Due to the current nationwide lockdown work to re-wheel the locomotive has been delayed. As well as paid engineering work, there is still some voluntary work required to paint the wheel sets and parts of the loco’s frames before we are in a position to fit the driving wheels. I am hoping that the frames will be sat on their wheels mid April, and will do all in my power to make sure this happens. Unfortunately our locomotive is not the only project in the LMS workshops so we need to be a little more patient until our time comes.
I have spent considerable time since Christmas working as a volunteer, outside my normal working hours to complete as many jobs as possible. The new vacuum pipe work has been painted and fitted. I have just completed machining of the new smoke box door handles & dart, spring hanger adjusting nuts, and steam heat pipe flanges. I have also been drawing up all the steelwork for the replacement smoke box. It is interesting to note that there are over 50 different parts which go together to complete this item. By having all the steel work profiled to size this should remove some of the expensive labour costs associated with building the smoke box.
Smoke Box Door Handles and Dart
At LMS we have taken delivery of the new chimney, and sourced a replacement tender steam brake isolation cock. This item fits on the drivers pedestal and is connected to the steam brake lubricator, in the event that the flexible pipe between the loco and tender should split this enables the steam supply to the tender brake cylinder to be isolated, allowing the loco to be stopped with just the loco’s brake cylinder being operative. If this valve wasn’t closed the steam would simply escape and no pressure would build up in the loco’s brake cylinder. Interestingly when the BR Standard loco’s first rolled out of the workshops they were not equipped with these valves. Several Britannia loco’s parted from the tender whilst on the run and the driver’s reports of not being able to stop properly led to this modification.
Steam Brake Isolation Valve and New Chimney Casting
The new smoke box doors for both 76077 and 80150 on the MHR were delivered, but had to be returned for re-working at the suppliers cost as they were not to the drawing. Fortunately, they got them right at the second attempt.
The cracked manganese liner plate which is fitted to the intermediate buffer rubbing plates has been removed and a replacement piece of manganese plate sourced. This material is extremely tough. It is used for many industrial applications where good wear resistance is required – such as in the manufacture of JCB buckets. It is said to be almost impossible to machine and having drilled and countersunk eleven holes in it, I can definitely confirm this!! Even special tungsten carbide tipped drills didn’t last long in this material. The plate has now been welded to the back plate and riveted to the rear buffer beam of the loco.
Old and new manganese liner plates
Close up showing cracks in old liner
Our new reverser is progressing under the guidance of supporter Ian Crampton. To date he has sourced patterns, castings and completed machining of several smaller parts including the main drivers hand wheel and associated handle. Look out for a future article on this project in our magazine.
Reverser hand wheel being machined (Photo Ian Crampton)
Reverser handle finished (Photo Ian Crampton)
Our LHS combination lever which was on loan to 76079 at the NYMR has been returned, and a new brake return spring sourced from our friends at 76084 Locomotive Company.
LHS Combination lever (until recently in action on classmate 76079)
Barry Gambles at South Coast Steam has nearly completed the two replacement live steam injectors for the loco. One of these is to replace a loan item currently fitted on 76084 and is being paid for by their owning group after successful fundraising to purchase replacement parts for all items loaned to them. Finally before Christmas work was about to recommence on reassembly of the cab, at the fabrication firm, but again government restrictions post Christmas has so far put paid to this. As soon as possible we will be looking to get this item completed and fitted to the frames.