Engineering Update - January 2014

Following the flurry of activity to get the loco motive on its wheels for display at the Warley Model Railway Exhibition in November 2013, things may have appeared to have slowed down, but in reality it is still full steam ahead on the progress front.

The original plan for the 'The Unknown Warrior' was to fit the driving wheels at Llangollen in late October ready for display at The National Memorial Arboretum and Warley. Unfortunately, problems with the bearing castings for the driving axleboxes being manufactured at Tyseley Locomotive Works, necessitated 'The Unknown Warrior' to be displayed on temporary wooden bearings. With the locomotive being only 5 miles from Tyseley Loco Works, the obvious decision was for the locomotive to move to Tyseley direct from display at Warley to allow the required work to fit the axleboxes and driving wheels to be undertaken.

   Photo by Tyseley Locomotive Works

Since arriving on the Monday after the Warley Exhibition, on 25th November 2013, the frames were lifted off the driving wheels and the Smokebox removed. The frames are now in the workshop for the Horn Guides to be ground true. A further delay occurred in waiting for the horn grinding rig to return from loan at the Great Central Railway, this work is underway at the time this report is being written. All machining has been finished on the axlebox parts, the brasses need to be pressed in prior to final fitting to the axles.

Once the horns are ground the frames will be measured to establish exact sizes for the axlebox liners to be machined. This is done to ensure the axle centres are correct and square across the frames. The boxes are then fitted into the frames and the locomotive can be lifted onto its wheels.

The balance weights on the driving wheelsets are being filled with lead using Jubilee 5593 'Kolhupur' as a pattern.

The work at Tyseley Loco Works is due to be finished by the end of February, when the locomotive will be returned to Llangollen for the assembly to continue.

Elsewhere, progress on other parts continues. The middle of January saw a large number of Patriot parts travelling around the country as they moved to where the next stage of construction will take place.

The new inside cylinder casting and the outside motion brackets were moved to Harco Engineering, Brierley Hill for machining to be undertaken in February. The Boiler expansion brackets are moving to Llangollen for machining in the workshop.

   Firebox CAD image by Kevin West 

The material for the inner firebox has been delivered to LNWR Heritage at Crewe to enablle the end plates to be formed. Drawings and CAD data for the forming blocks has been created and delivered. The design team awaits comments from the boilersmiths to see if any modifications are required before these are manufactured.

At the Boro Foundry, Lye, work is about to start on machining the bogie centre casting. Other castings for the bogie are being machined at Bannway Engineering, Stourbridge. Delivery of these finished parts to Tyseley Loco Works where the bogie assembly will take place is due to start in early March. The bogie frame plates, side control springs and one wheelset are already at Tyseley. We are still waiting for the second wheelset to return to the UK from Turkey. It is expected that these parts will arrive in the Spring.

Castings for the motion girders have been ordered. The polystyrene patterns for these were made last year by Premier Patterns, who also made the patterns for the middle cylinder and for some of the bogie parts.

   Outside Cylinder CAD image by Kevin West 

Design work is now concentrating on the outside cylinders. The CAD work should be completed in mid February ready for the patterns to be made and casting is due to be undertaken in April/May. The plan is to cast one outside cylinder and ensure all is ok before casting the second.

Other areas where design is taking place are the sandboxes. A quote has been obtained from R.D. Moore’s who fabricated the cab and loco footplating last year.

Sponsorship of the sandboxes and other components is being sought. Please visit the Sponsorship page to see a list of items that can be sponsored. A list of Donors and items that have been sponsored are recorded on the Roll of Honour page.


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