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Progress up to mid 2008
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23rd September 2015

This is a rather belated 'news' item for which apologies are offered. 

The Superpower event on the 12th & 13th of September offered an opportunity to see NG15 №134 back on its 'feet' again. The previous week the full time shed staff had re-wheeled the loco in time for the event.

At the AGM in the evening there was also an opportunity to see №134's original cab plates. These had been offered for sale in South Africa and were spotted by a supporter there. We were made aware of them but  it became apparent that we had to move quickly if we were to claim them. So there was a flurry of Facebook activity and emails asking for donations and whilst many supporters had offered to donate one person was prepared to stump up the full amount to secure them quickly whilst the donations were 'rounded up'. The plates were therefore purchased and sent to Wales in time for the Society AGM. We are still an amount short for the purchase so donations through the Society shop are still welcome.

One of 134's original plates now in Wales (Photo: Peter Randall)

One of 134's original plates now in Wales 

11th April 2015

The pattern maker as Boston Lodge has been busy and so we now have new patterns for bottom cap to the front and rear pony trucks, the core box and the adapter plates for converting the tender bogies to roller bearings. 

The Core Box pattern April 2015 (Photo Andie Shaw) The pony truck bottom cap (Photo Andie Shaw) The adapter plate for the tender roller bearings. (Photo Andie Shaw)

The core box (left), the pony truck bottom plate (centre) and the roller bearing adapter plate (right).

26th January 2015

The team has been informed that our new springs have arrived from the manufacturers in South Africa. 

These springs are the leaf springs for the wheels and the side control springs for the pony trucks. The main leaf springs were going to be refurbished but in the end were beyond economic repair. The side control springs had lost so much of their strength and were reduced in unloaded length that again replacements were neded.

This should now enable the team to reassemble the side control units ready for fitting back onto the pony trucks, although the precise manner in which we'll return them between the frames with the springs now at their correct strength remains to be worked out. 

10th October 2013

The loco frames are now supported on fixed jacks and the corner lifting jacks have been removed.

The rear drag box is now fitted and by the time this is read all the fitted bolts should be in place. With the rear drag box fitted the cross shaft is also now in place, mounted on the underside of the drag box. 

This is all good news and the sort of progress we're looking forward to now the frames are in the main loco shed. 

26th September 2013

After the loco frames were moved to the loco shed, by the 26th September the ambulance bogies had been removed and the frames were supported on the shed's corner jacks. 

The frames now supprted by the sheds jacks. (Photo: Clive Briscoe) A higher view of the frames supprted by the sheds jacks. (Photo: Clive Briscoe)

The loco frames being propelled through Dinas Station and the frames being pushed to the rear of the loco shed.

20th September 2013

The loco frames are on the move again.... This time they are moving out of the clip shed and into the main loco (running) shed.

With suitable funds available, and now that the Railway has three NGG16 Garratt locos in service, there is an opportunity to make use of the railway's full time staff to progress some aspects of the work. The original hope was that the main driving wheels would have been re-fitted to the frames in time for the move however with some more work needing to be done on both these and their axle-boxes this was not going to be possible. Instead the frames were fitted onto 'ambulance' bogies for the trip from the clip shed in the North yard to the loco shed in the South yard.

The move was carried out on Friday the 20th September with the frames already having been fitted onto the ambulance bogies. A crane arrived to lift all 9 tons of it onto the track outside the clip shed, a reverse of the move carried out when it arrived. It was then shunted through the station and into the South yard where it was propelled into the loco shed there. It was shunted into the road that had not been fully extended so was then pushed onto the concrete at the rear using a JCB Loadall. 

The frames making their way through Dinas Station. (Photo Tony Williams) The frames being pushed onto the concrete at the rear of the loco shed. (Photo Tony Williams)

The loco frames being propelled through Dinas Station and the frames being pushed to the rear of the loco shed.

The frames will remain here for the foreseeable future as it will give better working conditions not only for the volunteer working parties but also for the full time staff who will provide funded work on the loco as their time maintaining the running fleet of NGG16 will allow them to.

April 2012

The tender body was delivered to Dinas on the Saturday 14th April during that month's working party. The tender body was originally delivered in September 2011 to be on display during the Superpower weekend (see below), however some minor finishing-off work was still needed so it was returned to Brunswick Ironworks after the event. See the Tender page in the Contract Work section for more details.

February 2012

The group has been given use an an 2 tonnes portal lifting frame from Penrhyn Castle. This has kindly been loaned to the project by the National Trust. They were using it for work on "Hugh Napier" and now that that project is in it's final stages the frame was surplus to requirements. This was collected from Penrhyn Castle on Saturday 11th February and brought to Dinas.

