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Author Topic: Great Central Railway No.567; a New-Build 1890s Railway Locomotive  (Read 10898 times)
James Harrison
Immortal
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England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« 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
Immortal
**
England England


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
Immortal
**
England England


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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Banfili
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia



« 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
Immortal
**
England England


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
Immortal
**
England England


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
**
England England


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
**
England England


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
Immortal
**
England England


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
Immortal
**
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
Immortal
**
England England


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
Immortal
**
England England


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
Zeppelin Captain
*****
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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