North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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K1 Blog

A blog of activities associated with the K1 62005.

K1 Move to Fort William


62005 climbing Beattock with the Jacobite ECS on its way to Fort William on 12 July 2020 - Brian Nunn

This is to confirm that the K1 is now safely at Fort William, ready for the start of its season on the Jacobite on 19 July.

62005 at Fort William Depot on 14 July 2020. - Graham Maxtone

This follows an intensive period of work by Paul Hutchinson and his team at Carnforth once the Covid 19 restrictions were eased. Following a successful steam test for the boiler inspector on 3 July, the K1 was due a test run round the Hellifield circle on 10 July. However, when ready to depart the yard in the morning, the AWS failed. Thanks to the efforts of Richard Pearson and others, this was finally resolved and the locomotive finally set off in the early evening and completed its test run satisfactorily. It was then due to leave for Fort William on Sunday12 July, but a last minute change of plan saw it depart for Carlisle on the Saturday afternoon with 45407 and the ECS (without a Class 37 on the front as originally intended), as I discovered when I was told it was standing at Carlisle Citadel Station in the late afternoon.

The consist then left for Fort William on the Sunday at 0958, again without a Class 37, and arrived at there at 2024, just under an hour late. Attached is a photo by Brian Nunn on the climb to Beattock Summit.

No further problems with the K1 following the AWS dificulty on Friday, so hopefully that has now been resolved. Yesterday, the locomotive was coaled and watered and checked over. In addition, the pit was cleaned and the water removed and the site generally sorted out in conjunction with Riley's men. The welfare unit has been plumbed in, so the support crews have the required separate toilet and washing facilities, and will be able to overnight in the support coach. Today there was to be a full safety briefing with the service starting tomorrow with the Black Five.

Hired welfare unit at Fort William Depot on 14 July 2020 - Graham Maxtone.

The K1 has its first week starting on Sunday as planned and is then due to run the weeks beginning 2/16/30 August, with a washout due to start week beginning 6 September before it returns.


Return to Fort William


Crossing the border at Gretna Junction - Maurice Burns

John Hunt hasa confirmed that both locomotives and the ECS arrived at Fort William Sunday night at about 8.30pm after a good run from Carlisle. No further problems with the K1 following the AWS dificulties on Friday. Today (Monday) they have coaled and watered the locomotive, checked it over, cleaned and removed the water from the pit and generally sorted out the site in conjunction with Riley's men. The welfare unit has been plumbed in, so they will be able to overnight in the support coach in future. Service starts on Wednesday with the Black Five. The K1 has its first week starting on Sunday 19th as planned.

On the climb to Beattock Summit - Maurice Burns


Wednesday 8th July 2020


A K1 footnote. At a short notice video conference Board meeting on 7 July, the draft NELPG control measures for the Jacobite operation and Fort William depot were considered and approved, subject to a small number of amendments. These are currently being incorporated, and once signed off, they will be put on the website and circulated internally.

Similarly with the Jacobite Manual, which needs amending to bring it in line with the changes agreed to the control measures. All being well, and there is still work to be done to be done at Carnforth this week, the K1 is booked for its test run on Friday 10 July, and to travel up to Fort William on Sunday 12 July. Its first service week is due to begin on 19 July.


Saturday 27th June 2000


There were working parties over Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday on the K1 this week with 2 of us in attendance on Tuesday and 4 each on Wednesday and Thursday.

Satisfactory progress was made over the 3 days, the main jobs undertaken being completion of the drilling, reaming and tapping new rear fuseable plug hole and fitting the bung to the original hole (this was then caulked by Johnny Haddow from West Coast), finishing painting out the crew and tool lockers on the tender, competing the installation of the new GSMR charging point, glossing the trailing coupled wheels, refitting the coupling rods, con rods and return cranks/eccentric rods, refitting the speedo bracket, filling the boiler up, casting a new concrete arch and competing a few minor fitting jobs. It was a touch on the warm side to be doing some of these jobs but we were glad to be able to get on and do them.

Yesterday the engine and tender were shunted outside by West Coast with the main draw bar pin been fitted by Rolly (who is now back at work for West Coast) in the process.