The frame will be ideal for the smaller lifting jobs in the clip shed, especially with the tender frame and the associated bogies. Maldwyn Evans kindly provided the transport, and the frame was quickly transported to Dinas and unloaded. Once reassembled and certified it will be a really useful piece of equipment.

The portal lifting frame at Penrhyn Castle (Photo: P Randall) The frame ready to leave Penrhyn Castle for Dinas. (Photo: P Randall) The frame now positioned above 134's tender frames at Dinas. (Photo:C Briscoe)

The pictures show the crane at Penrhyn before dismantling and loaded onto the flatbed wagon ready for the journey to Dinas. It was then positioned above the tender frame in the Clip Shed at Dinas during the February working weekend.

October 2011

The tender was displayed at Superpower. With the tender being painted in undercoat over the previous few days it was duly delivered to Dinas in time for the Welsh Highland Railway's Superpower weekend. The restoration team were there and on hand to show visitors the progress to date and to answer queries as required. 

It also saw the launch of the NG15 restoration T-shirt and quite a number were sold that weekend. These are now on sale through the Society's shop on its website.............

Buy your T-shirt here

September 2011

The tender construction nears completion. The tender will be painted in undercoat over the next few days and will be delivered to Dinas in time for the Welsh Highland Railway's Superpower weekend. This weekend coincides with the September working party weekend and so the restoration team will be there on site to show you round progress on the locomotive.

June 2011

The tender construction has started in earnest. The sides are complete with some baffles in place. Other ''pieces of the gig-saw' are in preparation or ready to be fitted.

The tender being fabricated at Brunswick Ironworks

May 2011

With the tender now fully funded Brunswick Ironworks have started work on manufacturing some of the smaller components for the tender body and all the larger platework has been ordered and delivery is awaited.  This is a very significant and much welcomed step in the restoration.  

February 2011

The tender is now fully funded. 

With the help of a single generous donation we can announce that the rebuilding of the tender body is fully funded. This is a single large piece of the restoration and in view of the existing body being life expired it is one piece where we have the opportunity to make improvements to the loco.

We have to keep in mind that the loco will spend 50% of it time running tender first on the WHR. This it turn creates problems with visibility and lines of sight when running in that direction. Whilst the original NG15 tender design would not have been a problem in the wide open spaced of South Africa we have quite a different environment on the WHR with a much narrower formation and with frequent crossings by road, occupational tracks and footpaths. This has lead to a much more stringent requirement for rearwards visibility and thus for the tender design seen on this website's homepage. Whilst this is not entirely the most up to date view it does give you an idea of the nature of the design. 

D J Williams of Brunswick Ironwork in Caernarfon, who have been helping us with other work on the loco including the Scrap to Steam event in 2009, will be constructing the new tender bodywork.

October 2010

The launch of a race with Wilf Mole of the Sandstone Estates in South Africa who is embarking on the restoration of NG15 №136. 

The intention is to have a race to see who can get their NG15 into service first. Wilf reckons he intends to have his NG15 ready for 24th January 2012 and so we will need to react fast if we are to beat that deadline. As is the case with restoring steam locomotives it's the availability of funds that will be the limiting factor to completing the Loco.  With that in mind the 134 team are launching a new appeal for funds. This is based on needing 500 days at 500 per day to see the restoration through. More details are HERE.

21st September 2010

The wheelset tyres have now been turned and seen outside Boston Lodge works on the 9th September 2010. See the Gallery

9th July 2010

The wheelsets have been sent away to the Boston Lodge works on the Ffestiniog Railway. The works there will re-profile the wheels from the South African profile to that needed for the Welsh highland. As well as the gauge profile itself this also involves slight adjustment to the back-to-back dimension to allow smooth passage through pointwork. Pictures are available in the Gallery

5th May 2010

The Welsh Highland Railway's annual Rail Ale festival takes place over the weekend of the 7th to 9th May. As there is a Working Party that weekend attendees to the festival are invited to view the work taking place on the loco. If you do attend please remember that the shed is a working part of the Railway's infrastructure and we'd appreciate it if you did not come over with beer glasses (or in a poor state of health!).

November 2009

2010 Working party dates announced.

The dates for the working parties have been announced for the period up to the peak summer holiday. These are much the same as the 2009 routine of them being on the third weekend of the Month:

Jan 23-24th
Feb 20-21st
March 20-21st
April 17-18th Week after Easter
May 8-9th Beer festival weekend
June 19-20th
July 17-18th

After a break in August when there is not working party they will resume in September and these dates will be announced nearer the time.

See the Working Party dates page for more details. 

