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Sir Lamiel for overhaul

National collection locomotive N15, King Arthur class, No. 777, Sir Lamiel is set to return to steam following a new overhaul agreement with the 5305 Locomotive Association.

The overhaul will take place to main line standards with work due to start later this year and due to be completed in 2023.

Once the overhaul is finished, a second, five-year loan agreement will be negotiated to enable Sir Lamiel to be based at the Great Central Railway and to begin main line tours and a schedule of appearances at heritage railways across the country. During the overhaul, Sir Lamiel will be based at the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire with work carried out by the 5305 Locomotive Association’s engineering team.

The overhaul will also see the locomotive repainted in lined out BR Green with early crests on the tender, replacing the current Southern Railway Malachite Green. Initial mechanical assessments have confirmed Sir Lamiel’s suitability for overhaul and the locomotive’s condition will be regularly assessed and appropriate repairs or replacements carried out as the overhaul progresses.  

The 5305 Locomotive Association will fund initial work on the engine before launching a public fundraising campaign to raise the remaining £80,000 required to complete the overhaul.

Alan Berck-May, Chairman of the 5305 Locomotive Association, said: “We’re really proud to continue our association with Sir Lamiel and look forward to working the colleagues at the NRM and the Great Central Railway as we undertake the overhaul.”

Great Central Railway’s Managing Director, Michael Gough, said: “Sir Lamiel has a memorable history at the Great Central and I am delighted that 5305 have been able to conclude a deal with the NRM that suits everyone. Once its restoration is complete, 30777 will have a significant part to play in our home fleet, as well as its visits to other railways and the main line and I eagerly look forward to the day when it is steaming between Loughborough and Leicester once again.”

Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum said: “I am pleased to announce this latest overhaul agreement which will see popular Southern Railway locomotive, Sir Lamiel return to steam. The 5305 Locomotive Association has a very strong track record of caring for Sir Lamiel which stretches back almost 40 years and I look forward to working with them and the Great Central Railway as the project progresses.”

Steam locomotive, Southern Railway, King Arthur class, No. 777 Sir Lamiel was designed by Richard Edward Lloyd Maunsell and built by Glasgow’s North British Locomotive Company in 1925. Pre-Grouping, the London & South Western Railway (LSWR) had designed the N15 class, two cylinder 4-6-0 locomotives, under the auspices of Robert Urie.

Following the grouping of railway companies in 1923, LSWR became part of the Southern Railway and Richard Maunsell developed the Class N15s to meet an urgent demand for additional express passenger locomotives. 

The publicity department of Southern Railway gave the N15 locomotives names relating to the Arthurian Legend – Sir Lamiel of Cardiff was a minor knight of the Round Table mentioned in book XIX of Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. The King Arthur class were the first locomotives in Britain to be fitted with smoke-deflector plates. In total 74 locomotives were built between 1919 and 1926.

Sir Lamiel entered service in 1925 and worked on the Bournemouth and West of England services for most of its working life. The engine was withdrawn in 1961 after a relatively short 36-years and is now part of the National Railway Museum’s collection under the custodianship of the 5305 Locomotive Association.  

In preservation, the engine was stored at Fratton, then Stratford and Ashford before being adopted by the Humberside Locomotion Preservation Group in 1978. The group returned the engine to steam in 1982 and completed an overhaul in 1989. Sir Lamiel arrived at the Great Central Railway in 1995 and was withdrawn for a further overhaul by the 5305 Locomotive Association in 1996.

The locomotive is part of the internationally significant Science Museum Group collection (more information and images are available here).

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May 2024 Update

Welcome to the May update.

Work has continued  on the frames.. The locomotive was moved a few feet to enable further cleaning and preparation work on the wheels and spring hangers  The wheels have now received top coat black paint. The cylinders have been given a final wire brushing and have received a couple of coats of heatproof black paint. Attention has now turned to removing any remaining paint on the side and front running plates in preparation for painting.

