North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
K1 Blog

A blog of activities associated with the K1 62005.

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.


K1 arrives at Great Central


K1 at Loughborough - Angela Buxton

After the K1 finished its NYMR duties on New Year's day Peter Whitaker, Ken Morrison and I went to New Bridge on Thursday to split the engine and tender, remove the NYMR's kit (firing shovels, coal pick, bucket etc) and to take what I hope are the final measurements for gauging the locomotive.

The move by road to the GCR was booked for yesterday but the low loaders turned up on Thursday lunchtime. Both engine and tender were therefore loaded that afternoon. The move then took place yesterday as planned the only complication being a blow out of one of the trailer tyres as the low loader carrying the loco came off the A64 on to the A1. This delayed the journey by 2 hours.

The delay did not stop the loco getting to the GCR yesterday afternoon. Angie and I had travelled down to meet it and along with some of the GCR staff, reunited the engine and tender. The engine and tender were then hauled from Quorn, where they had been unloaded and reunited, to Loughborough (see attached photo taken by Angie this morning). We stayed in Loughborough last night so that we could sort the various tools we had brought and to make a start on preparing the loco for work on the GCR. We also examined the loco and carried out a couple of minor repairs.

The loco will be steamed next week as part of the GCR's acceptance procedure and is due to work photo charters 13th - 16th Jan and then during the Winter Gala 24th - 26th Jan.

Finally many thanks are due to Kieran from the NYMR C&W dept for volunteering during what should have been a day off to do the shunting required to get the loco loaded at New Bridge.


Monday 30th December 2019


Following the K1's insurance hot exam on Christmas eve the loco had a satisfactory day on test/running in on Saturday (Ian Pearson driving, Andrew Jeffery and Richard deSadeleer sharing the firing, Angie and Mike Bloomfield helping with the prep and sorting the contents of the coach out and me generally keeping an eye on the loco.

We were off shed early enough to get a run up the bank and back before the first train. All was well after this so we banked the first train to Pickering, doing about half the work and then brought it back on the front of the train doing most of the work. Again all was well on our return so we banked the next train back up to Goathland doing most of the the work. For this last trip Richard and I got off and have Angie and Mike had a ride out.

The engine performed well throughout the day, the new white metal (both cross heads) got no warmer than normal running temperature. Both piston packings were passing (but both improved with mileage) and there was a very minor leak to the RH cylinder cover (since nipped up).

The loco was passed for further service and worked the Pickering - Whitby charter yesterday during which the piston packings continued to take up but the whistle handle return spring broke. This was repaired last night but a new spring is needed.

The loco is back out again today and is due to work tomorrow and New Years day where it will finish at New Bridge. From there it will be dispatched to the GCR.


Tuesday 24th December 2019


The K1 had a successful steam test yesterday with Mike Bloomfield, Les Harper and me present. In addition we finished filling the back of the tender tank (and got it painted) and the side rods and wiggly bits were cleaned up and oiled. Angie and I went back over to Grosmont last night to build the back end up and then again this morning to meet the insurance examiner for the insurance hot exam. This went well, we put the engine to bed and got away for 13:00.

The running in day will now be on Saturday and if all goes well the loco will work to Whitby the next day and again on the 1st Jan. It will end up at New Bridge on the evening of the 1st ready for its road move to the GCR on the 3rd. I'll be splitting the engine and tender on the 2nd if anyone would like to join me. Just e-mail me if you want to come along or if you want to come to Grosmont and help to clean the loco on the morning of either of its working days.



Friday 20th December 2019


Ian Pearson, Les Harper and I had a mixed day with the K1's steam test yesterday.

On the down side a fizz on one of the smoke box tube plate washout plugs meant that we could not get to full working pressure and test/reset the safety valves.

We did however have enough steam to carry out a function test on everything else, all of which proved to be satisfactory. Whilst the defective plug was disappointing the overall result was not too bad considering the amount of work undertaken since the loco was last steamed.

We were also able to continue filling/preparing the repaired areas to the back of the tender tank, clean the Q6's pistons ready for transporting and had another look at how to remove the Q6's regulator rod. In this regard we found that the crank will not pass through the intermediate regulator rod bracket within the boiler so, in order to remove the rod either the crank will have to come off the rod or the bracket will have to be removed - both cases much easier said than done!

Over the next few days the planned work on the K1 will be as follows;

  1. Tomorrow evening I will go and drain the boiler (it will not be cool enough before then).
  2. On Sunday I will remove the offending plug and do what is necessary to sort it out, refill the boiler and light a warming fire.
  3. On Monday we will carry out a further steam test and test/adjust the safety valves.
  4. The boiler insurance hot exam is booked for Tuesday.

If all goes to plan we might have Wednesday off but the loco will be back in steam next Friday for a light engine test run up the bank to see how the new white metal on the cross heads settled in. If all goes well we then hopefully bank a train to Goathland. The loco should then be available for NYMR service up to and including 01/01/20.


Page 4 of 15