North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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K1 Blog

A blog of activities associated with the K1 62005.

There's no truth in the rumour ...


The gossip on the North Yorkshire Moors railway on Wednesday concerned a failure of the K1 on the Jacobite earlier in the week. This seemed to originate from a social media posting. Since no reports had reached the other members of the group, steps were taken to contact the Chairman and Jacobite footplate crew member to establish the facts.

The Chairman "trumps" the story: "No problems. K1 OK."

More fake news!


4th May 2017


The K1 is now safely at Fort William, having, by all accounts, performed exceedingly well on the Railway Touring Company's annual 'World Tour'. It left Carnforth at 03.50 on Saturday 29 April, piloted by a 37, arriving at Thornton yard, near Kirkaldy, via the Forth bridge, at midday, 45 minutes ahead of schedule. It left there at 10.30 the following morning for the short run via Ladybank to Perth where, after watering, double headed with 45212 (deputising for 60009 Union of South Africa) up the Highland main line to Inverness. On bank holiday Monday, 1 May, 62005 made a splendid run from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh and back, in superb weather, making a rousing climb up to Ravens Rock in the process. The next day the K1 again worked with 45212 on the return run to Perth, surmounting the formidable ascent to Slochd and less dramatic climb to Drumochter, at 1,484 feet the highest point on the National rail network, with consummate ease! Contrary to the original plan, the Black Five came off the train at Perth, and with a 47 now on the rear, 62005 then worked the train forward to Stirling, Larbert, Cumbernauld and Glasgow Central. A long day ended with the train running empty from Glasgow to Bo'ness, a total distance that day of 222 miles! To complete its adventure, on Wednesday 3 May, 62005 left Glasgow Queen Street for the run to Fort William, passing over the second highest point at Corrour - 1,350 feet - en route. However, the class 47 which pulled the train into Queen Street and then banked the train up the steep Cowlairs bank, stayed on the rear of the train throughout, because of high fire risk. Fortunately, after three days of near cloudless skies, but with a strong easterly breeze, there were no line side fires.

Over the five days, 62005 covered 951 trouble free miles, a vindication of the winter work carried out by WCR and Paul's team at Carnforth. However, the five days involved some very early starts and late finishes, so sincere thanks must go to the support crew under Paul Hutchinson's leadership, of Mark O'Brien, Emma Mountain, Angela Buxton, Rowland Bingham, Duncan Richardson and John Graham, who all worked hard and put in some long hours. Neal Woods, who shared the firing with me, also did fitness to run examinations, so he, too, deserves a special mention. The two drivers throughout on the K1 were Peter Walker and Bobby Duncan.

Whilst this is all good news, and all concerned can be very proud of what was a tremendous achievement, the downside is that the support coach remains at Bo'ness, as a technical problem precluded its use on the journey up to Fort William. However, the good news is, that it is hoped that the coach can be moved via a SRPS special from Bo'ness to Fort William on 13 May, in time for the K1's first week of Jacobite operation.


Great Britain X railtour


There are no reports concerning the progress of the K1 in the north from the support crew as yet.

However, ...


17th April 2017


We had a satisfactory 3 days with the K1 over Easter.

On Saturday the loco was weighed, a few small jobs carried out which came to light on the loco's last steaming (last Wednesday) the lagging and cladding replaced over the outer wrapper repair area and finally, the loco was lit up.

On Sunday the sand pipes were refitted (they have to be removed to weigh the loco) some rotten boards were replaced to the cab floor and the loco and coach were prepped for the following day's test run. The last thing to do (or so we thought) was to move the engine under its own power in order to warm the front end a little before we gave the cylinder covers a final nip. This we did but then discovered that as we had moved the RH side of the fall plate had somehow got caught under the tender floor and distorted to such an extent that the loco could not run the next day.

An hour's work with the oxy gear and a sledge hammer got us to the point where we could run the next day but we have decided to replace the fall plate before the loco leaves Carnforth for Scotland at the end of this month. This set back almost cost us our tea - we got to the only hostelry in town serving food with minutes to spare.

