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2012 Archived Working Party Reports
Main December 2012 Working Party
The main december working party was held the following weekend after the 'extra' working party below. During this work continued on the attachment of the flexible pipes including the driling and tapping of further holes in the frames for the fittings.
Another job started was the manufacture of brackets for fitting the new cab to the frames. This also involved the fitting of the reverser assembly as it 's attacment is integral with the boiler and cab. All this does not sound much, but in the words of Andie Shaw "we never stopped!"
Also worth mentioning at this stage is the news that Brunswick Ironworks have started the manufacture of the rear dragbox for the loco's frames. The drawings wer supplied to Brunswick's first thing in the new year. The unit will be of all welded construction, designed to be fabricated off site as compared to the original that would have been rivited together peice by peice into the frames. Once complete the box will have its sides accurately machined so as it will drop straigt into place
Extra December 2012 Working Party
An extra working party was held on the 8th & 9th December as two of the group were down at the railway for other reasons. With only two there for part of the time there was obviously a limited amount that could be achieved and so that was limited to work on the pipework. This involved the fitting of flexible pipes from the recently fitted unions in the frames to the horn guides.
In view of the recent floods at Dinas at the end of November when a local stream flooded the South yard an inspection was made of the tender vacuum pan as this had ended up submerged in one of the sheds. No lasting damage was done and all that's needed is a more extensive clean than originally needed.
November 2012 Working Party
Much of the work done during this November 2012 working party was following from that of the previous month. This consisted of drilling and tapping the frames followed by the attachment of the respective fittings for the grease lubrication network to pass through the frames. It might sound an easy job but drilling through the thick plate work of the frames is slow work. Fortunately though, since our last working party some pilot holes had already been drilled by team Team Wylfa during their evening working parties. Team Wilfa had also been working on brake and cylinder drain cock components and these had been cleaned and primed.
Refurbished and primed cylinder drain cock components hanging from various places on the loco's frames.
On the Sunday two of our younger team members riveted over some studs in the area of the horn guides as these had not been done properly in South Africa. This involved heating the end followed by the wielding of a large hammer! Another job carried on from last time was the welding up of various holes in the Krauss Helmholtz cover that fits over the leading driving axle. The ball joint attaches to this and so both it and and the axle needs to be kept watertight. The material was very thin in places and so some areas ended up being all weld! There is still one hole to be filled and this was so bad it has been cut out and will have a small replacement piece welded in. More welding was needed to the reverser mounting bracket from the cab. This had become badly warn through vibration at the point where it's held in a supporting sliding bracket that attaches to the boiler side. It needs to slide due to the expansion of the boiler, and the resultant wear needed building up in weld before grinding back down to the correct profile. There were a number of other smaller jobs completed that included were the removal of some cylinder fittings ready for refurbishment or replacement and some minor work on the Krauss Helmholtz truck frame.
All in all we completed quite a lot in view of the smaller numbers than of late that attended this working party.
October 2012 Working Party
Following the bit of a lull during the summer when there was no working party in August and the September working party being more about the QuarryPower event this working party turned out to be quite productive. Work was also again concentrating on the Loco's frames now that the tender body is installed on №133's tender frames.
The jobs tackled included the patching up of primer on the rear frame stretcher on the Saturday followed by a coat of undercoat on the Sunday. Other odd bits of paint patching was also done including the painting of the remaining pipework clips in Hammerite. This latter painting then allowed all those clips on the drivers side to be fitted however, it also involved the drilling and taping of the frames for the last couple of clips. As part of this the frames were drilled and tapped and had the respective fittings attached for the grease lubrication network to pass through the frames. This now means that apart for a few that are currently inaccessible due to the frame and wheel alignment jigs the driver's side is complete in this task. In parallel work also continued on the fireman's side lubrication network.
A sample of the pictures from the October working party.
More pictures are available in the October Gallery page.
