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Nene Valley Railway, Wansford Station, Stibbington, Peterborough, PE8 6LR

Tel: 01780 784444

September 2017

13th October 2017.  

Firebox has the grate supports removed and a start is made on removing the smokebox rivets so that it can be detached and easier access to the front tubeplate gained..

Inside the workshop the chassis team continue removing pipework, working from the bufferbeam past the bogie and into the heart of the loco. They’ve also removed the annulus that holds the bogie to the frame - so now if the frames are lifted, the bogie should remain on the track.   In the centre of the loco, the centre sandbox is freed and lifted down to the workshop floor. Then all 4 "udders" are removed, tagged, looged and despatched to the container.

The motion gang have opened the front of the RH cylinder and pushed the piston forward for a first inspection. The piston appears to be sitting on the cylinder floor and some rings are broken.

The brake gang have move to the brake cylinder and actuating mechanism. Very securely fixed to the dragbox, the cylinder and the hinge bracket look difficult to take down but it’s important to to be able to inspect the fabric of the dragbox as it is a critical component of the loco’s ability to haul trains.

RH Cylinder front with cover freshly removed.  Gleaming liner edge is visible on the right inside and the piston-securing nuts prominent in the centre. All a nice oily-brown colour and not much evidence of scoring.

RH Valve gear part-dismantled to permit removal of the valve rod.

4th October 2017.  

A good day. Started off wanting to get everyone attacking the boiler - it's the most urgent item and keen to make as much progress as we can. It quickly became apparent that it's not possible to deploy too many hands in such a confined space, especially when noise and heat are both involved. So Graham and Alan concentrated in the firebox, removing the grate supports, while Jamie and (another) Alan punched out rivets holding the smokebox to the boiler.  Yesterday the boiler inspector, at the railway to look at the steam crane, was collared and the latest set of thickness figures from 73050's boiler run past him. As expected he said there was no point in going further - both tapered and parallel sections need replacement.  So the urgency is now to get the firebox and both tubeplates assessed.  At the front end, the quickest way to do this is to remove the smokebox, making tube extraction much easier.  At the back end, we need to start cleaning out the firebox.   In the afternoon, new Alan made good progress on the resistant flaking rust on the firebox RHS, while old Alan was replaced by Ian and David helping Jamie.

After the false-start, chassis teams resumed their normal tasks and at the rear, Ian Ddavid and Philip made some progress towards getting brake actuation down - the steam brake cylinder is off the loco and it's hoped that the lever and bracket will follow next week.  At the front end, John Wood and Wootton  with Geoff continued the pipe chase, moving beyond the bogie with about 10 thin (lub) and 3 thick (steam/vac) pipes moved to the container.  Also removed was the annulus that holds the bogie to the frame - so now if the frames are lifted, the bogie should remain on the track.   In the centre of the loco, Ian and David freed the centre sandbox, lifted it down to the workshop floor and removed all 4 "udders".

Unaffected by outside panics, Paul Ken and Stan took the front off the RH cylinder.  Wear inside looks not-too-bad, the piston has dropped to sit on the cylinder 'floor', suggesting that the rings have lost their springiness although there are still fore-and-aft movement lines on the cylinder ceiling. Some very light scoring is apparent at 3 and 9 o'clock and it looks as if the front ring has broken between 1130 and 1230.

Also impervious to the outside excitement, Graham and Clifford continued cleaning and overhauling the airpump.

David and Ian review the sate of the sandbox that they’ve just taken down.  It’s upside down and three of the ‘udders’ have been removed, exposing the holes through which sand flows to the wheels, the fourth udder (top, right) awaits removal.

Steam brake actuating bracket. Very firmly attached to the underside of the dragbox.

18th October 2017.  

Bad weather kept everyone inside today.

Pictures from John Wood.

The motion team removed the right hand side combination lever and radius rod. The combination lever is pictured

The remains of the ashpan linkage was stripped out - this was hacked apart shortly before the boiler lift as it would have fouled the frames as the ashpan came up with the firebox.

All pipework is now off and more front-end stripping has been done, including coupling hook, buffers and steps (to ease piston removal) off.

29th October 2017.  

Quite an exciting Sunday for a change.  Three major items to report...

First, the smokebox is off. Jamie, Pete and Ben burned out the last 9 rivets and, perhaps inevitably, the smokebox just sat and looked at us.  To encourage movement, Jamie jacked up the front of the box and let it drop.  Some movement but nowhere near enough, so he cut slots in the sides adjacent to the tubeplate  A bit more jacking and it was obvious that the whole box was free and ready to come off, so DOC and Jamie used the loader to 'ease' it away from the boiler and stand it on its end on the ash.

Secondly, the front running plate panels have been taken off.  Sarah looked pleased as punch to take the LHS off without much problem but was less happy with the RHS, where practically every nut/bolt seemed immoveable.  She persisted and, with some help from Pete, was eventually rewarded with a satisfactory completion.

Thirdly, that great bugbear of recent weeks, the steam brake cylinder, is off. Ben burned off the six nuts that no-one had been able to move and then he & I carefully (very carefully) jacked it down to a level where it could be safely toppled onto a waiting pallet.  There's evidence of 'metal putty' or something stuck between the cylinder and the plate, thicker on one side than the other - possibly something to compensate for misaligned cylinder/piston/linkage at some stage.

Slit in smokebox LH side, repeated on RHS. Wedges hammered into the slits opened the circle enough to loosen the grip on the boiler.

Off she comes.  Now we can get at the tubeplate.

On the right is the steam brake cylinder and on the left is a mounting plate that has been inserted to work around severe corrosion under the footplate.

Cylinder has lost one of its fixing lugs a long time ago, and we broke another in taking it off.

November 2017