern in place on the front of the tender to act as a drilling pattern for the new steel plates. 25 July 2019
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Wooden pattern

The tender frames and wheels are being painted while the last axlebox tender is fitted. 8 August 2019
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Wheels are being painted

The back of the axleboxes are thoroughly cleaned out and any repairs necessary carried out before fitting new rubber seals. 15 August 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Cleaned axlenoxes

26 July 2019

The welded return cranks were collected from contractors and have been returned to York. The crank angle set up jig has been used to mark the dummy cranks. We were very pleased with how well the jig performed. The dummy cranks which will provide patterns for machining the real cranks have now been taken to be machined. There's a considerable amount of machining work to be done on the cranks and the pressure is on to maintain the quality and accuracy so far achieved.

The tender spring hangers are now being painted while the tender frames are receiving black gloss. The tender spring hanger Spenser rubber boxes and the bottom plates are also now being painted.

The repaired tender spring hangers were returned with NDT documentation covering the repaired areas. That left the hangers not requiring repair, and the hook ends of all of them to NDT. So a last round of examinations were carried out, and a crack was found in one of them. The defect was ground out, as often surface defects can be removed on components like these that show a lot of surface history, however this was definitely a crack and extended in to the hanger. It will require repair.

All of the new tender hornstay bolts have been completed with the drilling of the split pin holes.

The tender brasses continue to be scraped on to the journals. Unfortunately two have had to be reworked by contractors as they had excessive end float on the journal.

The tender front progresses with the lower 2 front plates trimmed, drilled and countersunk, while work has started grinding back the long weld that secured the streamlining to the original 1928 tender top. The exposed frame work at the front has been needle gunned to remove as much of the corrosion as possible.

The butt strap used to increase the height of the front of the tender when streamlined will serve no purpose on the reconstructed tender but will be refitted. The strap was removed complete with all the rivet heads and these have been secured in the strap by welding.

In examining the front of the tender it was noticed that the corridor door appears to have moved and was not closing correctly. We know the tank doesn't quite sit flat so to make sure we don't build a twist in to it the beams the tank sits on were re-levelled. The packing the tank sits on was also rearranged to support the tank along the frame line. This didn't seem to affect the position of the door much, so a string was run along the sides of the tank and it was noticed that the tank side definitely bends in toward the front of the right side. A prop was then put in and jacked out until the door lined up with the exposed frame work in the tank. This required the cutting of the beam put to stabilise the front, which was put in before the front plate work was removed. The plates will be fitted to the current shape of the tank but final securing will take place after the tank is fastened down on to the frames, as if we make the front of the tank too rigid now we could end up deforming the frames.

A template has been made of the top section of the tender tank front, and was used to mark the location of the fixing holes. After the prop was put in the template showed that the holes had shifted. The tank being much more rigid on the side opposite the corridor.

The piping team has been working on running the large diameter air supply pipe and putting in pipe clamps and supports to other pipe runs. Also in the tender frames some final work has been done to the TPWS conduit runs. The OTMR sensor enclosure was weld repaired and has now been drilled for the sensor bulkhead connection holes. The sensor bulkhead fittings have been cleared of contamination and the sensors have been checked. All sensors seem to be doing what they should but they will required formal calibration before refitting.

The middle tender vacuum cylinder bracket was positioned and the fixing holes were drilled through. The bracket has now been removed and the holes are being machined for the screws that go through the bracket and hold down the vacuum cylinder trunions. New screws have also been machined.

The lower vestibule support rod housings are being welded to restore thickness lost to wear.

The first of the loco brake hangers has been rebushed and was clamped to the borer table to examine its straightness, as when on the loco some of the hangers appeared to be twisted. On the table compared to a large square there was some misalignment between the end bushes but it was very small, probably within tolerance. Attention then turned to the trailing pins in the loco frames. These are harder to get at than the others and do show more wear, probably being older. Due to the load on the pin they have worn out of shape and this may be the cause of the apparent twist seen when the loco came out of traffic. It has been decided to replace these pins as they are too worn to be trued up and reused.

Work continues on the valve gear with the finishing the fitting of the pin in the reverser column crank. At the other end of the rod the lifting arms and nuts have been cleaned up by dressing out as much of the surface damage as we can without excessive removal of material, or character. The leading pins on the radius rods have also now been fitted and he is now on to the combination levers.

Work on the slidebar bolts continues with the right side being worked on.

The big end bearing pattern has now been received and was promptly sent to the foundry. They are a little concerned that the pattern won't give us enough material on the bore to machine to the dimensions we need, so additional work will be required on the pattern before casting.

The strip down, clean and examination of the cods mouth door operating gear continues.

At Llangollen the superheater header is now successfully fitted and has been hydraulically tested in position. This means work can now commence on fitting the superheater elements.

A full set of new tender hornstay bolts. 13 July 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Tender hornstay bolts

The tender frames are now painted to black gloss. 13 July 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Tender frames painted

The valve gear lifting arms, not at the correct angle, have now been overhauled to accept new pins. 13 July 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

Valve gear lifting arms

New pins have also been fitted to the valve gear radius rods. 13 July 2019
Photograph: Darrin Crone

New pins have been fitted

The superheater header in place and being pressure tested on 16 July 2019
Photograph: Paul Aston

The superheater header

A pattern has been made of the plates required for the top of the tender front. 17 July 2019
Photograph: Peter Bracckstone

Top of the tender front

The jig used to accurately identify the angle that the return cranks should be set. 18 July 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Return cranks jig

On the back of the dummy return cranks the distance from the wheel centre is marked and the length of the crank from the centre of the pin. 18 July 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Dummy return cranks

The marked dummy return cranks will be used as patterns for the machining of the real return cranks to the correct dimensions. 18 July 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Marked dummy cranks

12 July 2019

The coach has been visited by our CME and myself during the last week in June. We were impressed by the quality of the work we saw at CTMS, who are the contractors carrying out the work. One side of the coach has been extensively re-skinned while the other side has been stripped back to metal. This gives a striking before and after view. It has also shown how much more extensive is the work required to the coach skin and structure.

