1014 The G.W. County Project
July and August

 This report covers all activity during July and August 2015.  Progress remains very good on the tender underframe. The works at Tyseley are now complete and the frames have returned to Didcot Railway Centre.  Referring to the latter, Mike Cooper expresses his gratitude for the support received from Axle Haulage, MOD, Sparrows Crane Hire, Tyseley staff and, by no means least, all the DRC staff and volunteers who assisted with the inload/unload from West Yard.

Public Relations - An article has been published in Steam Railway Issue 445 about the completion of the frames and progress elsewhere on the project.

A colour drawing of 1014 in BR(W) livery was received gratis from Stuart Black, a commercial artist, who recently completed the attached artwork of No. 1014 'County of Glamorgan' for the magazine 'The Great British Locomotives Collection'.  He has also offered us the use of it on the website, which has been agreed: 

Stuart Black 1014 painting

1014 'County of Glamorgan' as she appeared post 1960. The recreated 1014 will differ in some of its dimensions to 'fit' modern load gauge limits, but it is earnestly believed the differences will be barely noticeable visually. (Courtesy Stuart Black)

Work week 2015 - Probably the most successful in the project's history.  39 man days over 6 days produced extensive progress on the tender with riveting and the installation of further new and reconditioned parts.

Nice riveting

03-09-2015 - Nice riveting! A product of Work Week.

With the return of the frames the project team will be split into two - locomotive and tender. As a result the project needs:

  • Machinist.  The County Project urgently needs to recruit another machinist who must be able to operate traditional machine tools, without CNC and work with non-ferrous, cast iron and steel to a high degree of accuracy, often without formal drawings.  Having a home workshop would be a great advantage.  He/she must understand AutoCAD as well as traditional GW drawings.
  • Welder.  To work with our lead welder, the County Project urgently needs to recruit a second welder who must be proficient mainly in sheet steel fabrication, using both rod and MIG, although they would also be required to fabricate, repair and modify non-sheet steel parts.  A coded pipe qualification, or suitable experience, would be a bonus. 

    For both:- Ideally living within a sensible commute from Didcot Railway Centre, be prepared to join the Society, commit to the project and to obey certain simple rules, particularly in the area of Health and Safety, and be comfortable multi-skilling and working as a team player.  We are looking for attendance at Didcot every other Saturday – sometimes weekly at various times in the project.  However, we do acknowledge the occasional need for the other essential events of life!  The vacancy is available now.  If you are interested, initial contact through the Webmaster please.

An extra working day for September or October is planned, which will be used to rivet up the remaining tender spring hanger brackets.  This will enable the springs to be mounted.

Locomotive Progress:
As indicated above, 1014's frames were returned from Tyseley in mid August, a complex operation involving lorry transport to Didcot West Yard, lifting onto a flat-bed railway wagon, a trip working into Didcot Railway Centre, unloading, positioning on the restored front bogie and yam, then removal into the workshop area:

Unloading 1014 frames West Yard

20/08/2015 - frames suspended having been lifted from lorry before being loaded on to flat-bed wagon for removal into Didcot Railway Centre. (Mike Cooper)

Frames lowered on to wagon

20/08/2015 - frames being lowered onto flat-bed wagon. (Mike Cooper)

1014 Frames in lifting shop

22/08/2015 - frames in lifting shop having been lifted off flat-bed wagon and lowered onto yam. (Frank Dumbleton)

1014 frames in Didcot shed

23/08/2015 - 1014 frames on bogie and yam, coupled to flat-bed wagon being shunted into Didcot Loco Shed. (Frank Dumbleton)


Close-up loco frame bearings

20/08/2015 - Close-up of machined and fitted bearings as fixed and trued on the main frames at Tyseley. (Frank Dumbleton)

Bearings from inside frames

20/08/2015 - rear view, i.e. from within frames of machined and fitted bearing assembly. (Frank Dumbleton)

Workshop view wheels

22/08/2015 - workshop view shewing 1014's driving wheels, tender wheels and to rear tender frames. (Mike Cooper)

In the course of these operations close-up photographs were taken of the bearings and wheels.

It seems, too, that the return of the frames has added an extra 'spring' to the project as other recent developments have also proved fruitful.

The main effort now is to check all the components necessary to rewheel. Rewheeling will follow when all is organised, ready and a slot arranged on the wheel drop.  Although possibly a hostage to fortune, this could be achieved by late 2015 or early 2016, as long as the necessary facilities are available.

