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Overhaul Update

May 2022 Update

Welcome to the May Chairman’s report. This is probably the most difficult stage of an overhaul to work through. Volunteers spend many hours cleaning down, removing paint and preparing surfaces. The only sign of progress is a fresh coat of primer or undercoat. However, getting this bit right is important as it sets the tone for the quality of work on the rest of the overhaul.

Work has continued on cleaning up the inside of the frames. There’s been loads more needle gunning action, followed up with some serious wire brushing leading up to a coat of red primer. The area from the drag box forward to the middle driving axle has now received its first coat of pink undercoat. The action has now moved forward to the frames between the leading driving axles. It’s a bit more cramped here though as there are frame stretchers to squeeze between and duck under.

Inside of the frames starting to look smart.

The Tender steps, brake cylinder hangers and cab fall plate are now receiving multiple coats of undercoat and topcoat black. Plenty more coats of paint required before these parts will be ready for refitting. The vacuum brake cylinder has been stripped down and the rolling and sealing rings replaced. It’s been put back together and will join the painting queue.

Our volunteer working on removing the stays has been in hospital. Get well soon Dave. I know that he can’t wait to get back to Loughborough to continue work. Meantime, we have started work on removing the set screws in the firebox.

We recently stripped down the cab reverser mechanism. Sir Lamiel has suffered from the reverser vibrating when running at speed. Stripping down the mechanism has revealed that the thread on the Locking Collar has become worn and there is about a 16th of an inch play. The Locking Collar will need to be replaced. This will be a real task as the Collar has a double thread.

Dismantled cab reverser mechansim.

So, we’re making slow but steady progress. It’s been said many times before that “many hands make light work” but it really is true. The more volunteers we can get working on Sir Lamiel the quicker we can complete the overhaul. Please contact comms@5305la.org.uk

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

5305 Locomotive Association.

Categories
Overhaul Update Overhaul Update

March 2022

Welcome to the March Chairman’s report. Unfortunately, a skiing accident has precluded me from doing much real work this month. I’m on the mend now and it was great to get back to Loughborough last week.

Not much progress on needle gunning the frames this month but the needle gun has still seen some serious use.

The brake gear on the tender continues to be removed. After the brake cylinder was removed attention turned to the brake beam support brackets. These took some serious hard work to remove, as did the tender front steps. I’m assured there was some heat and a significant amount of swearing involved. Once removed the steps and brackets were needle gunned and finished.

The good news from the boiler inspector in January work was quickly underway to start the stay removal. This involves drilling out each stay starting with a very small drill and gradually using bigger drills until the drill touches the sides of the platework. This must be done on the outside and inside of each stay. We need to drill out 70 stays!

In the locomotives’ cab the floor has been removed. The cab “Fall Plate”, which bridges the gap between the engine and the tender, has been removed and needle gunned. All the electrical gear associated with the TPWS system has been disconnected to enable access to the rotten back boards.

As all the components are being removed and cleaned up the next stage is several coats of paint. The area round the tender is the main painting area. There is a range of parts in various stages of painting drying off.

We have our initial materials shopping list. A growing concern is the rise in inflation and how that will impact our material costs. So, although it will be a year before we need things, like tubes, we will be placing orders in the next few months. Fund raising continues. Over the first three months of this year, we have raised over £1500 through the sales stand and shed shop. Anyone who can help us source or pay for these materials please get in touch (Comms@5305la.org.uk)

Current material requirements

New valve and cylinder liner castings £10k

Copper bar for stay production £1k

Boiler tubes – Small £7k

Boiler tubes – Flue £3k

Bottle ends for flue tubes £1.5k

Steel bar for set screws £1k

The next few weeks will be continuing to get the tender ready for lifting, needle gunning the frames and dismantling the wooden underfloor structure to remove the rotting boards.

We are planning a big working weekend over Easter. If you’re visiting the GCR over the Easter weekend, please drop by the loco shed and stay hi.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

5305 Locomotive Association.

Categories
Overhaul Update

February 2022 Update

Now that the pandemic seems to be receding and restrictions are being relaxed, we’ve had a good start to the year with some real progress.

