Monday, 15 February 2016

February 2016 - more progress with the welding

Update 13/2/2016,  Report by Dave High,  pictures by Rob Bishop

Previous progress reports feature rust or paint drying. Prepare to be dazzled! Pete Freestone welds in frame repair described in the previous report. This is the rear frame stretcher, underneath the cab. The tape measure & pliers are on top of (or technically on the bottom of) the rear buffer beam (the frames currently being upside down). Various large holes for previous drawbar arrangements in the buffer beam are a witness to a diverse past.

The completed repair is on the left, original bits on the right. The stiffening plate and bracket have been temporarily bolted on. The next job is to rivet them up.

While Pete was at the Lodge he also welded in a patch repair to the front buffer beam.  This made good a crack and also removed some of the surplus drawbar holes. The horizontal row of bolts fasten an angle iron stiffener along the bottom of the buffer beam & the vertical rows attach stiffeners which tie the buffer beam back to the frame stretcher. Replacing these bolts is also on the riveting weekend to-do list.

To run the WHR winter passenger service KS4415 had been fitted with chopper couplings, which remained on the loco during its time on the FR. The old chopper couplings did not have a full buffing face, just two side cheeks. The provenance of the new couplings is unknown. Rick recovered these from Minffordd and cut the drawbar shanks down to suit 4415. Welding the bosses on was another ‘while you are here…’ job for Pete.

Back on the frames this is a replacement angle bracket, attached to the rear of the front frame stretcher which attaches the sub frame to the main frames. The drive chain from the gear box to the leading axle passes through the hole in the stretcher. The brackets on the left carry the brake gear. See drawing below for how all this fits into the big picture.

Ed Ford cleaning up the cab floor castings

Back to paint drying; Eds’ handiwork, the cab floor castings.

January 2016 update

The focus of the restoration to date is on the frames. The main frames are supported by a very simple sub-assembly (formed of two channels) which carries the springs & axleboxes. When 4415 was re-gauged from 2’ to 3’ to run on the Castleberg & Victoria Bridge Tramway these channels where simply moved out. In the photos of the upturned chassis by Ron Walker on 14/8/15 the witness marks of where the channel sit for the 2’ gauge option can be seen, with further holes outside for the re-gauging. Why there is a third sit of over-lapping holes we have yet to fathom out! Hopefully this all makes sense when you see the Kerr Stuart picture of the sub-assembly below.
Sub Assembly

The photos below are of the main frame (which is carried by the sub-assembly)
Main frame 1
At some point in the past the frames on the drivers’ side have been subject to a rather horrible repair.  The bolted in patch ( also in photo below) is connected to the rear buffer beam by the 3 very long bolts.
Main frame 2
Above is a view of the same repair from ‘inside’ the frames (drivers side, looking backwards). The clevis (centre) is the anchor for the axlebox tensioners (which Kerr Stuart describe as ‘radius rods’). The clevis is contained in a slot to allow the frames to be re-gauged. The channel which carries the springs and axlebox assemblies sits on the square hole above the clevis.  
Above is the same view after removal of the repair, and with the frames cut back to receive a repair piece (to be welded in)
Mainframe 4
The frame repair, prepped & ready to go. Original clevis re-used, but the rest is new. It does say ‘this way up at the bottom’. Rick does know what he is doing; the frames are upside down at the moment!

Radius rods
Some of the radius rods were missing. Will High took the KS drawings and re-drew them in CAD format. Lazer Centre UK them manufactured them from Will's drawings, complete with 1 ½” Whitworth LH thread. The shiny components are new, the others original. The longer set fit between the centre and rear axles (as can be seen in the KS photograph).

Brake blocks
Four new brake blocks, cast from a pattern made by Norman Bond to the original drawings.
Axle box
Bottom half of one of the axleboxes with new Armstrong Oilers from the NYMR.

