Work at Loughborough has seen the replacement steam operated drain cock castings and the internal parts for these completed. We are now just awaiting the seals and then the drain cocks will be completely assembled ready to be fitted to the cylinders after they are bored next year. The machining of the castings for these drain cocks has been paid for by 76084 to replace parts loaned to them when they were restoring their locomotive. LMS has invested in CNC machines that enables these parts to be machined easier, as previously unavailable operations can be carried out. One of these operations is the milling of the threads on exit port of the bodies. As the milling machine’s table and head are driven by the computer they can all move together in a single operation.
Video – CNC Machine milling thread on drain cock exit port
Photo 1 – Machining Drain Cocks
Photo 2 – Two complete drain cock bodies
The proof casting produced for the body of the replacement cylinder relief valves has been machined to check pattern allowances etc, this has proved successful so the remaining castings have now been ordered from LMS’s own pattern. It is hoped that our relief valves will be machined together with a set for another customer helping to keep the costs as low as possible. All the CNC programming is now done together with the mounting jigs to enable rapid production when the new castings arrive.
Photos 3 & 4 – Proof machining of cylinder relief valve complete and test assembled
Volunteers Jamie Christie and Ian Crowder have been working hard to complete the filling and undercoating of the inside of the locomotives frames. Hopefully by the end of December they will be resplendent in Red top coat, we can then start to fit the axle box dust guards and forming the grease lubrication pipe work. Volunteer Rob Southwell has worked hard to polish the lifting links on the ends of the reversing shaft back to their original bright finish. This involves gently grinding away the pitting in the metal and then sanding the metal back smooth, a very time consuming job, but very rewarding once complete. The reversing shaft will then have new pins made for the radius rod die blocks and be painted into top coat before finally fitting to the frames.
Photo 5 – Jamie Christie undercoating the inside of the frames
Photo 6 – Reversing shaft lifting links showing before and during the polishing process
The brake hanger brackets have had the old bushes removed and the new bushes and pins, produced in the GWSR machine shop, pressed into the brackets. The leading brake hanger brackets will be temporary re-fitted, these are attached to the frames with fitted bolts as they are very close to the rear of the cylinder block and had to be removed when the locomotive was originally stripped down at Toddington. Many attempts were made to split the crosshead from the piston rod but with the limited hand tools available to them in the late 1980’s, they would not budge. Consequently the pistons, rear covers and crossheads were removed in one and pressed off at BR’s Swindon workshops. The brake shaft support has been painted and awaits the completion of the painting under the rear dragbox before it can be fitted. We have also taken delivery of the two new piston head castings. Like the original these are hollow castings to reduce the weight and will need to have core plugs fitted in the small holes as seen in photo 7 below. These holes are required to let the casting sand out of the internal orifice, following the casting process. These will be machined and fitted to the old piston rods once the cylinder bores have been machined. Our thanks to Loughborough standard loco group and DJH castings for helping source these items.
Photo 7 – Piston head castings
At Toddington the GWSR machine shop have completed the fire hole door castings kindly sponsored by Rob and Dawn Southwell and the valve crosshead securing bolts and distance pieces have been produced ready to assemble the valve crosshead guides on the rear valve covers. They are now working on parts for the reversing screw assembly and pipe flanges and elbows for the injectors and steam brake pipe work. As always we are very grateful for their continued support as it reduces costs and accelerates the restoration process.
Volunteers in the Loco Department have responded well to recent working days and good progress is now being made on the lengthy process of refurbishing the coupling rods back to their former bright finish. Two of the coupling rods are nearly complete, and then the other pair will be started.
Finally may I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us throughout 2021 and can I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.