October 2009

Shotblasting of the Frames

Shotblasting of the frames took place in the first week of October and the following week saw the frames being painted in a rust inhibiting primer. All the main frames were shotblasted together with the frames for the Krauss Helmholtz and rear pony trucks. The work was completed by contractors Campbell Grindlay Engineering of Llangefni, Anglesey.

The shotblasting was done over a number of days as there were many nooks and crannies that took time to fully clean. Once the work was complete the frames were left to dry out whilst members of Team Wylfa cleaned away all the grit from off the floor. They also had to replace all the lights in the shed as they had fallen victim to the grit and water!

The shotblasting is significant step forward for the Loco as it now allows the re-assembly of other components as they become available following their overhaul. However we should still not underestimate the amount of work and cash needed to get those components ready so please visit the Funding page to make a donation to help us.

12th July 2009:

Scrap to Steam - August 3rd to 29th - Maes, Caernarfon (another update)

We can announce that the fundraising event at Y Maes/Castle Square in Caernarfon is being supported by Brunswick Ironworks. Brunswick's were instrumental in the reconstruction of the Welsh Highland Railway with their construction of most of the steelwork needed. This included for example  the numerous water tower structures and the many bridges to be replaced along the line.

This is continuing with Brunswick Ironworks currently overhauling the rear stretcher of №134. Providing that the 'Scrap to Steam' event is successful it is hoped that much more work can be contracted to them.

The NG15 group are honoured at having Brunswick's as a major supporter of the project and are particularly thankful at having their support for this major fund-raising event.

9th July 2009:

Scrap to Steam - August 3rd to 29th - Maes, Caernarfon (an update)

Peter Randall, the projects Manager reports: "As has been previously announced there will be a fund raising event for the NG15 in Y Maes, Caernarfon throughout August. In preparation for this, the NG15 Group will be dedicating it’s July working party to the task of preparing 133 for movement. This will involve prepping the Axleboxes, disconnecting the motion, general check and disconnection of the tender (the loco only will go to Caernarfon). The Loco will then be shunted ready to be loaded. Would anyone who is available to help please contact Andie Shaw, so he can put you on the list of volunteers available.
"If anyone is free to do a day or two in Caernarfon, then we would be more than pleased to hear from you. Please contact me on prandall@aol.com or Pam Smith (pamelaS636@aol.com) if you can spare some time."

3rd July 2009:

Scrap to Steam - August 3rd to 29th - Maes, Caernarfon

There will be a four week long event  in Caernarfon to promote and raise awareness of the restoration of NG15 №134 and to raise funds for the work. As it will be peak holiday season it is hoped that much interest will be generated  from visitors to the area as well as from within the local community itself. 

It is hoped that sister Loco NG15 №133 will be present as the central item of the display. This will give a good impression of what the 'scrap' condition of №134 was when the project started.

14th May 2009:

NG15 Working Party:

Next weekend (16th & 17th May) the NG15 group will be holding it’s regular 3rd weekend of the month meeting. The stripping down of the main frames is progressing well with the work nearly complete and ready for the next stage of cleaning and painting prior to reassembly. Anyone interested in joining the group will be most welcome and should come to Dinas Station at 09:00 on Saturday; we meet in the Clip Shed which is at the end of the car park.

An Update for all Sponsors!

On Saturday the supporters’ trains are running as well. The team would really welcome the opportunity to let this group know how the project is progressing and what the next steps are. We have therefore arranged to do a couple of presentations, geared around the train times, to allow the Supporters to see our work first hand. The first presentation – aimed for the Bronze supporters will be between 10:30 & 11:30, and the second – aimed for the Silver and Gold supporters will be between 16:00 and 17:00. We are using the Clip Shed for the renovation work, which for those who don’t know it is behind the construction office at the top of the car par at Dinas. We are of course flexible and will watch the running of the train etc.. Please do come along and see what we are doing and the remarkable loco, 134, in its component parts! We all look forward to seeing you at Dinas.

October 2008:

Following the announcement at the WHRS AGM, the Society would like to announce details of the project to restore one of the NG15s at Dinas. The basis of the project is as follows:

The WHRS has asked me (Peter Randall) to act as Project leader and I am now looking to establish a group of people to assist with this exciting project. In particular I would like to hear from anyone who could help in the following capacities.

I have a new email for use in connection with the project and would appreciate it if all could use this one when emailing about the project whrng15ataoldotcom (replace "at" & "dot" with "@" & "." to use!). Hopefully an easy to remember address. So if you would like to come along to help, donate or just want to know what is happening, please drop me a line.

All content webmaster or as indicated - This page updated 28th September 2015 by Laurence Armstrong