The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
November 20, 2017, 02:33:04 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Brassgoggles.co.uk - The Lighter Side Of Steampunk, follow @brasstech for forum technical problems & updates.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Great Central Railway No.567; a New-Build 1890s Railway Locomotive  (Read 1991 times)
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« on: October 30, 2016, 06:25:53 pm »

I have mentioned in passing on my model making thread that I'm a member of a group that is building, more or less from scratch, a full size, fully working replica of a express passenger locomotive of the late 1890s.  



http://www.gcr567loco.co.uk/

I've been a member for the last six months or so; provided I keep up the subscription I'm guaranteed a seat on the first public train it hauls.

We had our AGM and Supporter's Day today at the project base, Ruddington Transport Museum (just south of Nottingham).  So here are a few photographs.  



This is the cylinder block.  One of the curious facts is that the cylinder block from a 1950s industrial tank engine is an almost perfect match for the cylinder block in a late Victorian express engine.  This then is a 1950s casting that is practically brand new; cast as a spare part for a batch of locomotives, but then never used.  It spent a couple of decades under a hedge!  Because the cylinders were coated in rust retardent there's no real restoration work to do there, but the same cannot be said of the valve casing between them.  The block is made of two castings bolted together; to clear out the valve casings the castings need to be unbolted.



Outside in the yard more of the motion parts had been set out for inspection.  Much of it is either built, in manufacture or on order.  

Off-site (currently being machined) are the locomotive frames.  Once they have been fettled and erected the locomotive can properly be said to exist.  One of the few deviations from the original design is to alter the front end design of the frames so that in the event of a rough shunt they don't buckle.  





A couple of frame stretchers were on display though, as were the sandboxes which will eventually by bolted directly to the frames.

It might not look all that impressive at the moment; but elsewhere on site is the complete tender chassis.  The finished loco will weigh around 40 tonnes, and about 8 tonnes of material has already been worked up or is in manufacture.

This is a long-term project of course; it has been gathering pace for the last five years and it currently looks as though it will be around 2022- 2024 before completion.  

Elsewhere on the site are around ten carriages of the Great Central Railway in various stages of restoration.  Newly-completed is a six-wheel carriage of the 1880s.  In a siding are these two unique survivors.  



Clerestory brake carriage of 1903.  Those clerestory carriages I hack out of Hornby models?- this is the real thing....



And nestling behind it, almost obscured by a prototype HST power car, is an arc-roof suburban carriage of around the same vintage- the real thing of the carriages I build out of Ratio kits.  

We're always on the lookout to gain new members, so if anybody wants to join the group they're more than welcome.  As is the nature of these things of couse it can take years for the thing to be finished; so I guess this thread will go on for "quite some time" and only be updated on an occasional basis as work gets done.  

 

« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 10:25:41 pm by James Harrison » Logged

Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.
Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia



« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2016, 11:49:25 pm »

This looks like an interesting project, James, and a long term one at that.

On a similar type of project but different piece of engineering, there is a group at Werribee (town near Melbourne, Victoria) who are restoring/rebuilding a WWII Liberator B24 - I get the newsletters from a chap in NZ who keeps me up to date with progress. It's of interest to us because our respective dads flew the planes, in India.

So, apart from being a really interesting project in it's own right, I can see the attraction for the train!
Logged
Hektor Plasm
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


All-Round Oddfellow.


WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2016, 08:18:45 pm »

I must take more time to find these parts than it takes to refurbish and rebuild them?


Keep us posted- it sounds like a worthy project!

HP
Logged

"all die! o, the embarrassment."
H Plasm Esq. ICUE    Avatar by and with kind permission of Dr Geof. Ta!!

Some musings:-
http://hektorplasm.blogspot.co.uk/
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2016, 09:36:35 pm »

It is actually quite surprising just how many loco parts have survived, usually decades after the engine is recorded as scrapped... 

