Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
The axleboxes were taken to contractors to have the horn faces machined. The transport was supplied free of charge by one of our Engineering Team volunteers, saving considerable trouble and expense in moving these heavy items. The first axlebox was soon put on the machine and I witnessed the first two off. Five of the six were soon completed but while machining the right driver a section of whitemetal detached, so this will have to be re-metalled.
The adjustable horn face on the loco is carefully positioned to give the specified clearance on the axlebox
The five completed boxes were collected, again by an Engineering Team volunteer and delivered to York. At York they were put up on the surface table and the distances over the horns carefully measured. When the dimensions were digested the adjustable horn wedge on the locomotive was adjusted to give the correct clearances for the axlebox. The clearances will be checked when the axleboxes are in place.
Back at York the axlebox is put on the surface table and the parallelism of the hornfaces is carefully assessed
The adjustable wedges are thought to have not been moved in decades so we were pleasantly surprised how easily this work progressed. There is still some work in dressing the sides of the wedges where edges have projected over the fixed part of the horn and this is sharp to the touch.
The first axlebox is now being accurately fitted on to its journal. The same procedure is being carried out as when the bogie boxes were so treated, however the coupled axleboxes are much larger and take much more time. However we were very pleased with the initial fit of the axlebox so the Grosmont machining of the axlebox is good and having the journals trued when at the SDR will save a lot of time.
The last tender wheelset journal is dressed to remove wear damage
While the axleboxes are being fitted to the journals the ones waiting their turn are having their underkeep brackets fitted. When happy with how the brackets fit, the spring hanger pin and smaller side pins are checked for fit, and to ensure they do not project past the axlebox horns where they could foul the horn faces on the loco.
Work continues on the piping systems on the loco. A plan has been worked out for the air pump governor position and the routing of the governor outlet to the air pump. New pipe and fittings continue to be purchased and collected from suppliers, all masterminded by our volunteer pipe fitting team leader.
Work in progress on the pipework below the cab floor
While working on the air system piping, work also continues on the new steam heat pipe installation on the tender. The rerouting of the air brake piping on the tender has had implications for the existing vacuum reservoir pipe run so this will be rerouted. This pipe has now been removed. Some will have to be replaced as when descaled it is now clearly life-expired. This has turned in to probably the most labour-intensive and complex part of the overhaul.
The tender tank refurbishment continues. The new bottom plate which was bolted to the lower side of the tender has now been drilled through. The new plate was removed then the old plate cut out. There is now a big hole at the front of the tender. The new plate for just inside the front of the tender tank to cover the thinned and holed plate was cut to size and the dressing of the existing plate and structure completed. The new plate was fitted and then welded in.
The front of the tender frames where it is badly wasted is being welded up a little at a time to minimise distortion of the frames, in between welding up the AWS battery box, various brackets and sundry other items. Our welder must be very busy as we keep running out of welding gas and MIG wire.
The front of the loco frames are now back on the accommodation bogie. The removable panels under the buffers allow jacking on the front bufferbeam
The water level indicator from the front of the tender tank was dismantled. The bronze valve at the bottom was removed and cleaned and the steel tube that makes up the main body of the indicator cleaned. The tube appears to be very old though the bottom end has been renewed at some time, however the bottom that the valve screws in to is corroded to such an extent that there are no threads remaining in it.#
The valve at the bottom of the water level indicator. Made of bronze it has survived well though the steel tube it is attached to will require extensive repair
The conjugated valve gear 2-to-1 lever is checked for defects
The refurbishment of the tender hornstays is continuing well, and quicker than I had originally thought thanks to the time put in on this job by one of our volunteer fitters. The left side is now approaching completion. The hornstay refurb has involved dressing the damage on the frames where the stays are mounted, rebuilding wear on the stay with weld and carefully dressing the weld back to get a good fit on the frames. A couple of the stays have also required straightening in the press.
The descaling of the tender trailing dragbox is now completed thanks to the persistence of our needle-gunners. Some finishing was done to the frame bracket tops and primer is now being applied to the right tender mainframe.
The inside of the tender frames where wasted are being rebuilt with weld. The beam at the bottom is temporary, intended to reduce any distortion
The tender footsteps removed to allow the lifting of the frames have been cleaned and descaled.
As part of the refurbishment of the tender the main tender springs taken outside for storage some time ago have now been steam-cleaned and given a coat of light oil, stood on pallets and covered. They await dispatch to contractors for overhaul.
The dressing of the tender journals has now been completed. All the dimensions of the frames and axleboxes have been tabulated and a list of work required to the tender axlebox brasses, derived from calculations, is being prepared.
One of the coupled axleboxes on the milling machine at a contractors works
The tender buckeye coupling examination revealed wear in the knuckle bushes so these were removed. We have the BR instruction for overhaul but we wanted to be sure of the material of the knuckle and bushes so these have now been tested. New bushes will now be made. The other tender drawbar components have been dimensionally checked against specifications and the results recorded. The brackets on the tender rear that support the corridor connection have been removed as refurbishment will be easier on the bench. The support rods that fit the brackets have previously been rebuilt with weld.
The front of the loco has been lifted and the accommodation bogie refitted. This was done as the bottom of the loco bogie stretcher has been finish painted and the new side bearers have been pinned in place. This means that the loco is mobile again and can be moved forward on to the wheeldrop.
Putting the loco on to the accommodation bogie also allows the leading vacuum cylinders to be refitted. Not easy as they are a very neat fit and access for the crane from overhead is restricted by the frame stretcher the cylinders are suspended from. So the cylinders have to be positioned by hand.
The leading locomotive vacuum brake cylinders have been refitted
Work continues on the tender vacuum cylinders with the fitting of new neck bushes. Both cylinders now have new neck seals and bushes fitted, and the piston rods tried in are a good fit. The cylinder mounting trunnions have been measured and new lining bushes made. They will be shrunk on.
The new slidebar shims are being fitted and the bolting closely examined. The examination has revealed that the fit between the right slidebar and cylinder casting is not satisfactory, so that the mounting hole in the cylinder casting has required careful adjustment. It also revealed that on the right side the nuts are not to drawing whereas the left are. I never noticed that before. This will be put right as new nuts will be required all round.
The testing of the cylinder drain cocks continues. Headway is being made in sealing and testing them.
The last of the conjugated valve gear components has now been inspected for defects. No faults were found. Meanwhile work continues on the expansion links with them being put on the milling machine for the trunnions to be skimmed before fitting with new bushes.
Our representative at Llangollen reports that the boiler is now ready for retubing. The final patch screws have been fitted to the copper tubeplate and the boiler has been positioned for tubing to start. Mud hole door seals have been ordered for the hydraulic and steam tests.
The boiler at Llangollen being moved on to its side for some final work to be done in this position prior to being put the right way up for tubing
This article first appeared on blog.railwaymuseum.org.uk
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