Meanwhile at Llangollen progress has slowed due to difficulties with sealing the superheater header. It is essential that the header makes a good seal on to the front tubeplate as when the elements are fitted they are only removable with a gas axe. So, the header has been plugged and mounted in the smokebox, and hydraulic-ed. Under test a leak was found. The joint is now being worked on to ensure a reliable seal is achieved. The job is made more awkward as the smokebox is in place and the header has to be angled to be put in or removed. A job made more difficult by all the plugs protruding from the header. The smokebox also makes accessing the joint more difficul.

The tender bearings have now all been remetalled and machined at contractors. The bearings are now at York and are being scraped to their journals. LNER drawings show the back of the tender axleboxes were sealed against the ingress of contamination with a rubber formed seal that was clamped under a plate on the back of the axlebox and ran on the axle near the face of the wheel. These are absent from our axleboxes. We plan to replace a form of sealing, though made from flat sheet. Measurements of the required seal have been taken and quotes for the material will now be obtained.

The last of the tender spring hanger bolts have now been collected from contractors where they have been refurbished.

The steam heat valve that failed during the boiler test at Llangollen, and the patterns for a new valve body, and the new valve guide have now been sent to the foundry.

The tender pipework continues to make progress with a way through found the tender frames for the main air supply run from the air pump to the tender top tanks. This pipe is larger than the other air pipes so this has been a challenge and will require some difficult forming. The pipe previously ran through the cab and along the corridor. Elsewhere the OTMR sensors have been removed from the sensor box and it has been stripped back to metal. The box gland plate was removed, a new seal made and has been sealed in place.

The cab pipework has now been removed leaving the cab floor clear. This has allowed the floor to be finish painted. The reverser stand has also been removed so that there is no chance of damage during the fitting of the boiler. The pipework will also be left out until after the fitting of the boiler to prevent possible damage. So the back of the loco is looking like it did a couple of years ago.

The new cotters for the tender vestibule connection support rods have now been finished. The bolts used to connect the rods to the end face of the coach connection have been machined and the old nuts will be reused.

All of the new tender hornstay bolts have been machined to correct diameter, lathe threaded and the ends parted to length. They only now require drilling for split pins. The tender frames are now receiving black gloss.

All the new bushes for the lower tender pull rods have been manufactured and a number now fitted. The tender handbrake refurbishment is now being specified. The middle tender vacuum brake cylinder bracket has been machined and is temporarily mounted in position. Work has begun on accurately aligning it with the outer brackets and then the mounting holes will be drilled through.

The loco brake hangers have previously had their old bushes removed and the worn faces where the blocks are mounted rebuild with weld. New material has now been obtained for rebushing the large bottom holes. The trailing right hanger has been put up on the loco pin and it is being examined for deformation.

The GSMR enclosure has now been painted to blue gloss as part of the electrical systems overhaul. The new TPWS junction box at the front of the tender frames has now been fitted.

Work continues on the fitting of the new tender front platework. New steel has now been delivered to York. The front section being replaced is formed of four plates and two of these are now in position and being trimmed and drilled for fastening to existing structure. The staging at the rear of the tender has now been moved to the right hand side of the tank to allow the grinding off, of the remains of the streamlining where it was welded to the top of the original 1928 tender.

The drop grate operating mechanism components have been retrieved from store. They were given a clean, fitted in place and examined. There is a plain bronze thrust bearing that will have to be replaced as it is worn completely through.

The cods mouth operating mechanism has now been moved in to the open, and is now stood on trestles in front of the loco. It is now being cleaned and examined.

New pins have now been fitted to the lifting arms and the die blocks have been machined to accept the new pins. The bearing faces in the lifting arms required a little easing and this has now been completed.

The fitting of the new slidebar bolts continues with all the hole gauging now complete. As all the final bolt sizes are now known they are being machined and fitted.

A new, reproduction builders plate has been donated by Mr Suter of York, who handed it over personally at York. It looks superb and it is planned to mount it on the driver's cab side. Anybody wanting to donate a new fireman's side plate?

The cab floor has been stripped out to allow the structure to be finish painted. 25 June 2019
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

The cab floor

Pallets loaded with tender springs return from refurbishment on 25 June 2019
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Pallets

The coach stripped back to metal prior to skin repairs at the workshops of CTMS. 26 June 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Coach stripped to metal

The coach side that has been repaired. 26 June 2019
Photograph: Richard Swales

Repaired coach side

.Components from the drop grate operating mechanism awaiting painting on 3 July 2019
Photograph: Peter Brackstone

Drop grate components
Return to top

From January to March 2016.
From April to June 2016.
From July to September 2016.
From October to December 2016
From January to March 2017.
From April to June 2017.
From July to September 2017.
From October to December 2017.
From January to March 2018.
From April to June 2018.
From July to September 2018.
From October to December 2018.
From January to March 2019.
From April to June 2019.

Copyright © The Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust Ltd