North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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K1 Blog

A blog of activities associated with the K1 62005.

Saturday 4th November 2017


The lads had a good day on Saturday.

The blast pipe spark arrestor, safety valves and whistle were removed for servicing and in preparation for further work and the cleaning work inside the firebox ahead of the annual exam has almost been completed. The smokebox door seal has also been removed as have the cosmetic front cylinder covers, the side rod split pins an cotters and the draw bar pin split pins. The engine and tender are now ready to split.

There will be another working party on Saturday when we plan to remove the side rods (after checking all clearances in order to determine which bushes need to be remetalled or replaced) and continue clearing the smokebox in preparation for removal of the elements. We might even replace a few roof stay nuts if time permits.

Whilst I doubt we can compete with the Q6 on the tea drinking and cake eating front we will manage the odd cuppa and might even get a lunch break. You would also be very welcome to come and join in the fun.


Saturday 28th October 2017


After a delayed start (the co car failed but it is sorted now) we had a good day on Saturday.

The boiler has been washed out, the washout plugs cleaned, with a start made on the mud hole doors, and the arch has been removed and cleared away. Our delayed start meant a late finish (18:00 ish away from Carnforth) but we got done what we set out to do.

There will be another working party this coming Saturday - late finish very unlikely as I will not be there. There is plenty to do from removing spark arresters to cleaning fireboxes - the fun will be endless. There will even be tea and biscuits - just like at Grosmont only you will be working on a better engine


The K1 returns to Carnforth


The K1 has now completed it's seasons work and returned to Carnforth, arriving almost 2 hours early at approx 23:25 on Friday.

The loco has had a very successful season completing 74 Jacobite's as well as its work on the GBX with 100% availability. Many thanks to all who made this possible by working on the loco last winter or supporting it through the operating season.

This Winter's maintenance has already begun with the removal of the piston values and primary screen and the disconnection of the gauges, transducers and intermediate bags etc bring completed before the last of last week's support crew left Carnforth at 15:00 yesterday.

Working parties will now be held every Saturday, with some full weekends and mid week working thrown in, until the winter work has been completed. The most significant jobs to be undertaken this winter are outlined in October's NELPG News.



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.


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