1) The last Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway locomotive was scrapped way back in the mid-1930s.... yet the boiler off of it survives. 
2) Similarly, only one complete Ivatt Large Atlantic survives in preservation.  The boiler off of a long-scrapped classmate was found about twenty years ago though and is now the basis of another new-build project. 
3) The GCR 567 project is using an original 1890s Great Central tender.  The tank is admittedly shot but the chassis and wheels are still serviceable.  The tender had survived long after the rest of the loco was scrapped because it was being used to carry boiler sludge. 
4) A project to build a replica 1850s express loco found not one but three surviving original tender frames.  The locos had been scrapped in the 1880s but the tenders were re-purposed as snow ploughs. 

It happens more often than might be thought.  It really wouldn't surprise me if an 'extinct' loco class were in fact found out to have a survivor- albeit in hundreds of pieces, from various locos, up and down the country.   
Logged
Madasasteamfish
A clanger waiting to be dropped......
Board Moderator
Rogue Ætherlord
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom


09madasafish
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2016, 10:35:25 pm »

Well that's the beauty of standardised parts, there's plenty of bits out there that still remain, e.g. the A1 trust (the people behind Tornado) are actually using spares and/or copies of parts they had made for Tornado in their new P2 build. And there's plenty of examples of re-purposing outside the world of locomotives.

Fer' instance, the only reason the SS Great Britain survives in dry dock is because some bright spark had the bright idea to have it beached to use as a coal bunker instead of melting down it all down for scrap.
Logged

I made a note in my diary on the way over here. Simply says; "Bugger!"

"DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH."
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2016, 11:38:00 am »

The quarterly newsletter landed in my emails last night.  The frames are currently being machined and are expected back in the works early next year, and once they are on-site actual erection of the locomotive can begin.  Meanwhile progress is being made on other, smaller parts:

- About half of the valvegear and motion is either ready to use or the material is to hand to make components;

- The frame stretchers (there are two of these) have been manufactured.  If you think of the frames as being like a ladder, you have the sideplates (which run the length of the loco) and then you have the frame stretchers, which go crosswise between them like the rungs on a ladder. I say these are smaller parts but they are about 4' long by about 1' - 1' 6'' deep!  Quite chunky pieces of steel plate.
 
- New fittings for the various machines required to manufacture the components have been ordered, which will allow more work to be done on-site and less work will need to be sent to outside contractors.  For instance, the drag boxes (huge lumps of metal into which the locomotive couplings are fitted) will be able to be manufactured at Ruddington rather than needing to be made elsewhere.  It will now also be possible to remachine the corroded valve faces in the cylinder block in-house.   

The plan for 2017 (and I say 'plan' because this is a very much a volunteer project and things are obviously apt to change) is to erect the frames and the motion, and then start work on designing and manufacturing the leading bogie and a new tender tank.  There's also going to be more regular updates on the website (www.gcr567loco.co.uk), so if anybody is interested in joining the society then please do!  I appreciate it is a little disconcerting seeing a website for an interesting project and then finding it hasn't been updated in a few years, but that should hopefully be changing soon.  There's also a facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/GCR567Loco/) which does update more frequently. 
Logged
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2017, 12:49:02 pm »

We have a new website up and running!  There's a lot more background information to the project, a little bit about an affiliated group that is restoring surviving Great Central Railway carriages- with a piece describing their newly-completed 6-wheel carriage- and the latest society newsletter and article for 'Mainline' (the society magazine for Friends of the Great Central Mainline). 

Speaking of which, I believe both the next quarterly newsletter and the next issue of 'Mainline' are due soon-ish- so I should be able to provide another update on progress in the next few weeks.  Fingers crossed. 
Logged
BaronVonBoiler
Gunner
**
United States United States


Steampunk Railroader


« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2017, 06:30:50 am »

When I am not at work, I must like the Facebook page for this project.

