Monday, 15 February 2016

Planning the restoration

Restoration plans as drawn up in 2014


Renewed activity since 2012 has led to the compilation of  Strategy for Restoration and a Conservation Management Plan
It is reckoned that the original estimate for restoration of £80,000  by Alan Keef &Co could be reduced to £40,000 if the restoration were to be based on volunteer labour.

The following is based on the Conservation Management Plan:

Mechanical Condition

The locomotive was surveyed in December 1999 by Patrick M Keef of Alan Keef Ltd, Railway Engineers,
Lea Line, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire, on behalf of the Greenwich and District Narrow Gauge
Society. The survey showed that the locomotive, with the exception of the engine, is basically repairable
and can be put to rights with a significant investment of time and finance.


The locomotive is fitted with a McLaren MR4 diesel engine of 1945, equipped with electric
start. This unit is in a derelict condition, with much of the pipework and other ancillary
equipment missing or very badly corroded. At this stage it is felt that this unit is beyond viable restoration.


The locomotive was provided with a cab which currently consists of two lower sides and a
back plate, with a spectacle plate surviving loose on the locomotive’s footplate.The top section of the cab had to be removed prior to shipment in the container. It was subsequently damaged during
transit and ultimately lost.
In general terms the bodywork is in very poor shape, but is mainly original. During the locomotive’s life the panel-work has suffered from quite severe denting and patching and then severe corrosion during its period as a static display. In addition all ofthe side covers are missing, and an extra section has been cut out of the lower cab sheet to assist with engine cooling in hot climates. The top of the bonnet is missing, along with the large silencer.


The frame is a substantial riveted fabrication consisting of deep side frames and buffer beams.
Integral with these are the footplates, and engine and gearbox mounting channels. All
components are riveted together with corner angles. There are signs that the front left-hand
section of the side frame has been removed at some stage, possibly to repair the brake drum,and been
replaced with some rather indifferent riveting. This will require further investigation.
The front buffer beam has been badly bent during prolonged periods of shunting, and has
subsequently been plated and welded. Externally where the frame plates have been painted, all are in
fair condition. On the inside where there has been no recent paint, there is a considerable level of corrosion
caused by the salt atmosphere. The engine and gearbox mounting channels are in similar condition.


The gearbox unit is the key to the overall restoration. During the inspection the main top cover was
unbolted to reveal the internal components. Perhaps surprisingly considering the length of time the
machine has been out of service all is in remarkably good condition, with no sign of water ingress or
condensation, and very clean oil in the sump.


The clutch is of the cone type, and is incorporated as part of the flywheel. It is mechanically operated
by a pedal in the cab. The drive is then taken through the clutch shaft to the gearbox via a Hardy-
Spicer flexible coupling. This area of the loco has been exposed to the elements, and has therefore
suffered from a high level of corrosion


The wheels and gears are cast steel. The 24” diameter wheels are all flanged, press fitted to the
axles, and run in plain bearing axleboxes. The drive sprockets are bolted on the face of the
wheel centre, with a cork axlebox oil seal running on the vertical face. The tyres are in fair
condition, but with plenty of remaining material to allow for re-profiling. The locomotive is
currently 24” rail gauge with a back to back measurement of 21½” . It is likely that the
locomotive will require re-gauging prior to use on the Festiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. This
operation will necessitate minor modifications of the axlebox oil seal arrangements.

The journals appear to be in sound condition, with a minimal amount of water marking. The
brasses are again in good condition with a good amount of crown thickness and minimal end
wear. The axlebox oil lubrication pads are in very poor condition and will require
replacement. They appear to be of the same type fitted to the 60hp. Simplex locomotives, a standard
off-the-shelf item. The cork oil seals will also require replacement. Four of the axlebox covers are

The wheelsets are mounted on separate channels designed to facilitate the re-gauging of the
locomotive. These have suffered from considerable corrosion and will require replacement.
The main running springs are in poor condition, and in one case completely missing. There are also
secondary volute springs mounted above the axleboxes, again a number of these are missing.


Cab fittings are few. All the major driver’s control levers are all complete, and these comprise:-
direction change, speed change, and band-brake lever, foot operated clutch, and screw
operated handbrake. The throttle control is missing. All the above linkages are seized solid with heavy


The locomotive is equipped with a columnar screw hand-brake set against the back plate of
the cab, operating on four wheels. A considerable amount of corrosion has taken place, and the linkage
will require freeing off prior to use; in addition, one brake block is missing.


The locomotive frames painted black. The buffing beams, some details and axlebox covers are painted
red. The cab and bonnet are painted green. The engine and ancillary equipment is
painted light grey.

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