Engineering Update - September 2014

Locomotive Frame Assembly

The Unknown Warrior on display in the mud at The Great Dorset Steam Fair

Following the locomotives return to Llangollen on 11th July work started by our volunteer painting gang of David, Brian and Mike, to prepare for the trip to The Great Dorset Steam Fair at the end of August. The inside of the frames had been undercoated only prior to the trip to Warley, this now has been finished in black in the firebox area and vermillion for the rest.

Chassis painting in progress by David Hughes

The interior of the cab has also been finished, black to waist height and white above. Repairs to areas damaged in the moves and while work has been in progress have also been made good.

Interior of the cab has now been painted.

It had originally been planned to fit the inside cylinder before the trip to Dorset, but due to staffing at Llangollen being busy on other projects this work will now be done at the same time as the Outside Cylinders, Motion Brackets and Motion Girders are fitted. 

The chassis will be lifted off the wheels for this work which will enable the painting gang complete access to the wheels. An amount of filling on the castings will be undertaken prior to painting.

Inside Cylinder Casting

The Inside Cylinder Casting has been painted and apart from the tapping of a few lubrication holes, for which we have recently obtained the correct taps, it is ready for fitting into the locomotive.

Outside Cylinder Castings

The castings for both Outside Cylinders were moved to Harco Engineering for machining following the Members Day in July. Machining has now started and it is expected to be completed by the end of October.

Outside Cylinder Machining in progress at Harco Engineering - photo Oakwood Visuals

Pistons, Valves and Motion

The Motion Girders are also at Harco Engineering for machining.

The Outside Motion Brackets have also received the first coat of black on the faces that are accessible. They require turning for the underside to be done.

Tyseley Locomotive Works will be supplying the valve heads and rods and pistons and rods. This is part of a bulk order that includes identical parts required for Jubilee class locomotives Bahamas, Koluhpur and Leander.


Detailed discussions continue with Tyseley Locomotives Works. We now have the quotation and timescale for the assembly work.

A stumbling block has been the availability of the second wheelset and axle. The first wheelset we obtained from LMS 8F 2-8-0 48518, which was dismantled to provide parts for other locomotives, primarily the firebox for the GWR County Project. The second wheelset was due to come from an 8F currently in Turkey that is due to be returned to the UK for parts recovery for use on a number of locomotives. Despite numerous assurances over the last couple of years that the move was immanent no progress has been seen. We made the decision in early September that we can wait no longer and a new wheelset will be made. The 3D CAD for the wheelpan was completed and sent to the pattern makers. The first pattern was cut on 1st October, with the second pattern due to follow on. Casting is due in the next week. Quotations for the axle material and assembling the wheelpans to axles and fitting the tyres are in progress.

Wheel Pattern - photo Oakwood Visuals


The order for the outer firebox Steel Flanged plates has been placed on Tyseley Locomotive Works.

Work is progressing at LNWR Crewe on forming the inner firebox flanged plates. The doorplate is finished with work in progress on the more complicated throatplate. Completion of the inner firebox is on schedule for February 2015.

Detail work on the new drawings required for the boiler continues.


During the summer the project was contacted by Rowlescourt Engineering, of Allfreton with the offer to work on the project. A meeting was held and the outcome was the most generous offer the completely re-build the tender for the cost of materials only. This will be a considerable saving to the project and we thank Rowlescourt for their most generous offer.

The tender chassis and associated parts were transferred from Llangollen to Rowlescourt’s works on 19th September. The chassis will be tackled first, with the completely new tank being built after the chassis has been finished. Extensive work is required to the front end of the chassis where the original steel has been wasted by the coal and water. A new front end will be constructed and grafted on to the existing frames. Brake gear will be refurbished as required.

The CAD work to enable this is in progress now.

tender chassis cad

The wheelsets, axleboxes and springing are still at Llangollen. The fitting of the running gear will be completed at a railway based works once the frame has been completed.

The design for the new tender tank has been progressing when time allows.

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