Next week there will be working parties on Monday (when the plan is to bag up the engine and tender, complete a few remaining minor fitting jobs, thoroughly check the engine and tender over and light it up late afternoon), Tuesday (steam test including resetting safety valves and OTMR/TPWS annual tests), Thursday (deal with any issues found on Tuesday) and Friday (mainline functional exam). As the tyres have been turned the speedo needs to be recalibrated and this will hopefully be done before Friday (by West Coast).

If you would like to attend any of next weeks working parties then please let me know by e-mail to this address or by text on 07964988551. I will then get back in touch with you to confirm your attendance etc. As with the Grosmont working parties, please do not just turn up.

In addition to the work on the loco I am still working on the Covid 19 control measures for Fort William depot and for working the Jacobite. For various reasons that I won’t go in to here you with here, this is taking a little longer than I had anticipated but I do hope to have the drafts circulated to those who need to see them shortly.


Thursday 18th June 2020


Our first formal working parties since the start of the lock down took place last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 5 of us attended each day and we made reasonable progress.

Following completion of the re-metalling and machining of the trailing coupled axle boxes the wheel set, horn stays and springs have now been refitted, as have the ashpan hopper door linkage and rear brake pull rods. The wheel set’s paint work was inevitably damaged when the tyres were turned earlier in February and upon their subsequent removal and refitting. The damaged areas have been rubbed down and undercoated. The inside of the crew and tool lockers have been cleaned rubbed down and under coated and a start has been made on installing a new battery charging point for the GSMR batteries. This will allow the batteries to be charged with the radio locker shut which is not possible at the moment.

The boiler has been boxed up (having been washed out just before lock down) apart from the refitting of the rear fuseable plug. Unfortunately when the old plug was removed the threads in the crown were found to be damaged. As the plug hole was at its maximum permitted size (BR4) it has been tapped out to take a copper ‘bung’ and a new hole drilled for a new plug hole. The hole is just about ready for tapping to take a BR1 plug.

There will be working parties on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week when the plan is to complete the reassembly (including casting a new concrete arch) and painting jobs to enable the engine to be steam tested before the end of this month. If you wish to attend then please let me know by text on 07964988551 or by e-mail at this address. The working parties will be limited to a maximum of 5 each day and I will confirm who has been rostered.

As you may be aware West Coast plan to start this years Jacobite season with 2 trains a day from 15th July with the K1’s first week starting on the 19th. I am currently drafting Covid 19 control measures for our volunteers in relation to Fort William Depot and for when the loco works the Jacobite. I will also be working with West Coast and Ian Riley to ensure there is no conflict between the measures adopted in the yard and on the operation of the service. I hope to be able to consult with the Group’s Board and our main line support crew members on all of the relevant documentation in the next few days.


Saturday 7th March 2020


Unfortunately Saturday's working party on the K1 had to be cancelled as the coach could not be moved out of the coach repair shed over the weekend and along with our tools, spares etc, was therefore not accessible.

Angie and I did, however, go over to Carnforth yesterday to examine the trailing wheel set and axle boxes with a view to deciding on the work required. Before we could carry out the examination we cleaned and stripped the auxiliary components from the axle boxes. The end float was then checked before the boxes were lifted from the wheel set. This was found to be satisfactory, with the total side to side clearances being only marginally over spec.

Upon removal the bearing surfaces were examined. While the boss faces were found to be in satisfactory order there was, as expected, some wear to the white metal to the bearing shells. While the crowns were still good, wear was evident around the thrusts. Both shells are therefore to be remetaled under contract by West Coast - work started on this today.

The 'T' hanger pins and bushes were also examined and found to be in order

The next working parties on the K1 will be on Friday and Saturday this week. The main areas of work will be cleaning the various bits relating to the trailing wheel set that we did not clean yesterday, refitting the steam heat valve (which has had a new stainless steel seat fitted by Steve Andrews) continuing replacing the tender brake linkage pins, adjusting the centre ash pan hopper door, preparing the boiler for washout/exam and replacing the front grate side bearer.

If you would like to join us on either, or both, day(s) then please let me know by e-mail at this address or by text on 07964988551.

As mentioned earlier the coach is currently in West Coast's repair shop. Most of the work (being carried out by West Coast under contract) is concentrated on number 2 end where the crash pillars have been exposed and repaired, the associated structural floor panel replaced. One of the door pillars and about half of the end panel have also been replaced.

Elsewhere the seal has been replaced to the centre compartment window, a number of minor body repairs are being undertaken and preparations are otherwise well underway for an external repaint.

