1014 The G.W. County Project
September to December
Project Manager's Annual Report:

2016 has been a year of great change and turbulence. The largest factor was of course the loss of Project Manager Mike Cooper, and the indisposition of Project Engineer Keith Gilbert - positive progress has been received indicating that Keith's health is slowly improving.
Mike led the project from its outset and was aware of all of its details, ably solving problems and moving forward for about 7 years. I, Dicky Boast, have taken over from Mike and am trying my hardest to follow in Mike’s footsteps with the help, where possible, of Keith.
As far as both the locomotive and tender are concerned the great success of the year was wheeling. However, the locomotive wheel fit has not been quite as successful as hoped for - details below. Meanwhile, the tender chassis has been assembled basically from scratch and is sitting on its wheels, looking super.

Locomotive Progress:

The wheels are indeed in place, but as with the Grange it is a case of one step forwards two steps back. The frames were designed for 6' wheels and the extra 1½" radius of the County wheels means that snap head rivets holding the rear frame spreader are rubbing on the rear of the rims. Likewise the brackets holding the running board to the frames at the front wheels were designed for a Modified Hall and needed to be cut off and modified to suit.
Another problem is that the GWR designed two main wheel axlebox keeps with individual links to couple the springs to the axleboxes. Of course, 1014 ended-up with sets that did not match and not until someone noticed this on Facebook, was the nature of the problem was realised. Consequently, the Project is waiting for new links to be manufactured. Once they arrive, each wheelset can be dropped in turn and while out of the frames the spreader rivets can be countersunk and the links changed. Once completed, the brake gear can be assembled.

With regard to the boiler work; the firebox is being rebuilt at L.N.W.R. Heritage Ltd and should be completed by the end of the year. The go-ahead has been obtained to order the boiler barrel, and once the boiler height has been confirmed, for the smokebox and saddle - plus of course the smokebox door generously donated by Steam Railway. As with all preserved locos the overall height must be reduced to fit the Network Rail loading gauge, the final points of which have not yet been confirmed. As this necessitates the boiler being lowered exhaust draughting problems arise, which need to be solved (see 6023) and this fact is one of the major ones governing the eventual height of the boiler.

Tender Progress:

The brake gear is coming together and being finish painted ready for assembly. Once the vacuum seals have been installed it can all be fitted together, whereupon the bottom tank plate can be fitted.

Locomotive Progress:

David Bradshaw reports that the two coned boiler barrel sections for 1014 have been ordered from Barnshaws in Dudley, with a delivery schedule of approximately 6 weeks. These, the smokebox and smokebox door have already been sponsored, but sponsors for the door ring and front tubeplate are still needed.

Apologies for the lack of photographic coverage - none has been provided. However, the September 9 - October 6 issue of Steam Railway contained an article on the 1014 Project, with updates in appearing in subsequent issues.

Hopefully, the next update will be illustrated.