We’ve made a good start on cleaning up the frames but realized that shifting the oil and grease is only the start of the process and we’ve had to employ some heavy-duty equipment to really get the surfaces ready for painting. All the old paint and exposed areas of rust will need to be removed by needle gunning the inside of the frames. Once completed the frames will be wire brushed in preparation for painting.

The brake gear on the tender continues to be removed. The vacuum cylinder has been taken out. Work is now focused on the tender steps and brake cylinder brackets as they will need to be removed to enable the placement of the lifting beams to lift the tender tank.

The good news is that we’ve had the visit from the boiler inspector in January. The inspector has confirmed that we need to change around 70 stays, examine the roof stays and a weld on the outer firebox plate work. We also decided to change some seam set screws. All of this was expected and was already part of our work schedule. Our volunteer boiler specialist has started work on preparations for the stay removal.

The first stays are starting to be removed.

The locomotives’ cab floor has been removed to expose the drag box and wooden floor support structure. There are two large boards that support the fall plate (a steel flap that covers the gap between the engine and tender). These are rotten and will need replacement. The boards are about 8 foot long, 1 foot wide and 3 inches. thick We will need to source two pieces of hard wood as replacements.

Removing the footplate fall plate.

We now have the start of our materials shopping list. It is going to be expensive but it’s very much in line with our initial expectations and budgeting. Anyone who can help us source or pay for the materials please get in touch (Comms@5305la.org.uk)

Current material requirements

New valve and cylinder liner castings £10k

Copper bar for stay production £1k

Boiler tubes – Small £7k

Boiler tubes – Flue £3k

Bottle ends for flue tubes £1.5k

Steel bar for set screws £1k

The next few weeks will be focused on getting the tender ready for lifting, needle gunning the frames and dismantling the wooden underfloor structure to remove the rotting boards.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

5305 Locomotive Association.

Categories
News Overhaul Update Overhaul Update

January 2022 Update

Work continues on Sir Lamiel. We have made some good progress on cleaning down the inside of the frames, and we’ve now started the noisy phase. The needle gunners, Mike and I, have been hard at work and the pit at Loughborough is now filling with red paint chips. Once all the paint is removed, we will then mechanically wire brush the frames and apply some new paint.

Alan needle gunning the between the frames of 777

On the tender, work has continued on removing the brake gear in preparation for the lift. The heavy lifting gang, Jim and John, were in at the weekend to remove the vacuum cylinder bracket and the front steps. The tender is now virtually ready to lift as soon as the jacks are available.

We’re making some great progress already this year. We’ve also had the boiler inspector examine the boiler. The good news is that we had already identified and planned to do all the required repairs the inspector has identified. This means that our work schedule is not affected by additional boiler work. We can now make plans to buy the materials required to do the work.

We’ve also carried on fitting out our containers with racking so that we can store components. There are volunteers working most weekends now, as well as Mike and I doing a couple of days a month in the week. There’s plenty to do now that the boiler, frames and tender have been separated.

The shed shop is also being modernised with improved electrics and shelving. We’re aiming to get the shop open at least once per month.

Our new shed shop open during the bitterly cold Eastern Weekend

If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact comms@5305la.org.uk We want to involve as many members as possible to help us get Sir Lamiel back in steam. Even if you can only have a few hours a month to open the shed shop, it will be really useful.

As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, the challenge of fundraising remains. The news from the boiler inspector is very welcome. However, the cost of the copper bar for the replacement stays and new tubes etc will not be cheap. Orders will need to be placed soon if we are to meet our target of 2024.  There are a few ways you can help us. If you haven’t already you can  :-

Please help us to complete Sir Lamiel’s overhaul in any way you can.

Thanks for your support

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

Categories
Overhaul Update

August & September 2021 Update

August was quite a quiet month progress wise unless you have been near the boiler where work on internal cleaning and descaling has continued. The slowdown has occurred as the crane required for the boiler lift ran out of certification. The crane was tested at Loughborough last week and is now fit for use. Arrangements are now being made to lift the boiler in the next few weeks.

