North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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K1 Blog

A blog of activities associated with the K1 62005.

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.


25th February


We had a frustrating day yesterday with slow progress on most of the jobs we were attempting.

The RH valve crosshead is now sorted but the valve is still to refit. Both pistons were removed but we only had time for a very cursory inspection. From what we have seen so far all looks to be in order.

The new lifting blocks are now in place but still need securing.

One of the objectives for the day was the removal of both trailing loco springs. We did not start this until around 16.00 but thankfully this was one job that went well and both were removed by 16.45. Not a bad effort all things considered. There were, however a number of jobs we needed to do on Saturday that did not get done.

One thing we did do was take delivery of the new cooker (and got rid of the old one). Many thanks to Neil Smedley for sorting this out and to Mike Bloomfield who is going over to meet the gas fitter tomorrow.

The new boiler plate work will be welded in starting tomorrow and the repair should be completed by Thursday, following which the loco will be moved down to the wheel drops for removal of the trailing wheelset.

The aim is to have the loco reassembled sufficiently to allow a steam test at the beginning of April. There is a hell of a lot to do between now and then. Unfortunately no one has offered to go over on Tuesday. If we are to complete the winter work in time for the loco to leave Carnforth at the end of April we must do better.


18th February


We had a pretty good couple of days last weekend. The valve crossheads were trial fitted following the adjustments made to correct the valve alignment problem.

The LH crosshead, after further minor adjustment was a satisfactory fit which enabled the LH valve to be refitted (after cleaning the valve rings and final cleaning of the heads). The RH crosshead requires a bit more work but should be ready for its final fit by next weekend.

Progress was also made in fitting the new lifting blocks by carefully truing the radius rod lifting block bearing surfaces. Final fitting of the blocks is now very close.

A number of reassembly preparation jobs were carried out and one rocking grate firebar was changed.

The outer wrapper repair is progressing well and is likely to be completed late this week/early next. Whilst the repair will be mag particle and ultrasonically tested shortly after completion the required hydraulic and steam tests will not be undertaken until the end of March to fit in with the rest of the winter work.



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