The retaining studs for three of the valve liners have been removed ready for the removal of the liners. New liners will be cast and machined over the summer. All of the cylinder cladding has been cleaned and primed

The reassembled front tender bogie is ready to go back under the tender. We are awaiting another tender lift so that the rear bogie can be run out ready for dismantling. We are also starting work on fitting low level water filler points on the tender.

Outside on the boiler, the front tubeplate tube holes have been threaded. The superheater header has been removed to enable the outer large tube holes to be threaded. The superheater header will have the main steam pipe studs removed and renewed. The tubes are on order. The  large tube holes have measured so that an order can be placed for the new bottle ends. Bottle ends are welded to the end of the large tubes at the firebox end.

Work can continue at a much quicker pace if we had more people working on the locomotive. We are working most weekends  If you would like to get involved in the overhaul and join us on a working weekend, please contact us at comms@5305la.org.uk We are also at a stage where we can outsource some of the technical work. This obviously will impact our cost plans. If you are able to offer us further financial support through donations please go to https://www.sirlamiel.org.uk/monthly-donations/ We also accept donations of railway related items and books to sell in our shed shop and sales stand. Please contact us at comms@5305la.org.uk.

Thank you for your support for the overhaul of Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

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Overhaul Update

March 2024 Update

Once again I apologise for the lack of monthly reports recently. As you are aware we have been unable to make much progress due to the asbestos found behind the cylinders. The NRM quarantined the frames and tender pending remediation work to remove any trace of asbestos. At the end of February a scaffold tent was built around the engine and contractors have spent the past month cleaning the frames and surrounding areas. The tent is expected to be removed during the first week of April. We are standing by to quickly paint all the newly cleaned areas.

Things have not stopped completely though. We have continued work on the boiler. The replacement stays have been fitted. All the lap set screws have been replaced. The tube plate holes for the large flue tubes have had their threads taped. The replacement tubes are on hand ready to go back into the boiler. We then plan to complete hydraulic testing to make sure everything is ok. The grate carriers were found to be extremely worn. New grate carriers have been produced and trial fitted ready for reviting. 

Once we get back to work on the frames we plan to refit the slidebars and prepare the frames for lifting as we need to check the axle boxes and journals. 

It’s now a few years since we launched the Knights of the Round Table to help fund Sir Lamiel’s overhaul. Some of the Knights monthly donations are now coming to an end. We would really encourage Knights to maintain (or increase) their monthly donations to support Sir Lamiel’s overhaul. Every contribution make a real difference. Without your help the overhaul would not be possible. All donations can now be made with gift aid. https://www.sirlamiel.org.uk/monthly-donations/

Once again we apologies for the lack of regular reports over the past few months.

Thanks for your help and support. We are looking to have a members day at Loughborough in May. Look out for further details once we have developed our plans. 

Alan Berck-May

Chairman 

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Overhaul Update

January 2024 Update

Welcome to the January update.

Firstly, I apologise for the lack of a report for December but as there had been no change to the situation regarding Sir Lamiel and the asbestos contamination I had nothing really to report. The more positive news is that there is now a tentative schedule for the remediation work to be completed next month. We hope that we can return to work on the engine in early April. This has set out work schedule back some six months. However, the remediation work will entail a thorough cleaning of areas on the frames and cylinders which will mean that they will be paint ready at the end of the process. This may mean that the schedule may not have slipped as much as we fear.

We have continued work on the boiler. The set screws in the firebox have been replaced and our boilersmith is cutting the threads in the tubeplates for the flue tubes. The small and large tubes have all been delivered. We will also be placing an order for the “bottle ends” for the flue tubes. These will all need a thread cutting to match the tubeplate, then welding on to the flue tubes. Any help with the purchase costs of the bottle ends would be much appreciated. The plan is to refit the tubes and then to do a hydraulic test on the boiler.

