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Author Topic: Great Central Railway No.567; a New-Build 1890s Railway Locomotive  (Read 23296 times)
James Harrison
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« Reply #50 on: March 14, 2019, 08:02:04 am »

That I think is one of the nicer things about the 567 project. Unlike certain other newbuilds they don't expect you to be a millionaire to get involved. (See the group's asking for £1000 donations for details...
)
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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.
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #51 on: March 29, 2019, 10:02:27 pm »

Somehow, mysteriously, one of the bogie hornstays has been sponsored.  No idea how that happened....

Surprisingly inexpensive, given what all the bits and pieces are made of. Thirty quid of today's money amounts to how much in the 1890s?

Not surehow I missed this a few weeks ago!  £30 today would have been worth £0.24 in 1891 (when the original 567 was built).  It's not quite so simple as that though as the currency was decimalised in the 1971.  So... let's just try to work this out...

Pre-decimalisation there were 240 pence to the pound and twenty shillings in the pound.  From 1966 new 5p and 10p coins were introduced which were deemed to have the same value as a shilling and two shillings respectively.  So if 5 new pence = 1 shilling = 20 old pence then you see that £30 today would still have been £30 pre-decimalisation (£1 new = 100 pence and if 5 new pence = 20 old pence, then (100/5 = 20) and 20 x 20 = 240 old pence = £1 old).

So... yeah.... inflation for you that £30 today would be worth 24 pence 120 years ago.  Alternatively, £30 in 1891 would be worth £3780 today, which gives you an idea how reading old advertisements that seemingly offer incredible bargains probably weren't....
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2019, 10:00:33 am »

I had an update last night on the bogie hornstay I have sponsored. They're no hanging around; delivery is expected sometime in May, and it will only be 'that long' until it arrives bacause of a backlog at the frame manufacturers.  By then I might be in a position to sponsor a few more smaller, cheaper bits...
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #53 on: April 15, 2019, 07:33:47 pm »

One month after the latest batch of sponsored components was released and so far a big end strap, six bogie hornblocks and two bogie hornstays have been sponsored, which is an outstanding uptake considering so far the only people 'in the know' are the 185 or so members of the group, plus you guys here. 

Further, in the last month the drawhooks have been ordered and the steel for the bogie frame stretchers has been delivered.  The master for the bogie hornblocks has been completed and these are shortly to be ordered.  In short, the pace of things is picking up...
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« Reply #54 on: April 16, 2019, 02:17:07 am »

Snip
Further, in the last month the drawhooks have been ordered and the steel for the bogie frame stretchers has been delivered.  The master for the bogie hornblocks has been completed and these are shortly to be ordered.  In short, the pace of things is picking up...

I think that is the way with all projects - nothing much seems to be happening, then all of a sudden it all starts to fit together and pick up the pace!
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #55 on: April 20, 2019, 11:38:24 am »

Realistically I think it is a case of it took so long (3 years) to get the frames delivered, machined, re-delivered and roughly erected, that now that we have the frames there's a lot of pent-up energy to press forward on smaller jobs.  Smaller, cheaper jobs, quicker to complete and of course providing a lot of progress in a short time.  At the current rate that parts are being sponsored I would hope that by the time the AGM comes around- sometime this Autumn- work on the bogie might well be considerably advanced.
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #56 on: May 01, 2019, 09:19:49 pm »

More good news from the GCR-RST.  A very generous fundraising offer means that the bogies underneath #228 are off for restoration sooner rather than later.  The offer also extends to the next project on the to-do list...

So the carriage has now been jacked up and the bogies rolled out from beneath ready to be taken away.  Meanwhile work can continue on the saloons, which are now being panelled out- with new internal partitions and internal doors. 

Looking to the future, the Trust mentions in the latest copy of Driving Wheels that their objective is to restore the three Barnums in their ownership for eventual use with #567.  The fourth Barnum in their care is on long-term loan from the National Railway Museum and of the other carriages, one has been converted into a stores van, one has been restored, one has been flat-packed to prevent it falling apart and the other two are under tarpaulins.  Regarding these five carriages, they say, "the Trust is seeking partners to take and restore the more critical vehicles.... It is hoped some of these will be eligible for exhibition". 