On my Bucket List is a trip across the pond to to England. I am always impressed with the work that goes into the preservation of steam locomotives, and I do believe that England has some of the best efforts. The only "new-build" project I am aware of here in the States is that of the Pennsylvania Railroad T1 No. 5550; but, I can't imagine the whole locomotive will actually materialize, it seems much too grand an adventure when mainline steam excursions are waning due to costs and liability.

I will be watching with great interest, sir.
Logged
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2017, 04:16:10 pm »

When I am not at work, I must like the Facebook page for this project.

On my Bucket List is a trip across the pond to to England. I am always impressed with the work that goes into the preservation of steam locomotives, and I do believe that England has some of the best efforts. The only "new-build" project I am aware of here in the States is that of the Pennsylvania Railroad T1 No. 5550; but, I can't imagine the whole locomotive will actually materialize, it seems much too grand an adventure when mainline steam excursions are waning due to costs and liability.

I will be watching with great interest, sir.

Cheers!

I think that's an important point you bring up about mainline excursions being wound up. 

We have a similar problem in the UK; in fact with several, facets in that firstly the company that owns the track is fond of arbitrarily declaring locomotives 'out of gauge' on various routes (ie stating that they'll foul bridges and platforms), which makes things more difficult (last Christmas there was supposed to be a steam special from Birmingham to Lincoln which was cancelled at the last minute after it was decided the engine wouldn't get through Nottingham station without taking the platform copings with it.  Fair enough, except the same engine had taken a train on the same route with no problems at all a few months previously.  Maybe permanent way pixies come along in the night and move the rails around). 

The second part of the problem is that there are only two rail companies passed to supply drivers for mainline operations (there are plenty of volunteer steam drivers around the country of course, but there's a bit of a difference in legal red tape necessary to drive a steam engine at 20mph on a private length of track and taking that same engine at 60mph+ on the national network).  So there's a shortage of suitably qualified and insured loco crew. 

This second part is compounded by the third part of the problem; one of those two companies has had an 'interesting' recent history that nearly resulted in it being denied access to the national network- not only did they run a steam train through a red light and end up stopped across a junction with a 125mph+ express mainline, to go through the red light in the first place one of their staff had tampered with safety equipment. 

And if those three issues weren't enough, there's an ongoing programme of signalling and electrification works, to increase capacity on the network.  Retrofitting steam locos with the new signalling gear can and has been done, but it's expensive and most of our preserved locos are owned by private individuals or syndicates and clearly some of those are going to see this latest hurdle as too much hard work to be worthwhile. 

I'm of the opinion that mainline steam in the UK most likely only has a few decades at most left. 

Luckily (and I guess we're spoilt here) we do have a vibrant preservation scene- if I draw a 35-mile radius from my house there are about eight or nine steam railways I can visit (Chasewater, Severn Valley, Telford Steam Railway, Foxfield, Churnet Valley, Peak Rail, Great Central and Great Central (Nottingham) ).  I find it disconcertingly easy to forget that at times.   
Logged
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2017, 12:29:44 pm »

The Spring 2017 copy of Mainline landed on my doormat yesterday and there is a small update on works to #567 and a writeup of the October AGM (which I attended and my impressions of such form the opening post in this thread). 

As of last October, we had managed to either buy or reserve most of motion and valvegear.  A lot of these components actually come from a stock of spares for the Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns class 56 industrial tank engine design, of which there are two preserved at Ruddington. 

It may sound odd that mechanically speaking a 1950s industrial loco is identical to an 1890s express engine, but in examining the drawings of the two types it would appear that in designing the GCR type 2 4-4-0, Kitsons (builders of the prototype of the class, #560, in 1887) used a number of their standard components for the motion and valvegear.  When the Great Central took ownership of #560, the first thing they did was to tear it to pieces, so as to allow the production of a set of drawings of their own at Gorton to allow further examples of the class to be built in-house.  Hence it was 1891 before a further six examples of the design (GCR #561 though #567) appeared.  Further examples were built between 1891 and 1895, in several batches split between the GC works at Gorton and Kitsons. 