Monday's test run was very straightforward. We ran to time, the new white metal settled in very nicely, everything worked as it should and there is very little new work identified.

We left a back end in overnight as West Coast steamed the loco again today so that the annual TPWS/OTMR maintenance could be competed (which has now been done).

Whilst the mechanical work has now been largely completed and the loco is more or less ready to undertake its rostered work, it does look a bit tatty. The aim is to improve the loco's appearance before it leaves Carnforth. We also intend to clean and tidy the interior of the coach and paint all of the previously painted floors.


8th April 2017


We managed to install the arch and other than being gassed had a pretty good day. We did perhaps pick the wrong day to do the arch as it was a little on the warm side for all concerned. The concrete (over half a ton of it) was mixed by hand. The mix has to be at absolutely the right consistency to allow it to be workable without slumping, not the easiest of jobs when you are red hot. Well done to Steve, Rolly, Chris (H) and Angie for their hard work and for keeping the mix just right.

In addition to those named above Dave D joined us for the day to work on finishing off/tidying up jobs, which we all got involved with when not on arch building duties. We also prepared the engine to be steamed again this coming Wednesday.

We packed up at around 18:00. A long day but a satisfying one in many respects.

If you would like to join us for the engine's next steaming on Wednesday then please let me know. West Coast are lighting up for us on Tuesday evening so there is no need for an overnight stay, although we will have an early start on Wednesday morning.

There will also be a working party on Easter Saturday (to weigh the engine) as well as the prep day on Sunday and the test/running in turn on Monday. Your help would be greatly appreciated.


3rd April 2017


Another very busy couple of days Sunday/Monday but good progress was made.

The boiler repair had a successful insurance co hydraulic test on Thursday last week. There was no working party on Saturday but Sunday was spent finishing the reassembly (not quite achieved) and preparing the loco for a steam test on Monday. Three of us stayed over on Sunday evening – it was a long day with the engine being lit up at 23:30.

In view of this we had a lay in until 07:00 on Monday, with the fire being revived before breakfast. The loco was then brought round very slowly with no steam until around 11:00. As the pressure came round the doors etc and new joints were all regularly checked and the repair area caulked where necessary. Whilst all, of that was going on the reassembly continued. In the end the test was successful. The insurance co were satisfied with both the repair and the “hot” exam they undertook so we have boiler insurance in place for another year. Good news, and quite a relief!

We will be steaming the engine again next Wednesday (12th) to check on a few tidying up jobs but before then we will be casting the new concrete arch in the firebox this Saturday. A test run to Hellifield and back is also planned for Easter Monday.


25th March 2017


We had a very trying but productive weekend on the K1. I have put the K1’s side rods up many times over the years but they have never before put up the sort of fight we had on Saturday. It is quite usual to take some time to line the cranks up to get the 1st coupling rod up but as it turned out we had a bigger struggle getting the second rod up. We did, however, after much jacking and swearing, manage it in the end. The con rods etc. went up no bother.

We also got the RH back sands box back up after repairs to the steam coil. I knew that would put up a bit of a fight when we took it off. It wasn’t too bad in the end – more interesting in that you really can get 5 fully grown blokes round 3 sides of a box about 2 foot square. We also managed to get a bit of heat resistant paint onto some of the exposed boiler platework and got the engine and tender pushed back together. That lot pretty much took Saturday up.

On Saturday evening those of us who stayed over were treated to a veritable gastronomic extravaganza with NELPG’s resident chef Gordon Rolly preparing a wonderful sausage casserole on our new cooker – Eat your hearts out Q6 crew with your mouse flavoured tea and biscuits!

Sunday was spent reuniting engine/tender pipework, giving the boiler barrel and foundation ring a final swill out, finishing the refurbishment of 4 mud hole doors, fitting the boiler pressure and steam chest pressure gauges, boxing up (including refitting the top of the dome and the safety valve and whistle blanks) and eating the left over sausage casserole for lunch. The only down side was the time we finished. I had promised to be home for 18:30 to take Angie and the girls out for Mother’s day tea at our local pub. Unfortunately I was slightly late for this arriving back in Staithes at 22:30 – still managed a pint with Angie and the girls though and for some reason they all seemed to forgive me as did Sophie the bar maid who made me a ham and cheese sandwich – not quite up to Gordon Rolly’s standards but very welcome with my pint of Old Peculiar I can tell you.