Realistically of course it's a tall order to take on ten woebegone carriages and expect to be able to restore all of them, so (in my opinion at least) the Trust's decision to concentrate on just the one set that they own and that can be eventually be run as a coherent train, and try to pass the others on to other groups, is the right one.  A shame to do it? Yes.  The alternative though?  Carriages rotting away to nothing waiting their turn?  Worse. 

Of course, those who criticise and pass judgement also tend to be the ones most backward in coming forward when funds are wanting... so the message really is, if we want to keep them we have to be prepared to pay for them.       
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James Harrison
Immortal
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2019, 07:50:03 pm »

Email from the 567 Group today, parts still up for sponsorship...

- 1 Rear dragbox fabrication, £2000
- 1 Connecting rod big end strap, £1250
- 1 Bogie frame stretcher, £100
- 2 Bogie hornstays, £120 each
- 34 Bogie hornblock nuts and bolts, £30 each

And parts sponsored:

- 1 Connecting rod big end strap
- 8 Bogie hornblock castings
- 1 Bogie frame stretcher
- 2 Bogie hornstays (I sponsored one of those)
- 2 Bogie hornblock nuts and bolts (I sponsored both of those)

At the rate parts are going it's probably not too much to hope for that much of the bogie will be either sponsored, fabricated or actually assembled by the AGM (which is usually between September and November). 
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James Harrison
Immortal
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #58 on: May 27, 2019, 01:42:36 pm »

This weekend I have had the opportunity to take part in an access-all-areas tour of Didcot Railway Centre, including the repair shops. 



Right, what we are looking at here are the frames of another newbuild locomotive- Great Western #1014 County of Glamorgan- but the reason I am showing it is to illustrat some of what we have discussed previously.  The wheel and axle are down in the wheel drop pit, on the axle (and I thought I had caught this in the photo but apparently not) is the hornblock.  The hornblock sits in the rectangular cut out we can see in the frame and on the County you can see the rivets holding the hornblock guide in place.  This is basically localised thickening of the frame, achieved through a heavy casting bolted onto it, to resist the up/down/fore/aft motion of the axle, to prevent it breaking apart around the axle.  Below that rectangular cut out you can see the fixing lugs for the hornstay.  The hornstay is a plate or bar that bolts in below the hornblock and acts as a tie holding the frame together below the axle.  The cut-out for the axle is a natural weakpoint in the frame so you really have to reinforce it around the axles to prevent it breaking apart, splitting or stretching around here. 

There's no news yet from #567 and- I'm not sure when the next newsletter will arrive.  I know when it is due but sadly one of the key members of the team suddenly passed away recently.  Work is continuing but of course lumps of metal are inconsequential compared with somebody's life.  So, news might be sparse for the short term future, but behind the scenes the work carries on. 

Anyway, just an interesting photograph I was able to take which neatly illustrates some of what I've been talking about. 
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #59 on: May 27, 2019, 02:36:33 pm »



Another photo from Didcot this weekend, this time I think a pannier tank under overhaul.  Now what this photo shows is looking over the frames and down into the locomotive around the driving axle.  So you can see the hornblock guide casting rivetted onto the inside face of the frame,  then inside that you've got the eccentrics and- in fact, correction, I think this an outside cylinder loco with inside valvegear- but basically you a fabricated crank axle and the eccentricity of the axle as it is turning works the levers that you can see coming back, whch control the valves allowing steam in and out of the cylinders.  An inside cylinder loco works in exactly the same fashion, except that it's even more cramped in between the frames.  But you see what I mean when I say that space is tight and these things really are built like watches?

Basically, the point we have reached with 567 at the moment is that- if everything either built, on order or being worked on could be brought together at once- we'd have something not a million miles removed from this. We don't yet have the crank axle or the wheels but the frames and stretchers, the connecting rods, the hornblock bits- all of that we have to hand. 
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James Harrison
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England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #60 on: June 10, 2019, 08:11:03 pm »

This is what I came home to this evening...



Limited edition of 100 and mine is #12. 

And why have I got this rather pretty little painting? well....