To protect the frames etc., it was decided in late August to seal and waterproof the axleboxes in the horn guides and added a waterproof sheet and a good dose of WD-40 to reduce water ingress and mitigate its affects.

 The Boiler Meeting at Crewe in August turned out to be more successful than expected.  A more taut strategy for completion of the firebox was agreed, with work being undertaken over the winter months with completion aimed for Spring 2016.   
Regarding the boiler and smokebox barrel work, Crewe appears to have no difficulty with a labour content only contract, with the Project providing free issue parts.  This will require more liaison between the two organisations over delivery, specification, demarcation etc., which is no more than an intelligent customer would expect to do. A pricing exercise was completed for the major elements of the boiler barrel and smokebox to support negotiations with Crewe, or other potential providers, over the construction of 1014’s new boiler.  Version 1 was issued on 21 August 2015. 

Having produced a cost table for boiler parts, thoughts have turned to various aspects of boiler construction.
There are
three drawings for the smokebox wrapper, which are all basically the same, with minor variations for cutouts.  Unfortunately, the project does not have a drawing for a double chimney No 15 OA boiler (with 3 row superheater). In the Project Team’s view, use of the No 1000 drawing, would be foolish as it is believed that Middlesex was a poor steamer when first introduced, while the single chimney No 15 OA drawing has a different blower arrangement.  Furthermore, the boiler centre-line (1.75 inches) has been lowered, which needs to be taken into account so Herr. Jos Koopmans’ strictures on steam flow can be obeyed. 
It is proposed, therefore, to use the 4 row superheater No 15 OB drawing, with 15 OB blower arrangement, a 3 row superheater, ash guards etc. and calculate the chimney base (not the petticoat) distance to the blast caps before making the new, cast, blast pipe.  But we are quite prepared to debate this!!  All that is missing is the main internal steam pipe. Ted Lacey has been asked for the two appropriate drawings; one has been received and the other needs to be scanned.  An issue on MATSPECS remains for this critical assembly.

Other boiler related issues include:

  • Smokebox Saddle -  KWG is checking the AutoCADs to aid pricing this component.
  • The chimney bells have been delivered.  It is hoped to get the bells welded to the carrier in the near future.  In addition. some minor repairs to the blower flange of the double chimney are required. 
  • The manhole seating for the safety valve has been costed by Premier Patterns.  It is intended to cast this and provide it to the selected boiler manufacturer as a free issue.  They will machine and fit it to the barrel. 
  • GW Drawings no 82314A Safety Valve and 82314 Casting for Safety Valve are being sought. It is planned to manufacture this item using South Coast Steam Ltd on Portland.
  • The project has received the 3D AutoCADs from Julia for this most complex casting.  Procurement is likely to be through 'Boro Foundry, who will be responsible for the sand mould, casting and machining in order to reduce project and engineering risk to a minimum. To this end Nick Norton at ‘Boro has been re-engaged and a drawing CD dispatched.
  • A second set of patterns/cores for the exhaust steam injector has been delivered to Hunt castings in Romsey for assessment and pricing.
Work on the motion is presently paused as 'our scout is exploring possible sponsors'.
Tender Progress:
Assembly continues having overcome an earlier set-back.


03-09-2015 - Valences set-up on frame angles.

The valances are set up on the frame angles and have been drilled at four locations per side.  The next task is to prepare the welds and tack up.


03/09/2015 - Axleboxes as received from Geoff Parker's works.

Axleboxes and slide plates have been received from Geoff Parker's works, Aldermarston.  The two lead combos have been installed and work is progressing on the centre combos.


- Derusted springs

03-09-2015 - de-rusted and painted springs.

Welding of brake cross shafts

Mike Sawers finishing welding of brake cross shaft cranks

Inner buffers

03-09-2015 - view of inner buffers and installed brake cross shaft.

Rear step fitted

03-09-2015 - Rear step plates fitted and awaiting some minor remedial work.

Other work continues on the tender underframes:

  • Cross stay support angles have been riveted.
  • Machining of the drag links is complete.
  • Various items of the water scoop gear have been test fitted, now removed for access purposes.
  • Scraping in the axle bearings remains ongoing.
  • Work has commenced to paint the top frame rails, preparatory to fitting the timber packing for the tank base.
All in all, a very busy, but productive period, which has seen significant progress made with the restoration of 1014.