Overhaul Update

December 2020 Update & New Year Message

We’ve not seen any snow here in Northamptonshire but looking out over the garden above the laptop the grass is white with frost this morning. My thoughts are with all the enginemen working New Year services this week on our heritage railways. It looks very warm on the footplate in the station with the Firehole doors open but at 25mph with the doors shut and looking out for signals it’s definitely cold!

45305 Heading South towards Leicester North on the Great Central Railway on a cold December morning.

It’s been a very busy month at Loughborough on Sir Lamiel. We now have a regular gang of volunteers working on the locomotive, so some real progress has been made. I reported last month that we had split the engine from the tender. Since then, we have removed all brake rigging on the tender and engine. This has all been cleaned and marked up and where possible, a start has been made on painting. Several bushes require replacement. Each bush needs carefully measuring, pressing out and a replacement machined. If we have any machinist in among our members who would like to get more involved the overhaul, please contact us – there’s loads of jobs like this that will need doing.

On the boiler, all tubes and flues are out. The dome and majority of the regulator components have been removed to facilitate getting someone into the boiler to start cleaning off the scale before we can get on with the boiler examination. All the flues and boiler tubes will require replacement. We shall be launching a boiler tube appeal in the New Year.

A dizzying array of some, but not all, parts removed from Sir Lamiel so far.

All motion has been removed from the engine, as well as the valves and pistons have been removed. The crossheads will require whitemetalling and machine. We plan to make a start on this in the New Year. The back covers of the cylinders will be removed in early January to enable the cylinder boring to take place. This will create a true machined bore. After more careful measuring a pair of liners will be cast and machined. The expected costs of the relining including fitting is estimated to be £16k. Your contributions to these costs will be a great help in getting these jobs done.

Our Black Five 45305 and the Peak D123 have been a mainstay of the GCR Christmas and New Year running. I hope you’ve seen the pictures of the Steam in Lights trains on social media.

Testing of the Winter Lights setup

As the overhaul continues, we move in to the renew and refurbish phase. Components are carefully checked measured and examined. Most parts are cleaned painted and stored. Some, however, require repairs, renewal and Pins and bushes replaced. This is where the real costs of the overhaul are incurred. We still need your help to move forward with this work.  There are a few ways you can help us.

The news of the approval of the vaccines hopefully means to return to normal volunteering and a Heritage train services in 2021.  As 2020 closes we are looking forward to an exciting new year for our Association. The five, Class 33 and the Peak will all be in traffic in 2021. With your help and support we shall push forward with the overhaul of Sir Lamiel

We have continued to make progress on the overhaul of Sir Lamiel despite the Covid restrictions. Thanks for your support with Sir Lamiel.

Happy New Year

Alan Berck-May


5305 Locomotive Association