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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #61 on: June 24, 2019, 06:39:58 pm »



This weekend I have mostly been doing steam train things with small steam trains on the Welsh coast.  This may or may not have included a ride through Aberglaslyn Pass with the lights turned out in the carriage looking over my shoulder at darting spouts of white steam from a pair of small engines going flat out trying to drag four carriages up a 1:30 gradient to Beddgelert. 

A more refined part of the weekend was a visit to Penryn Catle and its industrial railway museum.  I was able to (almost) clamber into one of the locomotives to get this photograph of the arrangement of the inside valve gear, which is pretty much identical to what we're starting build up inside 567. 

The big red-painted casting is the cylinder block.  You can see bolted onto this are a total of eight black bars, four to each cylinder, two top and two bottom.  These are the slide bars; without them, the piston rods would buckle.  You can see, above the top bars, the oil pots for lubrication.  Yep- we've got those too.  Inside the slide bars you can see the piston rods and the slide bar slippers and then the ends of the connecting rods, which is where the in-out motion of the pistons and cylinders becomes more of a rotational movement. 

Moving toward the centre-line of the locomotive you see two brass rods coming out of the cylinder block- these are the valves which are driven off eccentrics on the driving axle.  As the steam in the cylinder expands, pushing the piston out and the axle around, the eccentric is pushing the valve in which closes off the steam pipe, allowing the steam already in the cylinder to contract and pull the piston back in.  This motion of course is aided by the cylinders being set up at 90-degree advance, so the one piston being pushed out in fact aids the other to be pushed back in.  The other thing the valve does is to open a route for the steam in the cylinder to escape.  It's all a matter of timing...



You might be wondering what happens at the other end of the slide bars- and here's your answer.  They are bolted to a frame spacer- the motion stretcher- and you can see this has a series of apertures to allow the connecting rods and eccentrics to pass through. 

All of this is in a space maybe 4' wide and 6' long so- see my previous comment about these things being built like watches. 

One last thing though; in my shoes I'm a shade over 6' tall.  I had to stand almost on tiptoe to get these photographs.  The locomotive will need oiling round every hundred miles or so- those oil pots on the slide bars will need replenishing.  Somebody will have to climb up on the loco, lie down and then stretch over, under a red-hot boiler with maybe 160psi steam pressure, steam, oil, water dripping everywhere, to lubricate the machinery.  Do you still want to grow up to be an engine driver?

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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #62 on: July 02, 2019, 07:30:52 pm »

Well, I came home tonight to a very nice letter, a certificate and the latest newsletter from the GCR Rolling Stock Trust.  The certificate for sponsoring an axlebox oil pad, the letter acknowledging my donation (how I wish certain other groups would do that.... the 567 Group, GCR-RST and GCRN are very good at acknowledging donations, which leaves.... another group, shall we say, who seem to think that supporters are ten-a-penny to be treated with contempt, until they want £2 million for a bridge over the mainline and £500,000 for a canal bridge, oh and another £££ for more bridges and embankment)....

Anyhow, news! 

Barnum #228 has lost it's bogies.  I'm happy to say, not to the vandalising mouth-breathing untermensch who keep visiting Ruddington after hours, but rather to a rail engineering company who will be rebuilding them.  Said rail engineering company have also suggested a match-funding scheme, four bogies for the price of two...

They are now also planning the restoration of the Barnum brake and discussing how best to deal with the now-unique clerestory carriage body.  Now, those three would make a very nice train behind 567... one day. 

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Banfili
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Australia Australia



« Reply #63 on: July 03, 2019, 01:49:23 am »

You are very well, James!
My maternal step-grandfather was a steam engine driver - he used to do the Sydney to the Blue Mountains run.
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James Harrison
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England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #64 on: August 12, 2019, 07:15:02 pm »

The June newsletter has, I think, not happened this year.  Our Treasurer sadly passed away this Spring and other members of the Committee having things going on, 567 has understandably been put almost on the backburner for a period.  However; work has still been going on and the August issue of the GCRN's magazine landed on my doormat this morning with an update. 

The sponsorship of various components has been rather successful; of the original list I posted back in March/ April only two of the larger parts are still up for grabs:

1 off connecting rod big end strap (£1250)
1 off bogie hornstay (£120)

There are still 31 nuts and bolts available at £30 each. 

