Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
Week commencing 3 December 2018
The new rivets for the tender spring hanger bracket have now been made. We have yet to obtain a suitably sized snap for these large rivets. The machining of the horizontal hornstay bolts continues and so does the sealing and testing of the cylinder drain cocks.
The refurbishment of the tender hornstays continues, with work progressing on the right frames. The right trailing frame has now been welded to restore the frame’s correct shape and the worn stays also require welding and finishing to suit. Welding also continues on the front inside of the right hand frames to restore the plate thickness. This job progresses between the platework jobs our welder is helping out with around the tender tank.
The completed left trailing tender hornstay. A good fit all round on both leading and trailing faces.
The computation of the tender frame measurements has been carried out. We now have sufficient information to finalise the size of the bronze bearings. In discussion with our CME, it was decided to complete the work on the leading wheelset to confirm that the dimensions and methodology are correct and will work in practice. When this is done the remaining three wheelsets will be completed. Further dimensions are being taken of the tender horn gaps and the widths of the axleboxes to determine clearances.
The overhaul of the loco’s electrical systems continues with the ammeter and isolation switch assemblies refitted to the AWS battery box. Further work has been done on various other components and the loco’s left leading conduit run.
The last of the flexi pipes to the loco brake cylinders was fitted this week—to the large brake cylinder in the middle of the loco frames. All the clamps on the flexi pipes have been positioned to ensure they are in a safe orientation and won’t catch anybody working under the loco. The securing bolts for the large cylinder were removed to put a little more thread on them as they were washered out, so now only a single washer will be fitted. In addition, the bolts will be fitted with split pins against the nut for secondary locking, as per the LNER drawing.
The flexi pipes have been fitted to the loco’s refurbished brake cylinders.
The tender brake cylinder trunnion refurbishment is complete. The mating faces on the cylinder and covers have been cleaned and dressed ready for resealing. The flange faces on the cylinders and the mating pressure connection flange have also been prepared and new seals cut.
The tender brake cylinder end brackets are to be replaced. The plate has now arrived at York has been drilled with the mounting holes and a pilot hole for the cylinder trunnions, which will be bored out to finished size.
The new vacuum brake cylinder outside support brackets have been drilled.
The water filler space on the tender top has seen a lot of work in descaling and getting down to sound metal. This has been a long and noisy job. Almost daily there have been reports of new holes being created by scale or filler coming away under the needle gun. This week staging was put up at the rear of the tender so that we could get closer to the outside top. Paint along the outside is now being stripped back to expose the area at the water filler space floor level where holes are coming through. This is quite a complex area as the top of the corridor connection is here. A scheme is now being worked out for the repair work.
Work also continues at the bottom of the corridor connection, with the concrete removed to expose the plate beneath. This area is being worked on to find sound material to which new plate will be welded.
The adjustment of the middle slidebar shims is now complete, with the slidebar being within 0.001 inches parallel to the cylinder centre. Attention is now turning to the outside slidebars, which we predict will be easier as the initial fit is better. The measurements are taken from a taut piano wire.
I was asked recently what we use piano wire for on the engine. I then realised that many of our readers probably have not come across this before. So by way of explanation, we use the wire for projecting the centre line of the cylinders along the loco. We then measure from the wire to various critical locations on the loco. For example, the cylinder centre passes through the centre of the driving axle—it has to, to ensure even stroke of the piston and minimise side thrusts. So we have to make sure that when we set up the bearings, slidebars etc, that all centres are where they should be. We do this by measuring to the piano wire.
A view looking forward toward the middle cylinder inside the frames just showing the wire and the middle upper slidebar.
The tender vacuum brake train pipe was refitted to the tender frames this week and to allow positioning of other pipework the vacuum reservoir tank was refitted. The tank was cleaned up and prepped for painting and then refitted. The tank will be pressure tested as soon as we sort out a fitting that matches the unusual one the tank is fitted with. The tank is held up on straps. The straps require refurbishment and brackets on the dragbox are life expired and require renewal.
The vacuum reservoir tank mounted to the bottom of the tender trailing dragbox has been refitted to allow the rerouting of pipework.
Scraping of the coupled axleboxes continued this week, when time allows. Last week Llangollen got in the way and this week the RSSB Mainline Heritage Roadshow took me away for the day. The right trailing is now effectively completed. Unfortunately the left trailing had a minor defect in the metal of the crown. It appeared to be shallow so I had hoped that scraping would remove or minimise it to acceptable levels, but it persisted so will require remedial work. Another box, the left driving, will also require rework after the discovery of the earlier defect. Both axleboxes are now at contractors for rectification.
The axleboxes are carefully scraped by hand for final fitting to the journals, to ensure a full and even distribution of load on the bearing.
Now that the pre-tubing boiler inspections has been carried out, tubing has begun with the fitting of the small tubes around the flue tubes. Work also proceeds on fitting and finishing the crown stays.
The small tubes are being fitted to the boiler
This article first appeared on blog.railwaymuseum.org.uk