Drawing, by Kerr Stuart, Photos by Emily High and Rob Bishop
We have, at long last reached the end of the frame repairs. At some stage in the past a section of the front, drivers side frame was made removable, possibly by Hunslets before the loco went to Mauritius. The Kerr Stuart frame drawing has a note ‘see HECo’s (Hunslet Engineering Co) drg No 30931 for alts to frames of L4415’. We don’t have a copy of that drawing, but the frames do not appear to have received any other modifications. The removable panel can be seen in the photo below, with the lay shaft bearing central in the panel.
When you see what is behind the panel, the benefits of making it removable can be appreciated.
The photograph above is taken looking down into the frames from the front buffer beam, driver's side and shows the components located on the layshaft. From left to right can be seen the gear box, the front longitudinal frame stretcher, the spur gears taking the drive from the gear box to the lay shaft, the lay shaft chain sprocket (note the chain shaped wear on the hole in the stretcher behind) and the transmission band brake. All of this is contained behind the removable frame, and given that the sleeve which contains the lay shaft extends for the full width of the loco, getting at these components without the removable panel must be a nightmare.
So, non-original it may be, but retention is the way forward.
This is the frame extension, with the holes being tidied up on the radial arm drill.
The holes have been modified to take plough bolts; these have a counter sunk head,
but a square on the shank to stop them turning when they are being tightened.
The frames with the removable plate re-fitted
Before the frame was re-fitted an opportunity was taken to ream out the bracket
for the transmission brake and fit a new pin.
The chains did nibble a good bit out of the frames (top right)!
It is interesting that the opening in the frames have been flame cut