1014 The G.W. County Project
May and June

Progress remains good on the tender underframe, and the works at Tyseley are now complete.  Remaining work on the firebox has been paused at our request.  
The County Set were all very sad to hear of the passing of Bob Fry - a kind and good man and a fine locomotive engineer.  Our sympathies go to his family and all his friends.
Our sympathies also go to Vic Laird on the death of his wife two weeks ago.
Keith Gilbert continues with a slow recovery from his operation which seems to be gathering pace.

Locomotive Progress:

Investigations are in hand with Tyseley Locomotive Centre to ascertain the most cost effective way of repatriating the frames to Didcot Railway Centre. However, as road space in the Works at Didcot is currently at a premium, this could be delayed.  

Once the frames return to Didcot Railway Centre, the axleboxes may have to be lapped into the axles, depending on how accurate our measurements were!  This could take some time, so the prospect of rewheeling is not imminent.  All good things are worth waiting for!

Although the remaining jobs on the firebox are under way for a variety of reasons work has been paused at our request.  A meeting is planned at Crewe in August at which completion of the firebox will be considered and discussions opened on the costs of constructing a boiler barrel/smokebox.  To this end major items of the boiler and smokebox barrels are being priced up.

On 28 May Mike Cooper visited Slough Metal Spinners and observed the spinning process for the two chimney bells.
These parts are now complete and await collection.

Chimney bell

28/05/2015 - Chimney bell having been spun at Slough Metal Spinners, prior to delivery to Didcot Railway Centre.

The second set of patterns/cores for the Exhaust Steam Injectors have been sent for assessment and pricing to Hunt castings in Romsey.

Regarding the motion:
KWG is supervising work on the crosshead and a price is awaited based on a statement of work.
Our scout is contacting possible sponsors for both the inside and outside motion.
Delivery of the vacuum pump via PG is still awaited. 

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

Tender Progress:

Procurement of low risk parts to create a bank for installation on the underframe is now complete except for some minor items.

Recently the rear dragbox had to be dismounted, not a decision that was undertaken lightly!  When the main frameplates for the tender were specified, it was noted that a number of holes at the rear were countersunk. Never having built a Lot A180 before, and having no assembly instructions, the tender underframe was built and started drilling the 1001 holes that are needed to secure the 101 components. An interface issue at the rear only came to light when George Hallett, who was drilling the spring hanger brackets, said that he could not drill to access those at the rear. Red faces all round and the only way to do the job properly and rivet the hangers, was to remove the dragbox, drill and countersink the rivet holes, rivet and dress off and replace the dragbox, all of which is now complete. The delights of new build loco (and tender) engineering!!

Rear drag box out

Removal of the rear dragbox in preparation for drilling the holes required.

Rear dragbox in

Replacement of the rear dragbox following the necessary drilling and riveting.

The cross stay support angles remain to be riveted.

Various items of the water scoop gear are being fitted.

Installation of the spring hanger brackets has commenced. Meanwhile, the rear brake hangers have been successfully test mounted on the rear drag box.

Preparations for SHB

04/07/2015 - holes in process of being drilled for Spring Hanger Brackets.


George drilling holes

04/07/2015 - George drilling holes in the tender underframe for the Spring Hanger Brackets.



Front drag beam

04/07/2015 - Front drag beam showing position of inner buffers.

Installation of the inner buffers has commenced and the correct pattern replacement springs ordered.

Work continues on the machining of the drag links and fitting of the drag pins to the clevises.

Gary machiing drag links.

04/07/2015 - Gary machining drag links, i.e. the locomotive-tender coupling arrangement.

Various items of the water scoop gear are being fitted. Brake Cross Shaft, Cranks and Bearings/Scoop Linkages have been shimmed and free movement tested.  Thereafter, this assembly will have to be dismantled in readiness for the planned final welding.

Hysterisis plates

04/07/2015 - the hysterisis plates.

The hysterisis plates for the rear draw hook and loco and spring hangers have been delivered and the rubber pads will be ordered in the near future.

All wheels have received their final top coat.  Meanwhile, scraping-in the axle bearings continues.

Axleleboxes and Slide Plates are awaiting attention at Geoff Parker's works in Aldermarston.  KWG is supervising this work and a price is awaited based on a statement of work.

In the process of being developed is an improved axlebox oil seal arrangement, which is intended to replace the Helvetica leather on an elm carrier, dating from the 1920s.  This proposes to use a modern oil seal on a polypropylene carrier.  The parts are now with a timber machinist in Andover for machining and test fitting the seal.

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

Seal ring Tank manhole

04-07-2015 - seal ring as delivered.

The next task will be to set the valances up correctly and drill all the rivet location holes.