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By Darrin Crone on

Sir Nigel Gresley overhaul – Update 26

Darrin Crone reveals the latest from the Workshop, where the historic loco is being overhauled.

Week commencing 5 March 2018

The reconstruction of the cab floor progressed this week. By the end of the week the front upstand had been drilled to take the section of wood that the cab floor is screwed to, and holes had been put in it for a couple of pipe runs. The combined timing reservoir tested last week was also mounted on the upstand. The driver’s side upstand has had a considerable amount of its bottom edge cut away. To give it some support, a section of plate has been welded to its front so that it sits level on the cab floor plate.

The combined timing reservoir is mounted to the leading transverse cab floor upstand. This view is looking toward the driver’s side. Primed plates are existing plate, unpainted plate is new.

To allow final routing of the cab pipework, the M8 driver’s air brake valve needs to be positioned. This is mounted on a bracket which is itself mounted on the reverser stand. So this week the M8 bracket and the reverser stand started their overhaul. The reverser was dismantled and we began its examination. The stand is now being stripped of paint.

The large heavy casting that is the main part of the reverser stand. Laid on its back here, it normally stands on the base in the front of the photograph. Here most of the paint has been removed prior to testing for defects.
The reverser stand and the screw that operates the reversing links and gear, which is normally down the middle of the stand.

Further work was done on the drain cock linkage, and the bowden cables and conduit were examined. The operating handles from the cab, including their brackets and pulleys, were cleaned and their examination has begun.

The upper right fairing on the tender is now being removed in sections. This is the only way that the corroded sections of the corridor roof can be accessed for repair. With a section of the fairing removed, plate was removed from the corridor roof only for us to find another layer of plate beneath.

A section of the outer layer of the tender corridor roof has been removed. Over the top the end of the streamlining can be seen where a section has been cut away. The streamlining was added to the original 1928 tender when it was transferred to A4 use. Under the streamlining is the original beading that marks the top of the 1928 tender.

The brakeshaft from the tender is now being stripped. When this is complete it will be thoroughly assessed for condition, along with its brackets and the frames where they are fastened.

The tender brakeshaft is being stripped and descaled for inspection. It is seen here with its end brackets in place. It is mounted at the front of the tender frames.

Painting continues on various parts and around the loco, touching up areas damaged by ongoing works. The coupled and bogie wheels have all been scuffed in preparation for varnishing.

The slidebar alignment is complete for the left side, so the wire was moved to the right and put up. The right side slidebar has now been put up on the loco.

Alignment wire set up on locomotive Sir Nigel Gresley
The right upper slide bar is in position and aligned with the wire from the cylinder centre line.

The right crosshead, another 60026 component, was cleaned this week and dye-pen inspected. No faults were found.

Work continues on the ashpan this week, and we turned it over to allow work to the underside. More work has been done on tidying up the frame cut-outs and work started on renewing platework around the hopper door hole. A couple of the loco brake hangers have been built up with weld where they have worn by rubbing against the brake blocks.

The new copper tubeplate was positioned last week and has had further fitting in the boilershop at Llangollen. Its fit has been checked using feeler gauges and is very good.

Week Commencing 12 March

Work continued on the reverser stand overhaul as we turned the main stand so that the inside is accessible for cleaning. The reverser stand is bolted down with a large number of bolts and these were retrieved from store and cleaned and examined. Most are fit for further use. The stand is mounted on a stiffening plate and this has now been cleaned and painted.

The cab floor and pipe systems are being progressed, helped this week by the return of the overhauled air brake components. Having these in place gives a definite start and end point for the pipe runs. More holes have been cut in the new floor platework for routing pipes and some of the valves were tried in place. One problem we have is that one of the valves is taller than the old one it replaces, having a different body casting.

The fireman’s side dump valve has been fitted, and after the final fit of the middle upstand was checked it was welded.

Time has also been spent on welding up the cutouts in the ashpan and building up another two loco brake hangers worn by rubbing brake blocks. A start has been made on the replacement of the platework around the ashpan hopper door opening. More new plate has been ordered and the hopper door retrieved from store.

The loco brake hangers are being rebuilt with weld where the cast iron brake blocks rub and wear away the hanger.

The overhauled air brake components were put back on the coach this week. The brakes were then tested using the National Railway Museum’s air brake hose adaptors. By varying the train pipe pressure the brakes were operated. The reservoir was also pressured and connections tested for leaks.

The air brake components have been returned from contractor overhaul and are being positioned under the cab floor. The nearest valve is the FVF2, but it’s bigger than the old unit so won’t fit in the same place.

The stripping of the tender brakeshaft has been completed and it can now be examined.

The loco brake beams were returned to York this week from contractor repair and the superheater header and middle front cover were collected. Some minor repair is required to the header front face and the cover requires machining.

The removal of corroded plate from the corridor tender continues. A section of the corridor roof and side down to the tank has now been removed. The shape of the corridor will be compared to drawings and new plate will be ordered.

A view looking toward the front right of the tender with a section of tender corridor removed. On the outside the A4 fairing has also been removed. The beading which was the top of the original 1928 tender can be seen.

It is planned to refit the loco frame bogie sidebearers with new bolting. Some time ago a method was devised and special tooling is required. A special extended arbour is being made by one of the Engineering Team volunteers to drive our reamers. Over the weeks I have been accruing second hand reamers of suitable size.

The cab levers and pulleys for the drain cocks and gravity sands have been dismantled, cleaned and examined. One of the pulleys had a nasty cut in it so as a precaution it has been silver soldered.

The drain cock cab Bowden pulley, marked for sands but so is the sands one.

The right hand bogie splashers were stripped this week and painted, and their mounting bolts cleaned up. The bogie front guard irons have also been painted this week. The bogie wheelsets also received their first coat of varnish this week and they look very good.

The slidebar alignment wire was put up for the middle cylinder this week, after a bracket was made for between the frames to fasten the trailing end of the wire. The middle slidebar is now mounted and its positioning checked by our Chief Mechanical Engineer on Saturday.

The gap between the middle cylinder alignment wire and middle upper slidebar is measured with a micrometer by Chief Mechanical Engineer Richard Swales.

The GSMR cabinet refurbishment continues with gloss top coat being applied to the framework and panels.

The results of the safety valve examination have been compiled and we can now progress to the manufacture of the new parts we require. We are now in discussion with another loco owning organisation who require safety valves to find the best way of getting new parts manufactured.

This is the 26th update. You can read the previous instalments here.

6 comments on “Sir Nigel Gresley overhaul – Update 26

  1. Great details about 60007’s restoration. Nice to see some parts from Miles Beaver live on in Sir Nigel.

  2. It’s great to see how Sir Nigel is getting on. Can’t beat that sound & whistle when it is under steam. Got some great fotos & video when it was in service for the last day at NYMR a few years ago. Can see why it is so expensive to maintain when you realize where all the parts come from & the expertise needed.

  3. It is wonderful to see this engine being lovingly restored. The last time I saw the sir Nigel gresley engine was on the north Yorkshire railway.keep up the good work York museum.

  4. Kenn Pearce.. Actually there’s quite a few pieces of 60026 Miles Beevor on SNG. It was and still is, common practice to make one good one from a couple of donors.

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