A pattern has been made for the bogie hornblock castings and four of them (the locomotive requires eight) have already been cast.  A blow down valve (not a component of the original locomotive but a modern safety requirement) has been bought in the US.  The bogie stretchers have been rough machined; Ruddington is commissioning new machinery almost all the time and the in-house manufacturing capability is always improving.  They'll be finish-machined when confidence has been gained with the lathe's screw-cutting capabilities or another piece of machinery is installed. 

The remaining three main axle hornblocks have also been brought to the works after the first was successfully proof-machined earlier this year. 

Date in the diary time; the next Locomotive Supporters' Day is Sunday September 29.   
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #65 on: September 29, 2019, 06:12:02 pm »

So, we braved the absolutely filthy weather today and trekked over to south Nottingham. 

Lots of work going on in lots of directions....

Barnum #228 is propped up and it's wheels and bogies are conspicuous by their absence.  They are away being restored.  Whilst the running gear isn't in the way, the GCR-RST are using the opportunity to reinstate heating and brake lines that are otherwise the Devil's own work to get to. 

Ruddington Fields station is steadily gaining a second platform road and centre road. 



When I last visited (back in January) the second platform track ended roughly where that orange diesel is and the turnout didn't exist.  I believe, reading Driving Wheels magazine, that when the turnout is completed the plain track will be extended down to the end of the platform, and when that is in place work will step up on completing the platform itself. 

Right, onto #567 herself.  Last year you may recall there was a bit of a hullaballoo as the frames were delivered and roughly assembled.  Since then the frames have been left as-was and progress has been made in other areas.  It's pointless having completed frames that then have to be pulled apart for other components to be fitted, or completed frames that then sit idle whilst other bits are worked upon. 



Shortly after the frames were delivered, first one and then three more hornblocks were delivered.  These are large roughly horseshoe-shaped castings that are bolted inside the frames.  The axles then sit inside these and can slip up and down.  Think of them as being sort of the suspension for the locomotive. 
Now, these castings arrive from the foundry in a fairly rough and ready state; these ones have been primed to avoid corrosion but before they can be used they have to be cleaned up and the surfaces smoothed and squared off.



Which is what is happening to this one.  It's sitting on (I think) a Cincinatti milling machine and it is slowly being ground down and smoothed off for fitting.  The casting is large enough that only part of it can be treated at a time; every so often it has to be nmounted, turned around and re-mounted, and I'm told that this is a b*ggar of a job.  There's a lot that can be achieved in-house at Ruddington but the reality is of course that some parts are just too big for us to do ourselves.  These hornblocks are roughly on the edge of what we can look at ourselves. 



Another view of the hornblock and the pattern these castings were created from. 



Now, this red and white pattern you will have seen before.  It is the valve spindle guide pattern that was on display back in 2016.  Behind it are some new bits; glands for the rear cover of the cylinder block.  These will ultimately form a part of the mechanism that prevents steam escaping the cylinder as the piston slides in and out. 



And this is the casting for the valve spindle guide, on a small lathe being bored out.  There's a little reaming tool on the lathe and that is slowly removing material.  Because the spindle needs to be bored out throughout its length we need to make another tool; the reamer currently fitted is too short.  You could make a longer one but then you run into problems of the tool being cantilevered and possibly damaged or unbalanced.  So we're making one that will span between both ends of the lathe, with the tool on a slip so it can be moved up and down along the length of the workpiece. 



Then we move on to the bogie.  Last year this was two roughly-cut sideplates and a list of components for sponsorship.  All the hornblocks have been sponsored and consequently a pattern has been made and the blocks cast.  This is the pattern...



... and here are two of them roughly fitted in place for demonstration purposes whilst being cleaned up and finished. 



A third hornblock guide is on another milling machine but frustratingly this has now broken down and needs to be fixed!



On another lathe is one of the bogie stretchers.  There are two of these and both have been sponsored so work has started on these too. 

To complete news about the bogie; we still need to get a pattern made and a subsequent casting for the central bogie block that fixes the bogie to the locomotive.  There are also a few bogie parts still available for sponsorship and most of the nuts and bolts are still up for grabs. 