There were many other small jobs worked on such as the front Krauss-Helmholtz pony truck pivot being cleaned up and examined so as to decide what remedial work was needed prior to re-wheeling the Loco, as well as the painting and fitting of the rear valve covers and the cleaning up and (temporary) fitting of the drain cock operating bracket. The Krauss-Helmholtz pony truck axle and bearing was the subject of attention as well. It had been noted when the truck was removed that the bearing was subject to water ingress through holes in the bearing cover. Due to the thinness of the material some delicate welding from both inside and outside was needed to fill these holes.
On the Sunday some attention was also paid to continuing the removal of №133's boiler cladding. Whilst this was started at an earlier working party, it was apparent that it could not continue without the removal of the handrails first. However this is proving a very difficult job - three of the team spending all day on the job for very little reward!
September 2012 Working Party
This working party coincided with the railway's annual gala weekend, this one entitled QuarryPower concentrated in celebrating the plethora of quarry Hunslet built locomotives now in preservation, many of which are operational.
This therefore meant that much of the activity that weekend was spend showing visitors around together with a bit of fundraising etc. One item on display during the weekend was our tender body that had been shunted to the rear of №133. A bit of a contrast in condition between the two items! This can be seen in the (rather poor) picture below taken from a passing train a couple of weeks earlier.
№134's tender behind №133 at Dinas prior to the QuarryPower Gala in September 2012.
Team Wylfa Update - September 2012
Since the August work, Team Wylfa have continued chipping away at jobs one №134 and have continued drilling and tapping the loco’s frames to mount the lubrication pipework clips and compression fittings to take the pipework lines through the frames from outside to inside. Also, they have continued cleaning up the connecting rods that had been stored under the benches since 2004. An interesting discovery was found – two rods are NOT 134’s originals. One rod was from 135 by the original stamping but is also crudely marked with 146 so that has been around the NG15 fleet… Meanwhile, another rod originally belonged to 120 – the one that WHHR owned until recently but now sold to Collection X (the Phyllis Rampton Trust).
Team Wylfa Update - August 2012
During the summer months Team Wylfa usually have very little opportunity to work on 134 as they spend their working party evening keeping the coaching stock running. This is usually an evening of oiling axleboxes. However the Monday of August Bank Holiday week saw torrential rain in the area that resulted in flooding of the line at Castell Cidwm. Unfortunately this meant that stock was wrongly positioned on the railway with the Caernarfon set stuck at the Porthmadog end of the line - thus no axleboxes to oil.
Team Wylfa were therefore able to spend an evening working on 134, however, it was not just the line that had been flooded, when they opened up the shed door, there was an inch of water over most of the floor so their first job was to sweep it out. Only then could they make a start.
Clive Briscoe takes up the rest of the story:
"A few weeks ago, some urgent needs had been identified for the project: We were short of heavy 7/8" washers for under the cylinder cover stud nuts, also 3/4" ones and 3/4" BSW nuts for some of the steam chest and cylinder bypass valve flange studs. One of our vices had non-matching jaws and another vice that we had been donated had none at all and we needed to put it into service. Our pillar drill was not easy to use as we had no machine vice to hold work that needed drilling.
So, the writer approached one of the contractors working at the Wylfa power station with a small presentation pack showing what the project was and how far we had got to date. Could they possibly offer us some sponsorship? A week later and their manager dropped a heavy box on the writer’s desk. Many thanks to D-B Ltd.
So, with a box full of goodies delivered, it was the ideal opportunity to put them to use. The Team split up with a couple employed to undo the rear end cylinder cover nuts, one at a time, fit a washer beneath and retighten. All the LH and RH rear cylinder cover nuts are now fitted with heavy washers to spread the load. Job done! Also, all bar two of the new 3/4" BSW studs for the RHS cylinder bypass valves were fitted - after running a tap through the rusty threaded holes first, to clean them up - and new washers and nuts loosely fitted to both LH (fitted a couple of weeks ago) and RHS studs.
Another couple undid the heavy vice on the wooden bench and repositioned it towards one end whilst the writer replaced the loose and unequal jaws in the big Record №25 vice on the steel bench and the jawless №23 vice (donated a while ago) was lifted out of the cupboard and fitted with its new jaws. The others, having repositioned the one vice, found a suitable offcut of ½” plywood to make a load spreader for the bench top and measured up to position the №23 vice at the other end of the bench. 3-off (rusty) 5/8" BSW x 4" bolts and nuts were located and cleaned up ready to bolt the vice down. However, the holes need to be drilled through the bench top next week in order to bring it into service.