Kitsons went bankrupt in the middle 1930s and in 1938 the name, goodwill and drawings of the company were bought by Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn.  There is then evidence that the standard Kitson motion and valvegear designs were applied to RSH locomotives in the 1940s and 1950s... so there we have it.  Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn industrial locos of the 1950s used castings and components that hadn't changed in over 60 years.

As the AGM writeup notes, all of this means that there is a significant amount of the locomotive ready and waiting to be erected once the frames are returned to Ruddington. 

Moving forward to new news then;  the mid-frame stretcher and the motion stretcher have been completed.  These are small parts of the frames- relatively small parts of the frames- that have been able to be built in-house at Ruddington.  I have mentioned before how these are plates 4' long, 2' or so deep and an inch thick, so 'small' is definitely a bit of a misnomer.  You'd know about it if one of them fell on your foot....

Work is progressing on the manufacture of the motion- the parts that aren't provided for by industrial loco spares that is- the metal bars that will ultimately form the slidebars are stored whilst we're sourcing a contractor to mill and grind them to size. 

There's an awful lot of the engine already built- and even more still to build!- and once the frames have been returned to site we'll be in a position to erect quite a sizeable lump of the engine. 
Logged
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2017, 05:59:02 pm »

The latest quarterly newsletter has arrived in my inbox this afternoon.  A few weeks ago the Summer issue of Mainline also arrived, the update in the magazine however was very much a case of 'work is progressing' and not much more. 

The newsletter, on the other hand, discusses the ongoing machining of the frames.  The frames are 40' long, inch-and-a-half thick steel.  They can't be machined at Ruddington as this is rather involved specialist work; hence they've been contracted out and the only news we've had about them previously has been that 'they're being machined'. 

What does this involve and why is it necessary?

Obviously you can't just go to a steelyard and say 'I want a pair of MSLR Class 2 frames' and have the steelyard reply 'certainly Sir, we've got a pair sitting in the stores round back and the lads will drop them off this afternoon'.  It would be nice (and much easier!) if we could, but we can't.  What you can do though is go to the same steelyard, order two off sheets of steel 40' long by 4' wide by 1.5'' thick, and the steelyard will oblige you.  They can even rough-cut the steel for you.  But there is a difference between a piece of steel roughly cut into the shape of a locomotive side frame, and an actual locomotive side frame. 

So this is what the machining is about- taking the two rough blanks as they arrived from the steelyard and turning them into the finished article.  There are several elements to this job; firstly (this might sound obvious!) you have to make sure that the two blanks are identical.... secondly all the rivet and bolt holes, the apertures for the axles and hornblocks, the recess the cylinder block sits in..... all of those have to be carefully measured, measured again, compared to drawings and measured again, rough cut, measured and compared, cut again and then the edges finished, and then thirdly the sheet steel has to be bent to shape.  This last operation, bear in mind that we've slightly tweaked the frame design to improve the strength of it at the front end, which involves setting the cylinder block actually into the frames and then requires the use of doubling plates and bends around the cylinder block. 

The latest news therefore is that the machining of the frames is complete; they've been cut to size and shape, all of the necessary holes have been drilled cut or punched through them and they're now moving on to the bending part of the operation.  To make sure they're identical, they were first welded together, and then machined.  Now they will be separated and then bent, at which point we'll move from having two identical frames to a handed pair. 

Moving away from the frames and looking at the motion, the slidebars have been sent away for final grinding and finishing.  Back in October at the Member's Day the material for these had just been delivered; you may recall a photograph I posted at the time of eight long bars of metal wrapped up in blue plastic.  We're now starting to look at the design of the big end straps and the crosshead slide blocks. 

The crosshead slide blocks are joint, if you like, between the piston rod and the connecting rods.  They (as their name suggests) slide back and forth in the slidebars and are the component in which the back-forth motion supplied by the cylinders becomes more a rotational movement.  The connection between piston rod and crosshead slide block is fixed, whilst that between the slide block and the connecting rod is a pivot. 