We have footplate steps too now!  And material both delivered and on order for the footplate valences and decking. 

That concluded the workshop tour and we then had the AGM.  Progress this year has been good but the timetable has slipped a little and it now looks ambitious to have a working steam locomotive by 2024.  However, it still looks achievable to have frames fully setup, cylinder block and motion fitted, footplate valences and decking fitted and even the cab sheets and splashers and smokebox built.  We might even have the bogie on wheels by then. 

If you want to get involved there are still 12 seats up for grabs on the inaugural train....

https://www.gcr567loco.co.uk/
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #66 on: October 04, 2019, 06:25:06 pm »

Every so often I visit the preserved Great Central Railway for a day out.  Today was one of those days, being their Autumn Steam Gala, and one of the visiting engines is a London & South Western Railway class T9, built 1899.  Some stats:

Driving wheel diameter = 6' 7"
Weight = 46 tons
Tractive Effort = 17,670lbf
Cylinders =  2 inside, 19" bore x 26" stroke.





What an utterly lovely piece of machinery.  I was much struck by the softness of its exhaust beat and how completely at home it was lifting six or seven carriages up to line speed and keeping them there. 

So why do I bring this up?  Because mechanically 567 is pretty much identical...

Driving wheel diameter = 6' 9"
Weight = 46 tons
Tractive effort = 14,144lbf (on a 160psi boiler- 567 will be pressed to 180psi)
Cylinders = 2 inside, 18" bore x 26" stroke. 
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #67 on: November 16, 2019, 07:40:00 pm »

Update from the Rolling Stock Trust...

Funding for the restoration of the bogies and wheelsets for Barnum #228 is progressing well; so far we've raised just shy of £10,000 for the work, which is about a third of the cost.  The company undertaking the work has offered to match-fund any donations so the actual money raised is nearer the £20,000 mark. 

Meanwhile in Ruddington the team are cracking on with the underside refit of the running gear- brakelines, heating, plumbing and so on- in the course of which we've found that the carriage suffered a heavy shunt at some point which buckled one of the bufferbeams.  A bit of unexpected work there. 

A bit of sad news to relate is that the Barnum set has been reduced to three carriages.  Of the four at Ruddington, three are owned by the Trust and one is the property of the National Railway Museum.  This last the Trust has decided is, realistically, not going to get the attention it deserves in an acceptable timeframe, so with regret it's return to the NRM is being negotiated.  I have mentioned previously however how the Trust, with nine vehicles of its own in various states of repair (from museum-quality to rotten flatpack) is facing a massive uphill task to restore everything in its possession- and has for the last few years been advertising that it is open to offers from other groups to take projects off its hands. 

As the Trust says though, with their three Barnums restored they will have a truly unique, complete, pre-WWI, set of tourist excursion stock- they hope in time for the completion of the reunification project at Loughborough (another project I support which will give us an 18-mile, partly double track, preserved intercity mainline between Leicester and Nottingham).  Now imagine that, behind #567, rolling into Loughborough from the north in about seven or eight years' time....



Something just a little like that...
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2020, 07:47:58 pm »

You wait months for a newsletter and then two are scheduled are turn up a few weeks apart....

This first February update takes the form of a precis of progess in 2019 and concludes with an update on the progress of the drawings.  The front and rear dragboxes are proving 'challenging' but the platework around the engine (the splashers, the cab sheets, the footsteps and the running plate) is all in hand (whether in the form of completed components, materials in hand or drawings awaiting completion and sign off). 

Next update should be in March.
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #69 on: February 13, 2020, 08:09:55 pm »

Update from the GCR RST, where the bogies for Barnum carriage #228 have been extricated, despatched to a workshop in Burton and are now in pieces for complete overhaul.  One is in worse condition than the other; much replacement steelwork is required.  The hope is that they'll be returned to Ruddington sometime in the late Spring. 
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James Harrison
Immortal
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #70 on: April 22, 2020, 05:57:56 pm »

Newsletter time!  This is newsletter 36, and I'm surprised going through my archives that the earliest one I received was no.21- June 2016... next month marks 4 years since I became a supporter, and I honestly don't know where that time has gone.... shall we mark in the diary a five-year precis for May 2021?

