Nene Valley Railway, Wansford Station, Stibbington, Peterborough, PE8 6LR
Tel: 01780 784444
4th May 2017.
Three main areas are being attacked -
At the smokebox, the boiler attaches to the frames in three ways. The steam pipes on either side connect the superheater to the piston valves. At the base of the smokebox, the blastpipe is bolted and cemented to frames. And finally along the base of the smokebox are a row of bolts that fix it to the saddle rising up from the frames. So far, the steampipes and the blast pipe have been disconnected and we’ve started working on the Saddle fixings; these are tough to remove after 10 years in a smokebox but good progress is being made.
The running boards themselves are pretty much cosmetic fixings but they do have pipework slung beneath and some of this connects the boiler to the injectors. To access this pipework, we need to remove the running boards. We’ve done the left hand side (it’s simpler) but the right-
In the cab, there are two main areas needing immediate attention. The cab front sits astride the firebox and must be removed before the boiler can be lifted. The cab front is penetrated by many control rods and pipework, all of which must be removed first. The second critical fixing in the cab is a retaining bar that clamps the firebox onto the expansion plates that permit longitudinal extension as the boiler heats up. This bar is covered at either side by driver and fireman controls, all of which need to come out.
Parts removed count:
The driving position. Just about everything in this picture, except the backhead and the cab side, needs to be taken out before the boiler can be lifted.
Johns Wooton and Wood followed a menu from Alan Whenman to guide them through the 19-
Some part of Roland is visible as he works to remove blastpipe fixing nuts. This area was smothered in cement, which he had to remove to get to this stage.
Now you see it, now you don’t
Glenn and Andy took off the last few nuts and were rewarded with an easily removable but very heavy blastpipe.
Some of the under-
This year we have to undo all of it. In a few years time, the lucky ones will get to reinstall it.
The team is getting bigger. On Wednesday, 17 people were working on and around the loco.
Some terrific flexibility on show, with teams and people changing focus to work around others.
Good to see the RHS running boards off and terrific progress at the front end and in and around the cab. Some work is challengingly complex, other parts are just bl-
As Ken, Paul, StanD and GrahamP found, the smokebox saddle is very firmly attached. A solution suggested by Graham Batho -
New man David Myall had something of a baptism of fire -
Parts removed count:
Paul has sparks flying as he works on the running board bracket fixing bolts. The bolt heads (inside the smokebox) have become so corroded that it’s impossible to hold them with a spanner while the nut (on the outside) is unwound. So Paul is grinding a head off, once done, the bolt-
Talking of which,…
In conjunction with Engineering Support, we've decided that it's better to continue removing as much of the boiler fittings as is possible while it continues to sit on the frames in the workshop. The huge benefits are the safe working environment, the overhead crane, immunity from the weather and the proximity of tools. A downside is that we don't get inside the frames as early as originally planned. A key date, probably on the critical path, in the overall project is having the boiler ready for inspection, which means fittings removed, cladding/lagging off, tubes, superheater & S/H tubes out, dome & chimney off, regulator out. This can all be done in the shed and should mean we get to that key date sooner than otherwise.
On the left hand side, Graham and Alastair have made good progress getting the controls and pipes that come through the cab front disconnected. This is one of the key tasks towards having a removable boiler.
Their biggest component was the reverser shaft. Universal joints at both ends disconnected, as was the modesty panel on the cab front. The shaft was then hung on the overhead crane, the temporary strap up was removed and the part lowered onto the workshop floor. A brief assessment suggested some play in the pins of the universal joints so there could well be some remedial work later. A fuller study will be performed before any work starts.
Some smaller components that are obstructing access to boiler fixings were removed today.
Ken and George removed the speedometer and made a start on the water feed toward the LH Clack (which is already off). Vivienne tagged and loosened oil pipes connected to the LH lubricator, taking care to keep the numbers in order of attachment.
Away from the loco, StanD punched out some more tags and Vivienne drilled out the corner holes. DOC is going to slice the sheet into individual tags using his kitchen guillotine.
DavidM finished his day off by threading some of the next set of tags onto a dispenser wire.