At the other end of the connecting rod is the crank axle.  For an inside-cylindered engine, if you imagine trying to thread the connecting rod onto the axle, to quite quickle see the difficulties you run into.... you have to try and turn it 90 degrees one way, then 90 degrees another, and then even if you do manage that the frames get in the way.... so the way to get around this is to cut the connecting rod off short of the axle, and then run a strap around from the connecting rod, around the axle, and then back onto the connecting rod.  We call it a 'strap' but it's a bit more than just a piece of leather!- it's a large, heavy lump of steel with whitemetal bearing faces where it meets the crank axle.  It is exactly the same principle as is used in a car engine. 



Except in this case of course it's that bit bigger. 




Logged
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2017, 04:03:27 pm »

It's a little early for an update yet; newsletters and updates are generally put out at around 3-month intervals (meaning I expect to be able to post another bulletin sometime in the middle of September). 

However; a few days ago I found out about this (although it's a faceache page it is set up so that non-faceache people can see it).

So; an opportunity to see a restored Great Central carriage, an opportunity to see the other seven (I think there's seven) ex-Great Central carriages on the same site, a run along 10 miles of preserved track with a chance to see the extension works at the other end (by the time mid-September rolls around the new bridge over the Midland line should be largely in place)- oh and the GCR567 group will also be there. 

Now, car health permitting I'm intending to be there.  If anybody wants to come along and make a day out of it.....

Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2017, 06:04:00 am »

It's a little early for an update yet; newsletters and updates are generally put out at around 3-month intervals (meaning I expect to be able to post another bulletin sometime in the middle of September). 

However; a few days ago I found out about this (although it's a faceache page it is set up so that non-faceache people can see it).

So; an opportunity to see a restored Great Central carriage, an opportunity to see the other seven (I think there's seven) ex-Great Central carriages on the same site, a run along 10 miles of preserved track with a chance to see the extension works at the other end (by the time mid-September rolls around the new bridge over the Midland line should be largely in place)- oh and the GCR567 group will also be there. 

Now, car health permitting I'm intending to be there.  If anybody wants to come along and make a day out of it.....





You lucky dog, you. Please post some photos...
Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2017, 05:09:16 pm »

I will certainly do my best. 
Logged
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2017, 05:44:05 pm »

Unfortunately car problems put paid to the intended visit in mid-September Angry 

Happily however, if anybody does want to view a fully restored Great Central carriage dating from the 1880s, you now can.  Carriage 946, having recently completed a 16-year restoration, has been moved from the workshops at Ruddington and is now on display at the Montsorrel Heritage Centre, Leicestershire. 

The date for the Supporters Day and AGM of the 567 Group has also been announced.  10.30AM on Sunday November 11- I'm rather looking forward to going and seeing the progress since last year's AGM. 
Logged
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2017, 05:01:13 pm »

I should have waited a day!

The latest newsletter arrived today.  Big news!- the frames are expected back in Ruddington toward the end of October.  The newsletter then calmly states "the next stage will be to bolt them together"...

The way the locomotive is designed, the frames are built around the cylinder block.  If we're talking about erecting the frames then ergo we must be getting close to having the cylinder block ready (THIS IS POTENTIALLY MY READING THE SITUATION WRONG- we haven't had any updates as such about work on the cylinder block).  If that is the case, then excitingly we're about at the point where we could have a working engine of sorts.  Admittedly propped up on bricks and with an external steam supply, but close to a situation where putting steam into it results in piston and connecting rods moving....

Talking about the motion and valvegear itself, more components are being made, restored or sourced.  We are now looking at contractors for work on the connecting rods and the manufacture of the crossheads. 

With the imminent return of the frames it can perhaps be expected that progress will step up a gear; hopefully it won't be too long before we have the basis of a locomotive we can have a walk around. 