Moving ahead in 2015


Pictures by  Andy Savage show the latest progress on the chassis and and wheelsets

Chassis at Boston Lodge 6/9/2015 - Andy Savage
 Wheelsets at Boston Lodge 6/9/2015 - Andy Savage


Ron Walker reports:
Last week I was at Boston Lodge works  helping with the FR Kids Training week. At the same time some of the team that are working on KS-4415 were there.
The chassis has had almost all of the components removed, and during the week it was lifted on to its side for cleaning underneath. With the chassis on its side, one can see where the locomotive was converted to 3 foot gauge. The contractors will soon be sandblasting it ready for  minor repairs and re-painting.
The wheels are out and will be re-profiled soon, the springs have gone away for refurbishment.

A section of the old foundry has been cleared for the components, of which some have already been cleaned, others await cleaning.

Chassis stripped Aug 2015 - Ron WalkerChassis on its side Aug 2015 - Ron WalkerChassis underside  August 2015 - Ron WalkerChassis underside, close up August 2015 - Ron WalkerWheels and components August 2015 -  Ron Walker


Pictures and report by by Dave High

The first picture shows the wheel sets, with springs attached to the top of the axleboxes and the turnbuckle chain tensioners. The tensioner between the leading & central axlebox was missing, the flat bar installed to allow the loco to be moved  to Boston Lodge can clearly be seen. The near side far spring is also missing, but the temporary packers for the move can be seen. The tyres have a lot of life in them, and the journals & bearing are in such good condition that they can be re-used without any work. Subject to a detailed measure up the sprockets also appear to be serviceable, and a potential chain supplier has been identified. An immediate priority is to refurbish the springs, including the supply of a replacement. These are palleted up, ready for dispatch, with a copy of the original drawing. Job No 2 is to fettle up the tensioners and manufacture a replacement. Again, the original drawings are available

  KS4415 Wheelsets 3rd May 2015 - Dave High

Removing the layshaft. In this picture on the left is the transmission band brake (which isn’t actually on the transmission).   The sprocket for the chain drive to the wheels can then be glimpsed, followed by the spur gear which is the final link from the gear box.

3rd May 2015 - Removing the layshaft   Pic: Dave High


Picture by Andy Savage shows the dismantled chassis in Boston Lodge

Chassis being dismantled at Boston Lodge 2/5/2015  - Andy Savage

11th April 2015

Stripped of the body, it looks just like the General Arrangement drawing reproduced in the 11 January 1929 copy of Engineering. The box with the sloped casing on the right is the gearbox. This drives through spur gears onto the ‘lay shaft’, the red cover of which is located in the frames. The central box on the cross-braced frame is the fuel tank, with the drive shaft between the engine and the gear box located beneath. It has a cone-type clutch located in the red flywheel, on the RHS of the engine.(Dave High)

11th April 2015 at Boton lodge - Stripped down. Pic: Dave High

First steps September 2014

14/9/2014. Dave High reports:

At Boston Lodge, with the massive Mauritian sand boxes and the tatty front cover removed KS4415 looks a lot better. While the bottom of the body is clearly rotten, much of the original material can be recovered.

Sept14th 2014 at Boston Lodge- Dave High

9th September 2014

The diesel engine is now at Boston Lodge,  having been moved there from Minffordd to get it close to workshop facilities.The good news is that after some patient work led by Rob Bishop the engine now runs, and runs well. Consequently morale among the volunteer team is high, and some of that enthusiasm has transferred to the Boston Lodge staff as well.

This year the WHR Superpower Weekend on 12-14th September is based at the Porthmadog end of the WHR and it is hoped to make the engine and loco an exhibit at Boston Lodge.
The first grant application has unfortunately been unsuccessful but submissions to other bodies are planned.

Early September 2014

The loco was extracted from the shed at Minffordd and taken to Boston Lodge for display during Superpower 2014:

Getting it out at Minffordd, 19 Sept 2014Getting it out at Minffordd, 19 Sept 2014
Getting it out at Minffordd, 19 Sept 2014Getting it out at Minffordd, 19 Sept 2014

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.