Saturday, 24 June 2017

Flats and Knobs

Photos by Rob Bishop

Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so the Ffestiniog Railway abhors an empty waggon. With the frames on their wheels there was an urgent need to re-load the WD flat before someone else took a shine to it. This is waggon 72, the ‘in’ tray, with (from left to right) the gearbox, the 1945 MR4 engine and parts of the cab.

The next item on the agenda is the gearbox, another load for waggon 71.

Something that needs some thinking about are the two saddles which locate the gearbox on the lay shaft. The gearbox casing is a casting and both saddles have been damaged and repaired in the past. 

KS4415 has very clean lines. The gear box oil filler which projects through the running plate on the right hand side harks back to an earlier time.


 Its restoration is not on the critical path, but Rick couldn’t help himself!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Frame assembly completed!

Progress photos by Rob Bishop

Trial fit of front dragbox 
(The front frame stretchers are offset; the coupling is in the middle of the buffer beam!)

Drawbeam assembly ready for the paint shop

The lay shaft is a huge lump of steel which runs across the full width of the loco at the front. It is static and the two prominent ‘bearings’ in the frames support the fixed shaft. The rotating component is the ‘sprocket sleeve’. This is the layshaft. The sprocket sleeve sits on the left hand (polished) end. The milled flat on the shaft feeds oil to the Sumet metal (bronze) bearings fitted inside the sprocket sleeve.

The sprocket sleeve

The sprocket sleeve itself

The splined sprocket sleeve carries the large gear wheel, driven by the gearbox, the drive chain sprocket & the transmission brake drum. While the drive chain sprocket is machined to fit the splines the gear wheel and transmission brake are secured by keys. To re-gauge the loco the position of the drive sprocket can be varied by inserting different spacers onto the sprocket sleeve.

When first built the frames on KS4415 were continuous on both sides. Making the front section of the frames removable makes a lot of sense when it comes to installing the sprocket sleeve onto the layshaft. Dave High ponders how to make the sling slide through the footplating. Was the frame modification made in 1929 to facilitate re-gauging to 3’ for use at Castlederg?

The spectacular Thrackway washer which secures the layshaft to the end bearings.

The sprocket spindle before & after. 
(Gearbox still to restore. Transmission brake pads to re-fit)

All wheels turned

Chains delivered

Felt seals manufactured for axleboxes

Axleboxes assembled & fitted to the radius rods. 
(The hind wheelset is on the left, this has only one chain sprocket 
which is on the other side, out of camera shot)

A chance for the wheelsets to shine and re-create two images from "15/- change".  
(Unlike the "15/- change" images, the sub frames have already been attached to the main frames. 
The hollow box section in the spring clamps was a temporary measure to hold the axleboxes level while the chain tension was being adjusted)

With the springs fitted and the box section removed the wheelsets do their own thing 
as Matty Wolstenholme & Ed Ford propel them towards the frames.

Having briefly shone, the wheelsets become accustomed to life in the shade.

The clevis which attaches the rear radius rod to the frame. 
(This section of frame replaced as part of the restoration)

Dragbox installation

Big nuts. 

Although the project  uses imperial fastenings, 
the modern dragbox has been assembled with metric set screws.

Chopper coupling fitted

The ‘split face’ chopper couplings are recovered old units, similar in appearance those fitted in early 1929. Ultimately the loco will be fitted with side chains too.

Brake gear erected; the brake blocks have subsequently been fitted.

The completed frame assembly.
 The handbrake stanchion bolts to the cast iron cab floor, 
which is supported by two further upright castings

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Component preparation

Photos by Rob Bishop & Emily High

Three views capturing some of the bits that have recently been grit blasted, which provide a flavour for activities later this year.

The big bits in the foreground of this image  include the (from right to left), the covers for the cam shaft/ valve push rods and the gear train from the MDB4 engine (see photo below), followed by the cover for the gear wheel on the lay shaft, which forms part of the final drive and the casting which carries the starting mechanism (see 8th March 2017 update)

This is the final drive from the gear box to the lay shaft, which is protected by the cover in the centre of the first image. The ‘shadow’ of the cover can be seen. The upper strap of the transmission brake is also visible in this view.

The large wheel on the left of the view  is the drum for the transmission brake. Other transmission brake components on view include the two crescent shaped plates (centre) and the brake shoes (rear), see 8th March 2017 update for the relationship of the transmission brake bits. The other components visible include the drive pulley for the water pump/ fan belt, a cab stanchion, parts from the lay shaft and the engine starting mechanism.

An easy one to spot. The cab rear sheet, complete with drivers’ seat.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Turning the wheels

Photos by Rob Bishop

A short and sweet report.

The picture of Rhys Hughes below says it all - the wheels for KS4415 are being turned and the journals skimmed...

The frames turned over

Photos by Rob Bishop

After two years lying on their back, the frames have now been turned over and are now the right way up, so here are a few general views to place the various components into context. This photo from the rear of the loco shows the sub-frames in position, with the spring pockets bolted on and also the brackets for the brake gear fitted to the underside of the floor. The brake weigh shaft is to the left, under the cab floor and the angles which will carry the drag box can be seen behind the front buffer beam. Dave Hatt is about to put in a cameo appearance to rivet in the upper drag box angles.

This view from the front clearly shows the welded in repair to the rear frame stretcher (bottom)

Frames right side up:

                                                      July 2015
April 2017

Engine Mounts

Contrasting views of the engine mounts before and after:
The semi-circular mount was for the dynamo. The heavily rusted cab floor plate was originally riveted in. The replacement will be fitted with set screws to allow access to the dragbox for maintenance. 

While the upper surface of the floor is heavily pitted, it is still fit for purpose and has been retained, in line with the conservation ethos of the project.