The new machine vice was tried on the pillar drill - it does the job very nicely thank you. One other small task got done as well - a second coat of black Hammerite paint on all the new lube line pipe clips.
By the next 134 working party – over the Quarrypower Weekend, there will be another workstation available at the bench and with many components now being fettled to be refitted on the loco, this really was an urgent need.
all in all, VERY productive evening spent on 134."
July 2012 Working Party - No2
This second July working party of 2012, held on the 21st & 22nd, was blessed with much better weather than the previous July working party, indeed much better weather than has been the norm for most of this year.
Work again concentrated and continued on some of the same tasks as those from the working party two weeks previous. Clips continued to be manufactured and to be fitted to the frames ready to take all the lubrication pipework needed. This was hampered in some placed as someone has inconsiderately placed some slide bars in the way on each side of the Loco.this has prevented the hand drill gaining access to be able to drill the required attachment holes! These holes were therefore ‘saved’ for the next visit when we’ll have to drop the slidebars to drill all the holes required then refit the slidebars before they’re finally aligned and tightened in position for good.
Another aspect of this was the fitting of the grease block on the driver’s side. The fireman’s side was fitted some time ago however, the driver’s side ‘block’ needed to be completed. This was duly done by our newest and youngest team member who drilled and tapped the block for the ‘fitting’ and then drilled and tapped the mounting holes after which it was duly fitted to the underside of the running plate.
As it was the first really nice weekend we took the opportunity to do some painting. We were finally able to paint all the inside of the frames red – the last time we tried it was not the best of weekends and the paint ‘bloomed’. This was started on the Saturday then completed on the Sunday, following which the re-fitted rear frame stretcher was then painted in primer. This in an item that will need careful attention with painting as it is in a very vulnerable position. We discovered this on dismantling the Loco. It was in poor condition and resulted in the need to do extensive remedial work. This will therefore need protecting well to minimise future deterioration.
The results of the weekend's painting efforts.
More pictures are available in the July '2nd' working party Gallery page.
Again continuing on from the last working party was the refitting of the alignment wires to each side. Work then progressed onto checking the alignment of the axles together other aspects of the frames.
Whilst the rebuilding of №134 is taking quite a time we thought we’d better get 133 into steam pretty quickly, as seen below, in case it was needed.
Prepping No.133 for the morning train.
Seriously though, there has been some concern raised about the condition 133’s boiler still being kept underneath the cladding and, what must be in Wales, wet insulation! A start was therefore made on the removal of the cladding. However first we had remove the wasps nest in the chimney that was keeping everyone at a safe distance. This was done by smoking them out, thus the photo above. More pictures of this are available in the July '2nd' working party Gallery page.
July 2012 Working Party - No1
This is the first of two July working parties and was held on the weekend of 7th & 8th July. The second one will be held two weeks later on 21st and 22nd July.
The main job on Saturday was the continuation of the removal of the rear drag box. We'd spent the last few working parties removing all the rivets that were holding it to the frames. Or at least we thought we had as it soon became apparent that might not be the case as our largest members with the largest hammers could not make in budge a millimeter. Closer inspection showed we'd missed a couple.
They were duly removed only to find the hammers were still ineffective. More rivets found - removed - hammers - no effect! Finally we did manage to remove what turned out to be the last rivet and so slowly but surely the large hammers were sufficient to ease the box out. Safely held it was then gently lowered to the floor. On the Sunday all the salvageable fittings were be removed to be reused on the new unit. That was one big awkward job that we can now put behind us!
The drag box removed & cylinder covers in place and alignment wire refitted.
More pictures are available in the July working party Gallery page.
Whilst this was all going on two other groups were active. One was fitting the clips to hold the lubrication pipework in place. These had been manufactured over previous weeks although some still needed competing prior to fitting. This job progressed into the Sunday.