The front bogie of the tender has been reassembled. The tyres have been reprofiled and the axle journals polished. The axleboxes were examined, measured and machined before reassembly. We now await some time on the jacks to lift the tender body to replace the front bogie and remove the rear bogie. The tender will be covered by the remediation process, so once again we are unlikely to make any further progress before April.

The 5305LA committee and I are very frustrated that we have had to stop work but remain fully committed to getting Sir Lamiel back into traffic in time for her centenary in 2025. If you have any questions, please contact me via comms@5305la.org.uk

Thank you for your support for the overhaul of Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

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Overhaul Update

November 2023 Report

Welcome to the November update.

I was really hoping to announce that, following the discovery of asbestos between the frames and the rear of the cylinders, we are able to return to work on the locomotive. Unfortunately we are still awaiting clearance from the NRM.

After the asbestos survey, the NRM had concerns about how widespread the contamination might be as this would affect the scope and process for its removal. The NRM requested the GCR to undertake a further survey and sampling in the MPD. This took place in mid November. Further samples have been analysed and the good news is that it has been confirmed that the contamination is restricted to the cylinder block area. A meeting has been held with the NRM and GCR to confirm next steps. These are that the work of removal scoped out in the next week or so, with a tender document going out soon after. It is hoped that the removal work can be completed by the end of January.

I have requested that the NRM allow us to return to working on the boiler, tender and other p[arts in storage and I await a formal response to the request.

The 5305LA committee and I are very frustrated that we have had to stop work, but remain fully committed to getting Sir Lamiel back in to traffic in time for her centenary in 2025. If you have any questions please contact me via comms@5305la.org.uk

Thank you for your support for the overhaul of Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

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Overhaul Update

June 2023 Update

Welcome to the June update.

We have been hard at work on Sir Lamiel’s frames. The wheels have all now received a coat of undercoat black. The inside of the frames is now sporting red gloss where the firebox sits. The final cleaning up is progressing on the area behind the cylinder block in readiness for gloss paint. Some areas of the frame stretchers have required some additional work to remove patches of loose paint but the existing paintwork is in very good condition. The poorer areas are being cleaned up prior to repainting. The exhaust injector has been refitted. Further work on gaskets for the pipework for the exhaust injector has been undertaken. The motion brackets on the outside of the frames are being needle gunned prior to painting.

The set screw work in the firebox continues and the measurements are being taken for the new small and large tubes.

On the tender, the front tender bogie wheels are, unfortunately, still at Tyseley after issues with their wheel lathe. Work on the axleboxes is almost complete and a kit of parts for refitting the wheel sets is being prepared..

We have a few new knights to welcome to the news reports. Their support is really important. Many thanks.

Any donations towards the cost of the tubes and the overhaul of Sir Lamiel are greatly appreciated. Further details can be found at https://www.sirlamiel.org.uk/supporting-the-quest/

Work can continue at a much quicker pace if we had more people working on the locomotive. We are working most weekends and also most Thursdays and Fridays. If you would like to get involved in the overhaul and join us on a working weekend, please contact us at comms@5305la.org.uk

Thank you for your support for the overhaul of Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

Categories
Overhaul Update

April 2023 Update

Welcome to the April update.

Work continues on the cleaning and preparing the inside of the frames for painting but the good news is that this phase of the overhaul is nearing completion. The inside frames have been thoroughly cleaned and painted in primer. Last week saw the area where the firebox sits cleaned down and a coat of undercoat has been applied. We’ve also started undercoating the spring hangers and horn guides. Various panels, the linkage for the cylinder drain cocks and the tender doors are also being cleaned and painted.

The changeover valve for the exhaust steam injector has been overhauled. This will enable us to trial fit the steam pipes the cylinder block to beneath the cab of the locomotive.

The pony truck wheels are also receiving a final clean down and a coat of black undercoat.

On the tender, the front tender bogie wheels are still at Tyseley after issues with their wheel lathe. We hope to have them back in Loughborough in the next few weeks. This should coincide with the completion of work on the axleboxes. Work has also started on the plating of the tender body and the first piece of new steel has been let in.