I mentioned yesterday about the AGM and Supporters Day in November.  Only members of the 567 Group will be allowed to attend the AGM- however, on past experience people can turn up just for the workshop tour and talk, sign up as a member of the Group in the morning and be allowed to attend the AGM in the afternoon.   
Logged
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2017, 09:56:25 pm »

Another immensely enjoyable late Autumn/ early Winter day spent just south of Nottingham today; the 2017 Supporter's Day and Annual General Meeting of the 567 Group.  

First, a quick look around the Ruddington site, as things are always changing there.  



There is always that one guy who takes up half the car park.... this is an LMS class 8F heavy freight locomotive currently resident on the Great Central Railway (North).  Last year it kept breaking its springs, this year it has tired of that habit and developed firebox problems instead.  So she is currently out of service and steam trains are handled by a British Railways standard class 2 brought in from the Great Central Railway (Loughborough).  

Elsewhere on the site, there is a new workshop being erected (intended for carriages) and Ruddington Fields station has gained a temporary booking office (last year station facilities ran to a platform and a telephone kiosk) whilst work proceeds on a second platform.  The platform is built and I did notice today that track now extends about halfway down its length.  The ultimate plan for the station I believe is to build something on the lines of a miniature grand mainline terminus.  

Right; onto the main event.  

There was a good turnout as not only was it the Supporter's Day but also the Derby Locomotive Society had been invited to attend as an outing for their members.  Things were therefore a little different to last years proceedings, for the morning at least, as in addition to being shown developments on our locomotive we were given a general tour of the workshops for an idea of just how much work goes into keeping a preserved railway going.  

Right up to a few weeks ago there was a hope that the locomotive frames would be completed and delivered back to Ruddington in time for the AGM but sadly this has not been the case.  It is a case trying to programme our project into the wider workload of the subcontractors; sometimes the necessary machinery might be between jobs but the operator best suited to the work is too busy (or vice versa).  The Group Committee have said however that when the frames are completed and delivered, there will be another Supporter's Day organised so everybody can go and have a look at them.  

This aside, there was still a sizeable number of components on display and it was nice to see how they have progessed over the year.  The quarterly newsletter of course describes what work has taken place but it is difficult to imagine exactly what is meant and so being able to see a finished part and think back that this time last year it was merely a newly-delivered lump of rare material is very satisfying.  

Shall I show a few photographs?



Lets start with a reminder of where we were last year.  Wrapped up in blue plastic is some newly-delivered steel bar to be worked up into slidebars.  Slidebars are steel rails extending back from the cylinders which act as guides for the pistons.  Above those bars are the crossheads.  These sit on the end of the pistons and the connecting rod sits inside of them.  The connecting rod pivots in the crosshead and it is in this assemblage where the back-forth motion of the piston into and out of the cylinder turns into more a rotational movement turning the axles.  Outside of the crossheads are the slidebar slippers. There are eight slidebars- each cylinder has four- two upper and two lower to each cylinder.  The slippers, as their name suggests, sit between the upper and lower slidebars and shunt back and forth along their length- they guide the movement of the pistons.  Finally there are eight brass oil pots.  These oil pots sit two each to each upper slidebar.  They provide lubrication, as might be expected.  Then around the slidebars we have various cylinderblock-related castings and at the back some parts of the valves.  

So, that's how things stood in October 2016.  



The slidebars are now complete.  They have been machined and ground 'true' (that is, straight and square) to tolerances of 4 thousandths of an inch.  Each face has been separately machined, as we needed two 'true' faces to each, but the onyl way to do this to machine all four faces.  They've also been treated with an anti-corrosion/ preservation material to prevent surface rusting/ pitting.  They are the eight oily-looking bars wrapped in cellophane in this photograph.  Above the slidebars we have some new components, I'm not sure what the technical term is but basically they are the fixings between the slidebars and the motion frame stretcher (of which more later).  And then finally above those we have the oil pots from last year, mounted for the present on a 'fake' slidebar for exhibition purposes.  