Many thanks to all involved over the weekend (Steve Gibson, Chris Henwood, Dave Donegan, Les Harper, Paul Taylor, Gordon Rolly and Mike Bloomfield). I don’t usually mention the names of those involved but have made an exception here owing to the gruelling nature of the weekend.


18th March 2017


We had a mixed couple of days working on the K1 last Friday afternoon and Saturday.

Progress was made with refitting the trailing hornstays, springs, lub pipes and ashpan linkage following refitting of the trailing coupled axle but we have somehow managed to lose a number of pins for the ashpan linkage (we found some old pins which will do as replacements for now) and rear brake pull rods. If these cannot be found in the next few days we will have to have some new ones made.

Unfortunately the search for the missing pins had a knock on effect to some of the other work we had planned. Most notably we did not get a chance to cut new felts where needed for the side rod bushes. Other work that has been delayed is the RH engine reassembly (but this is now very nearly completed) and trial fitting the new regulator small valve.

As the plan is to refit the coupling and connecting rods (amongst other things) this weekend, and the new felts must be in soak for at least 24 hours before fitting, I am taking Thursday afternoon off work to go and do them (and to complete the RH engine reassembly). I intend to leave Stockton at approx 12:30 and set off back from Carnforth at 18:30. If anyone would like to come with me you will be most welcome. In addition, Rolly is planning on going over on Friday afternoon to continue with the coach guard’s compartment refurbishment. He will be leaving Darlington at approx 14:15 if you would like to go with him. He will be staying over the weekend though so if you do go on Friday you will not be able to get back home until Saturday evening at the earliest.

Other than fitting the side rods this weekend we are planning to refit some of the cladding removed to facilitate the boiler repair, box the boiler up and fill it with water. The full hydraulic test of the repair will take place next week but we may get the chance to take it to mains pressure on Sunday if all goes according to plan.

We will be working both days this weekend, you could do either day or both. In addition I am looking for someone to collect some boiler lagging (just 3 rolls so it will easily fit into a reasonably sized car) from Gateshead and bring it down to Teesside before Saturday. The co car will be available for this if necessary.


12th March 2017


We had a reasonably good weekend at Carnforth with 9 of us there on Saturday and 4 on Sunday.

The K1's left hand engine is now essentially complete and the right hand engine is not far behind.

The old draw bar was removed and the new one ultrasonically tested and found to be free from defects.

The loco's trailing wheelset axleboxes were examined. Unfortunately whilst there is no re-metaling required 3 out of the 4 liners were found to be loose. West Coast are refitting the these this week and it is hoped that the work will be completed and the wheelset refitted before the weekend.

The boiler plate work repair was also Mag Particle and Ultrasonically tested on Saturday. No defects were detected. We hope to hydraulically test before the end of the month and steam test early in April.

Chris Henwood's uncle Peter also attended on Saturday to carry out some joinery work on the coach. Well done uncle Peter and thanks Chris for conning him into coming along.

There has been a small working party today (Tuesday). The trailing coupled axle has been primed and will be glossed before it goes back under the loco, the new draw bar has also been painted. Much cleaning was also done and the coils from the right back sands box have been removed to allow one of the union fittings to be replaced.



4th March 2017


Unfortunately a small turnout on Saturday resulted in only a couple of jobs being done.

Steve singlehandedly washed the boiler barrel and foundation ring out following completion of the outer wrapper repairs. This was no mean feet and included removing 10 or so rivets that had got themselves wedged into the LH front corner of the water space.

Mike and Chris spent much of the day cleaning the trailing coupled axleboxes (the trailing coupled wheelset having being removed by West Coast late last week and assisted John Graham in checking the condition of the boxes.

Unfortunately it was not possible to progress the reassembly of the engines as had been hoped.

There was no working party on Tuesday as only one offer of help was received.

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