A much smaller team on Thursday but making significant progress with less competition for space or tools.
Andy Horne worked all day at getting more of the smokebox saddle bolts loosened. Here you can see that all front bolts except the centre have been moved a few turns. There’s an air-
Pete Gregory detached the petticoat. In remarkably good condition, it might well be reusable. He’s also taken the nuts off the ejector blower fixing but the bolts are (once again) rusted solid.
Fran Lyon took down brackets along the RHS and detached one of the pipe runs along the boiler side.
21st May 2017.
Although significant progress has been made in the cab, where the retaining bar is now accessible and we can see the tie-
With great effort, about 2/3 of the smokebox saddle bolts have had nuts removed. Unfortunately the bolts themselves are rusted solid into the smokebox and the saddle. These bolts have their heads inside the smokebox, so the obvious approach would be to drive them out using brute force from the outside. In the very few that are directly accessible, this has worked but most bolt-
Parts removed count:
Cab floor on Wednesday evening. On the right can just be seen the fireman’s controls for water feed and the slacker pipe. In the centre are the sockets for the rocking grate levers. Just behind them is the retaining stretcher which prevents the frames pressing on the firebox sides. Almost visible in the filth below the sockets are the tie-
Andy Horne passes one of the few successes into the ‘done’ box. The line of bolt-
Smokebox, showing petticoat removed showing the superheater header and tubes. At top centre is the ‘snail’, as the vacuum ejector is affectionately known. This is proving difficult to remove, nuts are off but bolts are (as usual) rusted solid into the snail and the chimney bottom. An upleasant area to work -
At each side can be seen the steam pipes. The bottom ends are free but the top ends await attention.
Note also the blanking plate to left centre of the superheater header. It’s suspected that this component was a common design, and also used in LMS Jubilee class locos, which had three cylinders.
Both sides of the loco are starting to look bare of pipework and work has started on the removal of the cab front.
On top of the firebox, the injector pipes are 90% detached from the manifold.
Parts removed count:
31st May 2017.
Same old tale of hard work in some areas with precious little to show although it’s thought that now there are only about 20 bolts connecting the boiler to the frames. In other parts, great strides are being made and a glimpse inside the storage container shows that much has been removed.
Graham Batho, Andy Horne, Clifford Owen and Pete Gregory have all worked shifts to progress the saddle bolt removal, the current focus is grinding off the bolt heads. All except those deep inside, against the tubeplate, are now ready for a big bashing session.
In a ‘spare’ moment, Pete also heated one of the Steam pipe nuts to red hot, but still no movement there.
In the cab John Wooton, Dave Myall and John Wood continued (JWd for morning only, as he was deputed as fireman for 34081 in the afternoon) removing components and today the firebox doors and the gauge frame offsets came out. Earlier in the week, Alan Collins had single-
Roland has measured up the patch for the tender coal space and has cut the metal needed and he is confident that welding will be in progress next week.
Underneath the cab on the RHS, Kevin and DavidB continue to burrow southward but have hit a major block -
Philip and Alastair removed sundry smokebox attachments and have started removing brackets from the boiler side -
Paul Ian and Philip had a major success removing the RH clack valve but its LH partner is proving less compliant. More heat is obviously required here.
Away for the loco, quantities of paint required have been estimated and quotes are expected very soon from candidate suppliers. A poll is being run in the Members Newsletter to help decide which livery should be adopted this time around.
Sundry cleaning tools and materials are being sourced and the 92 Squadron ‘communal cleaning tank’ has been commandeered for first phase parts cleansing.
Two watching, one working. Traditional British workmanship at its best. Graham, Clifford and Alan in mid-
The left hand clack valve. Removed from high up on the front ring of the boiler. This is a non-
Now it’s removed, it can be scheduled for disassembly and internal inspection.
Underneath the RHS of the cab with the exhaust steam injector removed exposing its support bracket that conceals the RH live steam injector
The old Mech Eng mess room has been given a purge, removing the detritus of the 92 Squadron and Thomas overhauls. Far from perfect, it is still a good environment for parts painting -
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