Work can continue at a much quicker pace if we had more people working on the locomotive. We are working most weekends and also most Thursdays and Fridays. If you would like to get involved in the overhaul and join us on a working weekend, please contact us at comms@5305la.org.uk

Thank you for your support for the overhaul of Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

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Overhaul Update

March 2023 Report

Welcome to the March update.

I apologise for the lack of reports. My only excuse is that I have been in the Alpes skiing. Sadly came back injured which has impacted on me getting to Loughborough.

Work continues on the cleaning and preparing the inside of the frames for painting. Why is this taking so long? You may well ask. If the inside of the frames were plain steel plate it would be very quick and easy. Unfortunately, the frames have stretchers to keep the frames square and to add strength to support the wheels and boiler. Add to this pipe runs for steam fittings, vacuum pipework, conduit for the TPWS (Train Protection Warning System) electrical systems  as well as Horn blocks for the axleboxes and the axles, it becomes quite difficult to get to places let alone start to clean the accumulated oil and muck. Hopefully you’ll get a bit of feel for this from the pictures. One thing you may notice in the pictures is a large round valve hanging down with some white writing. This is the oil separator for the exhaust steam injector I have mentioned in previous reports. This is the first item that has been fitted back to the frames.

As you can also see from the pictures, we now have the driving wheels in undercoat black following a significant amount of needle gunning. The pony truck wheels will receive similar treatment shortly.

Work continues on the tender bogie frames. The axle box work is continuing in the machine  shop. The front tender bogie wheels have been sent to Tyseley for tyre turning and journal polishing. We expect them back in early May. Once received back, the front bogie will be reassembled and returned to beneath the tender. The tender will then be lifted again to release the rear bogie. We expect that the rear bogie wheels and axles boxes will require the same treatment as the front bogie.

As part of the overhaul, the boiler will require ultrasonic testing. This is schedule for later in April and will include magnetic particle inspection on the outer throat plate.

Work can continue at a much quicker pace if we had more people working on the locomotive. We are working most weekends and also most Thursdays and Fridays. If you would like to get involved in the overhaul and join us on a working weekend, please contact us at comms@5305la.org.uk

Thank you for your support for the overhaul of Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

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Overhaul Update

November 2022 Update

Welcome to the November update.

It feels like we’ve been working on the tender for ever. After the initial progress in stripping the brake rigging and cylinder and the resultant cleaning and painting, we got stuck in a bit of limbo as we waited for access to the jacks so that we could lift the tender and run out the bogies.

Our initial plan was to take the bogies outside for a thorough steam clean but this was not possible given the work on the shed roof and lighting. After cleaning underneath the tender we moved on to the front bogie.  his was lifted and the wheelsets run out. The front bogie frames have been thoroughly needle gunned removing all the old paint and the first coats of new paint has being applied. The machinist are hard at work on the axle boxes. The wheel sets have also been needle gunned and a coat of primer applied. We are gathering the quotes for the tyre turning and bearing polishing.

On the loco frames, the remaining oil and grease build up clean up continues on the inside surfaces. The steam pipes for the exhaust steam injectors were cleaning internally. These were heavily caked in cylinder oil and carbon. A fire was lit at the base of the pipes and as the heat built up in the pipes the oil was able to run out. They now require an external clean up and painting.

Now for some really good news. After our boilersmith had finished removing stays and set screws on the firebox. The stay holes were tapped out ready for new stays. An order was placed for 50 new stays and a box of shiny copper stays were delivered in late November. On Friday 25th November the first of the stays were screwed in to the firebox. This marks a real milestone on the overhaul. This was a £1000 investment in the locomotive. Fortunately we had a good weekend on the sales stand at the Last Hurrah gala at the GCR bringing in over £500 towards the stays costs.

We have recently been granted charity status by HMRC. This means that we can claim gift aid on all donations to our appeals. We are currently developing the paperwork and systems to support this. Further information will be provided when we’re all set to go.