Work has continued on the tender brake gear. This is all now receiving gloss black paint. Another coat will be applied in the next few weeks. A volunteer with machining skills has stepped forward and will now start the process of removing and replacing all the brake gear bushes and pins.

October will see our Black Five withdrawn from service for a major overhaul. This will be the first time in many decades when the 5305 Locomotive Association has no steam locomotives in operation. This will mean a drop in revenue for the group. We will continue to develop our sales stand and online sales as a much-needed income stream in addition to donations.

October dates for your diary. GCR gala weekend 3rd and 4th October. October 23rd and 24th Special GCR weekend to mark the end of 5305’s operations featuring the Black Five, our Class 33 and Peak. October 27th – Fish and Chip train with the 5305 (last trip before withdrawal).

Thanks for your support with Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

5305 Locomotive Association

Categories
Overhaul Update

July 2021 Update

Not a great deal to report this month. Progress continues to be made, however.

Descaling of the boiler is progressing well. Our smallest volunteer, Aaron, has been wielding the needle gun inside the boiler.

During the good weather we pulled the engine out of the shed to enable full all-round access. The handrails and final lubrication pipework connected to the boiler and the frames was removed. The centre section of boiler cladding has also been removed. The boiler is now ready for lifting. The crane at Loughborough is being recertificated and a date is being planned to lift the boiler and place it on a wagon.

777 outside at outside the shed.

The pallets of tender brakegear are being wire brushed to clean off any rust and old flaking paint. They are then being primed and undercoated.

A small selection of the brake rigging.

Together with the GCR, we hosted a visit from the patrons of the National Railway Museum. After a trip to Leicester North, they were shown the progress on the O4, Oliver Cromwell and Sir Lamiel.

Now that the Covid restrictions are being lifted we hope to get back to organised working parties in the near future.

Thanks for your support with Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

5305 Locomotive Association

Categories
Overhaul Update

June 2021 Update

Time flies when you’re having fun, or so I’m told. Well, I must be revelling in it as the past few weeks have flown by and I missed doing a report last month. Back on track now (if you’ll excuse the pun)!

Descaling of the boiler is progressing well when we can find someone thin enough to squeeze in through the dome. It’s taken a few weeks to disconnect all the steam, water and lubrication pipes attached to the boiler and the firebox backhead. Some of these pipes were very long and required manoeuvring around to extract them. My friend Mike and I spent a day at Loughborough recently. We were undoing cab and pipe fittings and connections. There are lubrication pipes that run from the cab, through a small hole in the cab front, down the side of the boiler to the front of the engine. After disconnecting, we had to pull the pipe back through the cab which meant Mike walking back over the tender whilst supporting the pipe and then moving the pipe around to allow a 900 bend and connector nut to be manoeuvred through the small cab hole. We managed it without Mike falling off the tender!

The cab looks quite bare with most of the pipework removed.

All the pipework is being removed to facilitate the boiler lift. The final job remaining is to remove the handrails. These are attached to the boiler with pins but also to the cab. The cab connections on the right-hand side are proving still to be done. They are accessed from the running plate but it’s not a safe place for a couple of people to work. Working at height is Health and Safety risk we need to manage properly, so we shall have to wait until we can get the engine outside and build some staging alongside to enable the work to continue.

Work on descaling the inside of the boiler is still progressing. The Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) will be the last parts of the cab fittings to be removed. After this and the removal of the right-hand handrail, the middle section of boiler cladding will be removed to facilitate the slings for the boiler lift.

As previously reported, we have removed the brakegear from the tender. This is now being cleaned up and painted. We’re also now planning to get the tender lifted off the bogies. The bogies will be inspected, cleaned, and painted. We will also need to assess the condition of the tender tank.

Fund raising continues as you might imagine. Our sales stand has been out at Quorn at the start of the GCR operating season. Over the gala weekend we took nearly £600 in sales and donations. We have received many railway books and some general railwayana for sale. We intend to be at all the major events at the GCR this summer.

There are a few ways you can help us. We’ve welcomed a couple of new working volunteers to work on the engine at Loughborough and on the sales stand. If you haven’t already, you can  :-

Thanks for your support with Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

5305 Locomotive Association

Categories
Overhaul Update

April 2021 Update

We’re back! Yes, our volunteers have been in for a couple of weekends now and we have made some progress on 777.