Another part of the motion; this is the pattern for the spindle valve cover.  What does this do?  If you think of steam going into the cylinder to push the piston out and turn the wheels a quarter of a turn, you need something to shut off that steam supply to allow the piston to come back into the cylinder and permit the wheels to complete a revolution.  Otherwise you're compressing the piston and connecting rod between the wheel, which wants to rotate, and a cylinder full of steam, which will compress a ways but only so far.  Something has to give and that could be the cylinder head blowing off, the cylinder side exploding out, or the motion getting twisted and warped out of shape.  So the way we avoid this is to set the cylinders up so that as steam is rushing in and pushing the cylinder out, the resulting turn of the wheel is pushing something into the steampipe to shut off the supply of steam and open a release valve to let the steam in the cylinder out.  Same as with the pistons and connecting rods though, unless you're guiding the direction they're moving in, this rod could well get warped and twisted.  So it sits in the spindle valve cover, which guides its movements.  

Last year this component was at an early stage of construction.  It is now finished and ready to be sent to the foundry for casting.  There are comparatively few castings in this locomotive; much of it can be built out of various steel plates, sheets and tubes.  



This is the motion stretcher. It was on display last year- it can be seen at the foot of the photograph of the motion and valvegear in 2016- but it was then incomplete and unpainted. It is now finished and painted and when the sideframes return it can be fitted.  It provides the 'back end' for the slidebars.  



There's another stretcher too!- this one sits at roughly the mid-point of the sideframes.  This one wasn't shown last year but again has been manufactured over the course of 2016-17 and is also now complete.  This photo quite neatly illustrates the scale of some of these parts.  It has been built in-house at Ruddington and, stood on end here, is about 4 feet high and eighteen inches wide.  Quite a chunky piece of metal.  



Well that concluded the show and tell part of the day and we moved on to a general tour of the workshops.  What we see here then is one of three industrial tank engines undergoing restoration on the middle road of the shed.  Now the shed has three tracks, or in technical parlance 'roads' running into it.  The first road has an inspection pit- we couldn't see this today because there was a big diesel engine shunted over it.  The middle road has these three industrial engines on it.  The third road last year was taken up by a pair of Great Central carriages dating back to the turn of the 20th century.  This year one of those carriages was still there, but the other has been completed and is now on public display at Montsorrel in Leicestershire.  More on these carriages shortly.  

The point was made by our Chairman that if everything currently being worked upon was complete and available on site, #567 could in short order resemble this state of completion- frames up, motion and valvegear erected, and running plate and cabsheets being set up.  Another eighteen months to two years and we could well be at that point- if not further still!  The rate of progress is very much dependant on donations and volunteer effort, if money isn't coming in or people don't do the work then progress understandably slows. At current rates of progress we're expecting a completion date between 2022 and 2024.  



I said a little while ago I would talk more about the original Great Central carriages on site.  You may recall back in September there was a special open day organised by the Great Central Railway Rolling Stock Trust to show and tell their collection which I hoping to go to but ultimately had to sit out.  They have nine carriages in their care at Ruddington- sorry, eight now excluding #946 at Montsorrel- and their next project is going to be the first of their four Barnum carriages.  The Barnum carriages are so called becuase of their distinctly North American appearance- they represent a step change of sorts in British carriage design in being amongst the earliest examples of American-style open saloon carriages in the UK.  They are built of teak on steel underframes and date from 1910.  When all four are completed and paired up with Butler Henderson or #567.... well that will be a very special sight indeed!

So that was our 2017 AGM and Supporter's Day.  Quite a lengthy post but I hope you find it informative and entertaining and I'm sure you'll agree quite a lot of progress achieved.  
« Last Edit: November 11, 2017, 10:13:15 pm by James Harrison » Logged
Drew P
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2017, 03:44:04 am »

Totally  Cool
Logged

Never ask 'Why?'
Always ask 'Why not!?'
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.274 seconds with 16 queries.