Thank you for your support for the overhaul of Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

Categories
Overhaul Update

September 2022 Update

Welcome to the September update. I’m sorry that this is a few weeks late as I’ve been on holiday with a little bit of railways thrown in. I thought that there were no railways in Cyprus but I managed to find the only remaining Cyprus Government Railway (CGR) station.

So what’s been happening? The Tender has been lifted and the bogies run out. Work started on cleaning off the accumulated grime. The plan was to take the bogies outside for cleaning but the work on the shed roof and on other locos in the shed has precluded this. To enable work to continue the rear bogie was returned under the Tender so that work could continue. The front bogie frame was lifted and the wheelsets run out. . This front bogie frames cleaning will now continue.

The axleboxes have been removed from the wheel sets and measured. Some work has been identified to “true up” the horn faces. The wheel tyres have also been measured. The wheel sets will require a visit to the wheel lathe for attention to the flanges and a polish on the journals. The axlebox bearings will also require whitemetalling. The underside of the tender is being cleaned down ready for repainting.

Needle gunning is still progressing on the loco frames. This is very noisy and laborious work. Needle gunning is only the first stage in frame cleaning. The next stage is to wire brush off the surfaces to clean off any remaining paint before a coat of primer can be applied.

On the boiler, our boilersmith continues removing stays and set screws on the firebox.

The other key area for us is raising funds to support Sir Lamiel’s overhaul. Over recent months, our sales stand has been to the Loughborough Model Railway exhibition, Statfold Barn Railway museum open day and the GCR Autumn gala raising over £1000.

We are having a working weekend on 12th and 13th November. If you would like to come and get involved on the overhaul please contact us on comms@5305la.org.uk

Thank you for your support for the overhaul of Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

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Overhaul Update

Sir Lamiel August 2022 Report

Welcome to the August update. We’ve had some good working days on the engine over the past few weeks with slow but steady progress.

On the tender work has continued with preparing various components for painting. This has included sandblasting the eight horn ties and applying primer and undercoat. The tender has been cleared of various removed components to enable access to the coal space. We need to cut out the floor of the coal space to give us better access to the inside of the water tank. This will enable us to identify where we need to replace steel on the tank.  We have also prepared to lift the tender and await a slot on the jacks. One lifted the bogies will be run out and examined. They will receive a thorough clean down. The axleboxes, journals and horn faces will be examined and repaired as required.

Needle gunning is progressing well on the loco frames. Work continues between the frames. We have also made good progress on needle gunning the wheels. The front buffer beam and rear drag box have also been cleaned and primer applied. The steam pipe and oil separator for exhaust injector is also being cleaned up and painted.

You may be wondering what an oil separator is and why is connected to the exhaust injector? The exhaust injector uses steam that has been used in the cylinders instead of live steam from the boiler. This is an efficient use of steam to put water in to the boiler when running at speed, but it relies on the regulator being open. As the steam has been used in the cylinders it will be carrying oil from the cylinder lubricators. Unfortunately, layers of oil on directly heated surfaces in the firebox will cause overheating and potential distortion of the platework. The oil separator is a large round component (see pictures) containing a large spiral deflector which the steam passes through. As the steam comes in to contact with the internal surfaces the oil becomes attached and drains to a release valve.

We are about to source the castings for the new cylinder liners. As previously reported, this will cost in the region of £10k. We are still keen to hear from anyone who would like to support us with donations towards the liners and their machining.

Work continues on removing stays and set screws on the firebox. We are now calculating how much copper bar is required for stay manufacturing. Initial expectations are that we will need about 15 metres of bar which will cost £1,300. Again, we’re keen to talk to anyone who can help us with purchasing the bar.

We are having a working weekend on 20th and 21st August, If you’re around the GCR at the weekend, please come and find us in the shed at Loughborough. Come and say hello and see how the work is progressing.

Thank you for your support for the overhaul of Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman