NEWS

Spring 2022 Update

In the last update we finished with the initial assembly of the carrier frames. As could be seen from the photographs it was easier to assemble these on their sides as this avoids having to fight gravity and hold several pieces up at the same time. The opportunity was taken to drill more holes in the angles to fix them to the frames. Once the structure had reached a suitable state of stability, it was decided to lower the frames down from their upright position. This then allowed us to continue to drill and fix the other angles and gussets as required.

Carrier frames lowered down onto stands

Once the angles fixing the rear coupler pivot plates to the frames had been drilled, it was possible to remove these plates to allow the pivot pin bosses to be welded to them. This has now been done and these plates have now been reinstalled into the structure. The remaining frame stiffening angles and gussets have now been fitted to the carrier frames together with two thickening strips, which will be riveted to the frames where the boiler expansion brackets on the firebox sides slide. These strips spread the weight of the firebox and the rear of the boiler over a larger area. Now that all this work has been completed we have reached the stage where the carrier frames are ready to go for riveting.

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Coupler pivot boss welded to lower plate
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This shows the welding on the top of the boss for the upper coupler plate
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Lower plate installed and primed
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Both coupler pivot plates in position and primed

It is intended that the various tank and bunker support brackets which need to be riveted to the frames will be manufactured and fixed as part of this contract. We hope to send the carrier frames for riveting in early April.

The riveting of the carrier frames has been anticipated to take 2 to 3 weeks. To try and reduce transport costs, work has commenced on the power bogie, since it is hoped that when the carrier frames are delivered back to us, the power bogies frames will be ready to go for riveting as a return load. Whilst the power bogie is away various castings which we have already had made will need machining and fitting together with the brackets for the spring and brake hangers.

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Frame reinforcing strips in position

The first stage in the work on the power bogie frames was to centre dot the location of all the holes to be drilled in the right hand frame. The position of these holes was generated during the profiling of the plates by cutting a cross in the surface. The next phase was identifying the size of hole required at each location and whether it needed to be countersunk. This part of the procedure having been completed, it then became an easy matter to proceed with the drilling. It was possible to speed this up by drilling all the holes of one diameter before moving on to another size. Even so, due to the number of holes needed, it still took four working days to complete this process.

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Right hand power bogie frame with most of the holes drilled

Now that all the holes have been drilled in the right hand frame (although not yet to the final size), attention will turn to the left frame which will have a few holes drilled at strategic points in order to accurately dowel and bolt the two plates together. When this is done more days will be spent drilling through the holes in the left plate, using those in the right one as a guide. At this stage the two plates can be separated. The left plate can be turned over in order to countersink the holes in the positions corresponding to those in the right plate. Some weeks ago Alan Frodsham was asked to make a pattern for the bearing bracket which attaches the brake cross-shaft to the carrier frames. This has now been done, the items cast and they have now been delivered.

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Pattern for brake cross-shaft bearing bracket
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Brake cross-shaft bearing bracket castings

Brian as usual has been very busy. He is still working on the piston rod and valve spindle glands, which, once the oil compartment lids have been fitted, will be complete. Also the three feed oil-box for lubricating the trailing bogie pivot only needs the lid hinge finishing and the holes for fixing this item to the bunker front drilled.

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Regulator quadrant casting and gland being machined

As if the above items are not enough, Brian has now almost finished machining the regulator quadrant casting and its associated gland. Setting up the quadrant casting for the various stages of machining caused quite a lot of head scratching, but as usual success prevailed.

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A collection of Brian’s excellent machining

As mentioned in the editorial section we have recently been informed that the tyres for the power bogie are now with our suppliers, Railway Wheelset & Brake Ltd.. These have appeared approximately one month earlier than expected, in fact we did not anticipate their arrival until after the wheels had been cast. Enquiries have been made with Statfold Engineering regarding the machining, quartering and assembly of these wheelsets. This will obviously result in further requests for sponsorship! During a recent conversation with a colleague on the South Tynedale Railway regarding the requirement for wheels for the trailing bogie, we were informed that they had two wheelsets which were surplus to their requirements, being non-standard for their rolling stock. These wheelsets are of slightly larger diameter than those fitted to the original GOWRIE, one set being larger by ¼ of an inch and the other by ½ an inch. The intention is to leave the smaller set as they are and turn down the other to match.

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One of the trailing bogie wheelsets before delivery

Although they have had them for some time they are unused as the machining marks are still evident on the treads. The purchase of these sets has resulted in a considerable saving even though the roller bearings and axle boxes will need to be changed as they are much too large for our needs. After discussing this issue, it has been decided that the best solution will be to turn down and shorten the axle ends and fit plain bearing axleboxes. This will require the axle ends to be shortened and turned to a smaller diameter as they are presently both too long and of too large a diameter when compared to the originals.

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Roller bearing axlebox before strip down for inspection
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Oilbox for trailing bogie pivot lubrication
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Trial fitting of rear coupler pivot pin
Carrier Frames ready to be sent away for riveting and the fitting of other brackets which are yet to be made