1014 The G.W. County Project
March and April

This report covers all activity during March and April 2015.  Good progress continues on the tender underframe, and the works at Tyseley are now complete. 

There have been several personnel issues:
Commiserations to Bob Fry on his health issues which it is hoped will be resolved quickly allowing him to be back at DRC soon – his wise counsel is missed.
Keith Gilbert continues with a slow recovery from his operation.
It is to be hoped that Roy Frisby back in harness very soon.

The ‘Extra Day’ programme was implemented for riveting over the weekend 14/15 March.  With 5 or 6 volunteers on both days, the event was judged a success.  An ‘Extra Day’ will continue to be used in this context and suitable weekends in late May or June are being considered.

Locomotive Progress:

The horn grinding and axlebox overhaul at Tyseley is complete. 
The project received a significant donation towards the axlebox overhaul. 
In conjunction with Tyseley Locomotive Co., the most cost effective way of repatriating the frames to DRC is being investigated. However, as road space in the Works is currently at a premium, this could be delayed.   Once the frames return to DRC, the axleboxes will have to be lapped in to the axles, a task which could take some time, so the prospect of rewheeling is not imminent.

  • Boiler work continues at Crewe:
    emaining jobs on the firebox in hand and inches towards completion.  No date has yet been set for an acceptance visit to Crewe, at which it is also planned open discussions on the costs of a boiler barrel/smokebox.
  • The superheater 3D CADs from Julia are still awaited.
  • The chimney petticoats turned into a bit of a saga!  A second, cheaper, quotation was obtained, but then a third, very reasonable, quotation from Slough Metal Spinners was obtained through Peter Chatman (2999 Group).  This procurement was discussed with the Chairman and it was decided that producing the petticoat would be a real indicator that work was starting on the boiler/smokebox.  Consequently, orders have been issued for the two petticoats and mounting flange, which will be assembled in-house. 
The castings for the Exhaust Steam Injectors have been discussed with PG, and have been accepted.  Attention now turn the rear part of the exhaust injector.

Exhaust injector

02/05/2015 - exhaust injector pattern (red) and casting.

Exhaust injector bits

02/05/2015 - some of the exhaust injector 'bits'.

A number of castings for Live Steam Injectors have been located in Security but it is uncertain if they are of the correct specification, thus they will need to be checked.

Under KWG supervision, both crossheads were moved to Geoff Parker’s premises at Aldermarston over the period Friday 27/Saturday 28 March.  Currently, they are being cleaned in caustic soda, after which they will be grit blasted. The gas-axed piston rod in the right-hand crosshead then needs to be removed.  Once done, the scope of works for their overhaul/conversion will be agreed. 

The cab floor is complete and all the chequer plate parts remain in process at Tadleys in Aldermarston.

Tender Progress:

Rear buffing plate

02/05/2015 - rear buffing plate.

Buffing plate parts

02/05/2015 - components of the inner buffing plates prior to fitting.

Cross stay plates

02/05/2015 - Cross stay plates have been fitted but the support angles remain to be riveted.

Water scoop brackets

02/05/2015 - Various items of the water scoop gear await fitting to the brackets.

Improved axlebox seal

02/05/2015 - An improved axlebox oil seal arrangement is being developed, intended to replace the Helvetica leather on an elm carrier system, dating from the 1920s.  This proposes to use a modern oil seal on a polypropylene carrier.


02/05/2015 - George's jig to fit the spring hanger brackets.

  • Work has commenced machining the drag links and fitting of the drag pins to the clevises.
  • Hysteresis plates for the rear draw hook and loco and spring hangers have been ordered and the rubber pads will be ordered in the near future.
  • Work has started on drawing-up the pipe work.  Investigations are in-hand for companies who can use the CAD file to drive a CNC machine that will bend the various pipes to exactly the correct configuration. 
The drop valences were moved to DRC together with the cross stays on 25 April.  There appeared to be no issues with unloading at Didcot Parkway and First Great Western staff were very helpful.
The next task will be to set the valances up correctly and drill all the rivet location holes.

Brake Cross Shaft, Cranks and Bearings/Scoop Linkage have now been shimmed and free movement tested.  Regrettably, it will be necessary to dismantle the assembly for final welding of the four crank arms.

Tank Superstructure.  The seal ring on the tank manhole has been delivered from Fab-Tech in Stockbridge.

Axle Bearings.  Scraping in the axle bearings is ongoing


All wheels are now receiving their final top coat. 

Scraping axle bearings

02/05/2015 - the Three Amigos scraping tender axle bearings.