Unfortunately, following my earlier appeals I have had only one offer of help for the work that I had hoped we could do to the coach this winter. Much of this work will therefore be deferred.

Finally I mentioned earlier that Steve Andrews has put a new stainless seat into the K1's steam heat valve. He has also repaired our cross head splitting gear but as we have allowed the B1's tender into Dev Shed has not charged us for either job. The total cost of the work Steve has carried out for us should be several hundred pounds so I think we can consider the fee for use of Dev Shed to be well and truly paid - many thanks Steve!


Sunday 1st March 2020


Another good turn out at Carnforth yesterday with 7 of us working on the K1.

The trailing coupled wheel set is now ready to be dropped out - both springs, rear brake pull rods, the axle box wedge adjuster cotters and the hopper door linkage have been removed, the flexi axle box lub pipes have been disconnected and the hornstays have been left on just two vertical bolts each. All parts removed have been cleaned and marked up. The leading and driving axle boxes have also been packed.

A start was also made on replacing the tender brake linkage pins.

West Coast will drop the trailing wheel set out during the week and our next working party will be next Saturday when there will be plenty to do. I will not be there (short break in Bruges for Angie's birthday (might even take her with me if she is good)) but if you would like to attend, and you have not already let me know, then please e-mail me at this address before 18:00 Tuesday or text me on 07964988551 at any time.


Friday 28th February 2020


We had a good turn out for last Saturday's working party - 7 of us in attendance.

We prepared the loco for tyre turning,  inspecting and measuring the clearances in the coupling rod bushes as we went along. Unfortunately both intermediate bushes we loose in the rods so they will have to be replaced. One other (LL) bush requires remetaling and the RH gradient pin bush needs to be replaced. In addition the side to side clearances on the leading and trailing crank pins are a little excessive so all of the associated thrust rings will be replaced before the rods are put back up. The speedo drive and bracket were also removed (and cleaned) in prep for tyre turning.

In addition to the above we removed the concrete arch, removed the RH injector steam valve so that the spindle can be replaced and replaced the spacer behind the regulator handle securing nut as the old one was not quite thick enough.

We would have done more but the weather was not on our side so we had a relatively early finish at around 16:00.

The engine and tender were moved on to the ground lathe on Monday morning. Angie and I had intended being around for the whole tyre turning operation but the weather had other ideas. Our normal two and a half hour journey from home to Carnforth took 6 hours, during which we encountered snow and once over the Pennies (on the A65 as the 66 was shut) floods. The upshot was that we missed the first couple of cuts in the first coupled wheel set to be turned - not really a big deal.

The rest of the tyre turning was carried out without issue and was completed by mid day, Thursday. During this time Angie did a few minor jobs to the loco and coach. Thankfully our journey home yesterday afternoon was straightforward with very little snow left over Stainmore.

The next working party on the K1 will be tomorrow when, amongst other things, we will be preparing the trailing coupled wheel set for removal for attention to the back boxes.


Thursday 20th February 2020


After its successful visit to the GC the K1 has been safely delivered to rather wet Carnforth. The engine arrived yesterday afternoon and the tender this morning.

The engine and tender were reunited (just on the safety links for now) early this afternoon and were then moved into Steamtown. Angie and I went over to Carnforth to oversee proceedings. In addition we carried out a few minor jobs to the coach, put the tools and spares we took to the GC away, removed the gauge glasses and disconnected the pressure gauges.

The next working party is on Saturday.

Following Saturday's working party the loco is booked onto Carnforth's ground lathe for tyre turning on Monday and Tuesday next week. Angie and I will be there to witness the work and will hopefully manage to do a few other jobs while we are there.

While I expect we will manage to complete the planned work to the K1 in time for it to take up this season's work on the Jacobite we will need additional help to get the coach into good shape. There are joinery, electrical and decorating works to do. If you are able to help with any of these then please let me know.


Saturday 8th February 2020


Before the K1 is moved by road to Carnforth it will be doing 3 more days work on the GCR.

The loco will work another photo charter then an evening diner on the 14th Feb and service trains on the 15th and 16th.

The move to Carnforth is planned for the 19th Feb. The first working party of the second stage of this year's winter maintenance will be on Saturday 22nd Feb when we will be removing the concrete arch and the side rods (ahead of tyre turning). The loco is booked onto West Coast's ground lathe on the 24th.

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