Anyhow, update. 

No futher work has been undertaken on the frames since they were temporarily bolted together last Summer. 

Work in the shops was ongoing until damnable plague struck in mid-March, and since then although obviously the workshops are closed, progress has been made on the paperwork and design side of things.  I'll come to that shortly...

Back in September you may recall we discussed the driving axle hornblocks.  Since then several milling operations have been undertaken on them, there is still much to be done. 

The support brackets for both the trailing headstock and the running plate have been fabricated, and marking out and drilling of holes for their fitting is ongoing.  There are also three pairs of brackets along the length of the locomotive to support the running plate, and the material for these is being prepared.  The rear brackets are proving particularly complex in that they have to accommodate reciprocating machinery (we have to make sure the connecting rods won't hit them). 

Work is also progressing on the valvegear spindle, which is being bored out.  A pair of pilot holes have been drilled right through it, work is now taking place on making the tool required to bore them out to full diameter.

Speaking of tools, the horizontal milling machine is still out of action and is currently stripped down awaiting repair.  A mounting bracket has broken- a new one is being fabricated.  At the same time the machine shop is being reorganised; a new (well, new to us) lathe is being installed.

So, moving on from what we're doing now to what we've got planned. 

Some parts are still available for sponsorship- 18 bogie hornblock bolts at £30 each and a connecting rod big end strap for £1250.  There's a tranche of new components for sponsorship that will hopefully be announced in the next newsletter...

Design work continues of course- concentrating at the moment on the bogie wheelsets, axleboxes and frames, driving wheel axleboxes, running plates, splashers and chimney.  For some of these enquires have been made to suppliers either for castings or raw material. 

It feels overall like we're gearing up for another great leap forward in the near future.
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #71 on: May 02, 2020, 08:58:57 am »

It's also update time for the group restoring some original Great Central carriages. 

The current project- Barnum car no.228- you may recall that the bogies and wheelsets were hauled out from underneath and sent away for reconstruction.  Were it not for this damnable plague they'd be back soon... work on them is either complete or nearly so and in the latest of copy of 'Driving Wheels' (which landed on my doormat yesterday) the word is they're expected back sometime in the next month.  I'm guessing this was written before somebody's wildlife-eating habits shut down Western civilisation.  The plan remains that 228 will be back in traffic sometime in the next two years.  Excitingly, the next carriage in line for restoration- Barnum brake no.695- is also going to be jacked up and its bogies and wheels sent for rehabilitation, hopefully as soon as within the next few months. 
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #72 on: June 13, 2020, 03:21:31 pm »

The carriage restoration group have launched a new website:

https://gcr-rollingstocktrust.co.uk/

There's a lot of information about the history of the carriages as well as what they're doing with them, which is interesting. 
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #73 on: June 17, 2020, 11:34:47 pm »

My Dear Monsieur Harrison -
thanks for keeping us up on this project, it is a rare treat and the dedication of the entire group is incredible!

I do have one dumb question - what fuel is to be used?  the high BTU but nasty coal, less nasty less polluting wood, or is it to be fitted to burn oil?

yhs
prof marvle
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James Harrison
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Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #74 on: June 18, 2020, 05:34:33 pm »

My Dear Monsieur Harrison -
thanks for keeping us up on this project, it is a rare treat and the dedication of the entire group is incredible!

I do have one dumb question - what fuel is to be used?  the high BTU but nasty coal, less nasty less polluting wood, or is it to be fitted to burn oil?

yhs
prof marvle

We discussed this at the last AGM (October last year?)- basically she's designed to burn coal, she could burn wood or biomass as-designed, oil firing would require some modification- but it was pointed out you could even just drop a lump of fissile material in her firebox and she'd steam merrily away, irradiating the landscape as she did so. 

Talking about coal though; the UK heritage industry (steam railways etc) piggybacks onto the domestic house-coal market, as it only accounts for around 30,000 tonnes of the stuff per year so doesn't really represent a worthwhile market for colliers to get into.  Every so often there are serious concerns that as environmental legislation is tightened up the supply of fuel will be cut off- most recently last year when it was announced only the smokeless anthracite-type coal will be sold domestically. 
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