Arran popping out of the boiler for a bit of fresh air.

As the outcome of the boiler inspection is key to making progress on the project, work has focused on the boiler. With the dome cover off and the regulator valve removed we can now access the “J pipe”. This takes steam from the regulator to the superheater header. As you might imagine this is a seriously big piece of pipe and takes some effort to remove. Don’t forget all the nuts and bolts holding it in place have been underwater for a significant period.

Looking inside the “dome”. The “J Pipe” can be seen at the top. The metal rods inside the boiler are the longitudinal stays. The small gap between them is the only access to the inside of the boiler.

Once the “J pipe” was removed the descaling of the boiler has now commenced. Access to the boiler is through the dome. With the dome cover off there is a hole about 2 feet in diameter. Whilst many might volunteer for the descaling task only those of reduced girth and a fairly good level of agility and flexibility may enter. This is really the work of our younger, thinner, and fitter volunteers. Big thank you to Arran for stepping forward.

The less agile amongst us concentrated on the heavier work where size, grunt and with mechanical aids, removed the rear cylinder covers.

Heating up the rear cylinder cover nuts

Further work to descale the boiler is required but should be well on the way to being completed when you read this. Once completed we will be calling in our boiler inspector. Fingers crossed for some good news in the next report.

Maintaining our fundraising momentum is key to the success of our work. We still need all the help we can get. Please tell your friends and family about what we’re doing and how they can join in. There are a few ways you can help us. If you haven’t already you can  :-

Thanks for your support with Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

5305 Locomotive Association

Categories
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

Chairman

5305 Locomotive Association

Categories
Overhaul Update

November 2020 Update

Slow progress this month due to lack of volunteers caused by the Covid Lockdown restrictions but progress has still been made none the less.

A major step forward has been the splitting of the engine from the tender. On the tender, the wooden platform and tender sand boxes have been removed and the area cleaned out. All the steel work cleaned up and painted with the 1st coat of protective paint applied.  See the before and after pictures.

Rotting wood of the tender platform
Tender all cleaned up. After this photo, the metal was cleaned down and a number of layers of bitumen have now been applied.

Work on stripping the tender brake gear has also started prior to lifting the tender to release the bogies. The original tender water gauge has been located and a start on its repair and restoration commenced over the last weekend. The bottom flange of the gauge has a piece missing and a new section will have to be made and welded to the remaining part of the flange. This could be expensive as the whole assembly is made of cast iron. Any help with sponsorship of this work would be gratefully appreciated.

On the boiler nearly all of the small tubes have now been removed and this work will progress over the next few weeks. The dome cover, dome and regulator valve still need to be removed before further boiler work can continue.

More tubes pulled out by volunteers Chris and Rob one evening last week.

As you might imagine, as more parts of Sir Lamiel are stripped down, we soon have removed parts cluttering up the space around the engine. This makes it difficult to work and move around as they can become tripping hazards. We are in the process of obtaining a couple of shipping containers to store loco parts. Good quality shipping containers cost around £3,000 so again if you are able to help with sponsorship please do get in touch. Not very glamourous but they will be essential to securely store parts as they are removed and refurbished prior to reassembly.

Our volunteers continue to help with the overhaul of Oliver Cromwell’s tender. Recent work has involved descaling and painting the tender frames and tank bottom. Removing, cleaning up and painting all the brake gear.

In addition, we have also removed the radiator grills on the Class 33. These were scrapped due to their poor condition and new grills have been made up and painted ready for refitting.

Grills removed and the exposed metal below is being cleaned and primed for the new grills to be fitted.

We are very grateful to the Great Central Railway over the past couple of years for their support for the overhaul of Sir Lamiel. The latest news from the Government on the lifting of Covid restrictions looks likely to enable the GCR Christmas services to operate. Please do support the railway by using the Christmas services. A bit of insider info – 5305 is being fitted up in preparation for the “Steam in Lights” services.

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

Alan Berck-May

Chairman

5305 Locomotive Association