Another group were fitting the cylinder slide bars in place. These are only loosely fitted at present as they will require final alignment to the newly rebored (and realigned) cylinders. following the refitting of the the cylinder alignment wire, a job that was started on the Sunday. Sunday also saw the old shims fitted to the right hand side bars to act as a starting point for their alignment.
all the horn guide repairs were completed on the Sunday.
June 2012 Working Party
The weekend's work was centered around three main tasks, the continuation of the removal of the rear drag box, the enlargement of the cylinder drains and drilling out of the cylinder end covers to enable pressure relief valves to be fitted prior to fitment to the cylinders.
The cylinder end covers have two suitable 'blanks' in the casting to be enable them to take extra fittings. It was therefore decided that in order to provide better protection against priming etc, we will fit pressure relief valves to them. This work involved drilling out the holes then taping them ready to take the pressure relief valve fitting. At the same time the covers were cleaned of all deposits built up over many years of use in South Africa.
Drilling out the cylinder end cover for the new pressure relief valve.
More pictures are available in the June working party Gallery page.
Regarding the protection of the cylinders, they are fitted with the normal drain cock arrangement to relieve the cylinder of condensed steam when cold, however the holes were considered too small. These holes were therefore enlarged to 25mm in diameter. This first involved the manufacture of a bracket onto which the magnetic chuck drill could be attached - see picture below. Once done all four drain holes (one in the front and one in the rear of each cylinder) were drilled out.
The temporary bracket to be used to support the drill & enlargement of the cylinder drain holes in progress.
The work to drill out the drain holes interrupted the work being done to continue the removal the rear drag box. This was because the same magnetic chuck drill being used to drill out the rivets was also required for the drain hole job. It therefore ended up being mainly the same team that did both jobs. Once the drain holes were dealt with work moved back to the drag box.
With the drain's now enlarged and the cylinder covers modified to take the pressure relief valve the covers were duly reunited with the cylinders on the Sunday.
Right hand cylinder cover reunited with its cylinder.
The drag box removal is proving to be quite a long winded affair as there are so many rivets holding it all on. This is due to it not really being a separate box as such but a series of components using the frames as their end support. All these components have their own set of rivets that need removing. Also on the driver's side we have the steam break cylinder in the way to complicate matters. At one point we thought we'd get away with just removing the piston assembly however in the end the entire unit required removal,
Eventually on the Sunday the final rivet was removed and the drag box freed, however it was still very stubborn to come out completely. Work (still!) in progress. It will probably need to be cut in half to effect final removal.
The only other job carried out were continuation of the manufacture or pipework brackets.
have two working parties due in July, the 7th and 8th then
and 22nd. If you have time to spare and fancy giving us a hand please
get in touch with Andie Shaw - contact details on the Contacts page.
You'll be very welcome. We'll find a job for you regardless of skill
level - you may think you've not got any specific skills, however
you'll be surprised at what you'll be capable of so give it a go, give
Andy a call.
May 2012 Working Party
The May working party coincided with the Welsh Highland Railway's annual Rail Ale festival over weekend of the 19th and 20th May. The primary tasks of the weekend consisted of the insertion of new studs and the cylinder castings and the continuation of the removal of more rivets to the rear drag box.
The work to rebore the cylinders is now complete and so the first job of the weekend was to fit the newly manufactured studs to the castings. These studs are to attach the cylinder and valve end covers and the various fittings that are attached to the cylinder casting. This involved running a tap into the thredded holes to clearout any last debris from the threads. The studs were then hand fitted and finally tightened into place.
Not helped by the fact that there were only three of us on the Saturday, and this was restricted more by two of us not being there all the time as we were having to help run trains, and with over a hundred studs to fit, this work carried over to the Sunday.
New studs in the front of the fireman's side cylinder.
More pictures are available in the May working party page.
Sunday came and with a few more in attendance work continued fitting the studs and when complete the newly rebored cylinders were given a coat of oil to help preserve then from the damp air. In parallel to this work another group continued drilling out rivets from the rear drag box. This is a slow process and in total another 7 were removed.
Again two of the group were on the footplate in the afternoon helping run the train service, however the remainder of the group continued with the rear drag box removal together with more loco pipework. They worked through until 7.00pm in what was a wonderfully warm sunny evening.
Extra April 2012 Working Party Day
On Sunday 29th April a small group attended Dinas to finish some work not completed during the previous working party. This was to ensure the tender was ready to travel the line so as it could attend the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway's Spring Gala during the May Bank Holiday period.
The work included the completion of the couplings, the adjustment of the handbrake after it was removed for the fitting of the tender body, the sealing and checking of the vacuum pipes and brake. Finally the adjustment of the springs to ensure a level ride and that the horn keeps could be properly secured. All small jobs but still a fair amount of effort in total.
The tender will now be moved to the WHHR in the days following where it can be viewed during the Spring Gala. T shirts will be available there as will a print of how the loco will look when complete. For more details of the latter see the Merchandise page.
April 2012 Working Party Report
The feature of this month’s working party was the arrival of the tender body and it’s fitment to 133’s tender chassis. We’d been working on preparing 133’s tender chassis for some month’s now so it was nice to see it now in use to hole 134’s tender. This will enable it to be moved around the railway for special events to act as an ambassador for the restoration project.
The tank had previously been to the Railway for the 2011 Superpower event however it was displayed on the trailer unit it was delivered on. As some ‘finishing off’ work was needed it was returned to the builders, Brunswick Ironworks in Caernarfon, after the event.
The Saturday however, saw the return of the now completed tank and it craning into place onto the tender chassis.
The tender body being lowered onto 133's tender chassis.
More pictures are available in the April working party page and on the contracted work page for the tender.
This was quite a big job in making sure all was well with the installation, however, other work was also completed during the weekend. This consisted of vacuum testing the through brake pipes and the continuation of drilling out more rivets on the rear drag box. This is beyond economic repair and so drawings have been produced for its complete replacement with a new fabricated unit.
next working party it is hoped that the cylinder re-boring will be
complete, this being done by Boston Lodge in-situ on the loco.
March 2012 Working Party Report
The work on this working party concentrated on the loco's frames and the removal of the read drag box.
The rear drag box is considered to be in such a poor state such that it is need of total renewal. This job however, could not be tackled until the rear frame stretcher was back in place from its refurbishment so as not to leave the rear of the frames with no structural support. Now that the rear frame stretcher was bolted back in place at the last working party we can move to replace the drag box.
As the drag box form part of the structural integrity of the frames the first job was brace the rear of the frames so as they cannot move and distort whilst the drag box is not present. To do this some suitable steel was welded into place as can be seen below:
The rear of the frames braced ready for removal of the rear drag box.
Once the bracing was in place then drilling commenced to remove all the rivets holding the drag box in place.
The other main job of the weekend was the fitting of the 'new' reverser. The reverser has had a new shaft fitted and all the bushes replaced. The work done to this brings the component up to as new condition and will be good for many more years service.
The reverser refitted to the frames.
February 2012 Working Party Report
This working weekend turned out to be more of a ‘consolidation’ weekend with minimal work done on the loco or tender.
The first job on Saturday was to position the portal lifting frame from the Penrhyn Castle Museum above 134’s tender frame as this is where it’ll be of most use in view of its lifting capacity.
Over the past year or more the group has been preparing various dismantled components ready for either repair or refurbishment. The opportunity has now arisen for that work to be done at Boston Lodge, the Ffestiniog Railway’s workshops. Jobs to be done will include fitting new bushes to spring and brake rigging, repair of cracks in components through to the refurbishment on the two tender bogies with bracket and frame repairs. The rest of Saturday was therefore spent sorting those components ready for their transfer by rail to Boston Lodge.
Another job was to bring 133’s tender frames out of the carriage shed ready to receive its last bit of attention prior to delivery of the tender tank. At the same time as the shunt to release 133’s tender, a B-wagon was also retrieved from a siding ready to load with the components for refurbishment.
Sunday was then spent loading the B-wagon with the components. This was a job that had to be completed in the day as there was a train due to go to Boston Lodge the following day onto which the B-wagon could be attached. Once these components were out of the way and in the wagon we set to and tidied the shed. This involved the removal of various reusable 'fittings' from saved scrap items, that then allowed said items to be finally scrapped, the collection of all surplus timber that had attracted its way into the shed over the years as well as the storing out of the way of a few more castings. Following a final brush round on Sunday afternoon this left the shed in a much clearer and tidier state.
Of the work on the engine, one job was the moving of a vacuum pipe support bracket on 133’s tender as during the shunt from out of the shed we’d noticed that it was getting quite close to a bogie axle box on curves and pointwork. On the loco templates were cut for new cylinder end cover joints.
January 2012 Working Party Report
The January working party achieved a great deal on many different fronts over the weekend. This ranged from work on 133's tender frame, 134's loco frames and work on various components thereof.
On 133's tender rolling chassis, the hand brake is now fitted and operational. Following the work done by Team Wylfa in freeing off the brake shaft, all the linkages including the brake handle were refitted and now we have a working hand break. There are still some joints that need a bit more work, together with the removal of some flanges that have worn onto brake blocks due to them having been poorly fitted, however, it shouldn't stop the tank being fitted sooner rather than later. Some work is still needed on the vacuum brake as well, however again this can be done after the tank is fitted, however it is hoped that Team Wylfa can attend to both the aforementioned outstanding jobs before that happens. It is the aim that the tank can be fitted during or just before the next working party.
The rear frame stretcher now installed with temporary bolts.
On the Loco itself, the rear frame stretcher was bolted into place. This task involved making two podgers to align the holes. Podgers are drifts with a long, shallow taper which are driven through misaligned holes to bring them into line to allow the bolts to pass cleanly through the holes. Whilst the stretcher still needs to be fitted with the final 'fitted' bolts into reamed holes, in place of the original rivets, it will now allow the rear drag box to be removed. Toward this an assessment was done as to the best method of adding extra bracing to the rear of the frames when it is removed. Once the new drag box is in place then all the temporary bolts will be replaced with 'fitted' bolts at the same time as the drag box has the same treatment.
Now the full extent of the cylinder misalignment is known the cylinders can be re-bored to correct the error. The work is anticipated to start shortly and will involve the cylinders being re-bored in situ. In preparation for this all the piano wire and alignment fixtures were removed.
Work also continued on the central grease blocks, with one side now fitted to the loco running plate frame.
The final item to report was the inspection for cracks of all the suspension components. This used the dye penetration inspection method and involved a number of us getting rather pink from the red dye used. A few minor cracks and poor welds were found and so these will be repaired before the components are refitted to the loco or tender.
Postscript to December Working Party Report - January 2012
Team Wylfa started the New Year with a modicum of success on their first working party of 2012 - the seized brake shaft from 133's tender that Andie Shaw and Pete Randall successfully removed and took to the Clip Shed workshop during the December working party just before Christmas has been freed off. With the rust scraped and wire brushed away from the shaft / bearing interfaces, these were then soaked for a short while with some 'magic mix' - a mix of paint thinners and oil. Some 'gentle' persuasion with a sledge hammer followed and before long, the outer bearing had been carefully levered off and bearing and shaft cleaned. The inner bearing was then freed off in short order - it is 'trapped' on the shaft between a pinned collar and crank arm - both of which are 'rust welded' to the shaft. These would have to be burned off so as this work on 133's tender is only to make it useable 'for now' on a temporary basis, there is no intention of doing major refurbishment by making a new shaft and crank arms. The opportunity to drill the cast iron bearings and tap them 1/4" BSP for the fitting of grease nipples has been undertaken - there was no provision for lubricating these important parts of the brake system from new..! Next visit will see the assembly thoroughly cleaned and painted ready for refitting at the January Working Weekend.
Work on 133's tender missing front end vacuum brake piping was also undertaken during this working party. Just before Christmas, measuring and cutting of replacement pipe spools was done. Half of these spools had threads cut on their ends during the evening with the remainder to follow by the end of next week's working party. We may get around to assembling them on the tender too if they are completed early enough in the evening.
The whole of 133's tender brake system should be in a functional state by the end of the January Working Weekend thus making it suitable as the short term home for 134's new tender tank.
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