North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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K1 Blog

A blog of activities associated with the K1 62005.

Saturday 17th November 2018


Steady progress on the K1 this week with 3 of us on Wednesday and Thursday and 6 on Saturday.

Wednesday was spent largely on preparing for the NDT exam on Thursday plus thickness testing the elements (found to be ok) and die nutting and cleaning the element 'T' bolts.

Thursday was dominated by the NDT of the outer wrapper. The examination took most of the day. The exam revealed no problems that we can not deal with (subject to insurance company approval). A good result overall which means that the work to obtain the mainline extension can continue. When the NDT exam had been completed we managed to clean and protect the safety valve and whistle bosses and die nut their studs and continued with de-scaling the outer wrapper and barrel.

On Saturday we started the removal of the remaining tubes, fitted new back head fitting mounting studs where needed, removed the piston valves, removed the rings from the valves and cleaned all of the valve gland components. Unfortunately we only made slow progress with the tube removal (we only got 22 out) but, hopefully we will get better at it this week.

There will be working parties on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday this week when we will look to make better progress with the tube removal, prepare the side stays to be changed for removal, finish de-scaling the outer wrapper and barrel, hydraulic the supetheater elements (subject to West Coast's pump and pump engine (Rolly) being available) remove the LH back valve cover (so that the back liner can be honed) and make a start on cleaning the loco frames.


Saturday 24th November 2018


Another satisfactory week on the K1 last week. We had 4 in attendance on Tuesday and Wednesday and 5 on Thursday and Saturday.

Removal of the small tubes continued and the de-scaling work was very nearly completed. A start was also made on preparing the side stays that are to be replaced, for removal. All three tasks should be completed by the end of this week.

Away from the boiler the loco and tender were split and the loco moved to the wheel drop road in the Steamtown shed. With the loco and tender split the draw bar and pins, together with the safety links and pins were removed. The draw bar pins have since been die pen tested (and are ok) but the draw bar requires straightening. Much time has also been spent on cleaning the loco frames and the top of the drag box.

The tyres have also been measured for flange wear. While there is no pressing need to turn the tyres at this stage it is certainly worth considering doing so now given that they can be done at Carnforth. If they are not turned now the tyres will almost certainly need turning at the end of next season. As the K1 is not scheduled to go back to Carnforth next winter (it is planned to take it to the NYMR after it's work on the Jacobite next year and to remain there over the 19/20 winter) it would seem to make sense to do them now.

Most of the components previously sent to Hopetown for attention are now ready for collection (to be done later this week). The piston valves have, however, now been dropped off at Hopetown for cleaning.


Saturday 3rd November 2018


Progress with this year's winter work remains satisfactory. Three of us worked on the loco at Carnforth on Tuesday, four on Wednesday (plus West Coast staff for the boiler lift) three on Thursday and four on Saturday.

Everything went pretty much to plan - the cab, manifold, outer wrapper/barrel cladding and lagging were removed on Tuesday, the boiler was lifted from the frames, separated from the ash pan and back head cladding/lagging removed on Wednesday, a start was made on de-scaling the outer wrapper and cleaning up the barrel on Thursday and on Saturday we continued with the de-scaling, removed 16 of the 24 elements and cleaned the back head cladding ready for repair and painting. In addition more of the small dia vacuum pipework was re-ended and the annual manifold valve exam/service has been started, and very nearly finished (just one valve head to skim and lap in).

Meanwhile, at Hopetown, work continued on the repainting of the various K1 bits that have been dropped of there.

This coming week there will be working parties at Carnforth on Thursday, Friday and Saturday when, amongst other things the de-scaling work will continue (hopefully to completion) the remaining elements will be extracted and removal of the small tubes will be progressed. We should, therefore, be in a position to undertake the necessary examinations/NDT work by the middle of this month.

While we are doing quite well at Carnforth at the moment we could do with more help to keep up the momentum and avoid, as far as possible, paying someone to do work we can do ourselves. Therefore, if you are willing and able to help on any or all of the above mentioned days I would be very pleased to hear from you. As usual the company car should be available.



Saturday 10th November 2018


Another satisfactory week on the K1 last week. Three of us worked Thursday and Friday and four on Saturday.

The de-scaling of the areas to be subject to ultrasonic examination was completed, all boiler fitting mounting boss studs requiring replacement were removed and the holes tapped and the remaining studs die nutted. All cladding mounting bosses were tapped after removing a number of sheared mounting bolts and two the bosses normally attached to the RH expansion bracket were welded back in to place after they had decided to come adrift.

The remaining elements were removed, this also required the removal the ejector exhaust ring/petticoat. Cleaning of all of the elements has been completed ahead of examination and hydraulic testing.

In the meantime the repainting of the K1 parts at Hopetown continues to progress well.

This week there will be working parties at Carnforth on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The ultrasonic examination is booked for Thursday and we will also continue cleaning the outer wrapper/barrel and examine and hydraulic the elements. If time permits we will continue removing the small tubes and perhaps make a start on removing the side stays that are to be replaced

A little further ahead we will have to give the rest of the loco and tender some attention - while there is not a lot to do on the mechanical side this winter it will be nice to get it out of the way before the boiler goes back onto the frames in January. We also intend to paint the loco frames and wheels this winter, a job which is likely to account for most of the man (or women) hours spent on the bottom end.



Wednesday 31st October 2018 - the Boiler Lift


Just a very brief update to let you know that the K1's boiler lift was completed without any significant problems on Wednesday. After setting up, the lift commenced at 11:00 and the job was completed and the crane ready to leave the depot by 13:00.


Sunday 28th October 2018


Another satisfactory 3 days working on the K1 at Carnforth last week so the boiler lift is on for this coming Wednesday. The smoke box concrete was finally defeated by a combination of a diamond cutting disc, a Kango hammer and a lot of hard graft.

In addition to getting the loco ready for the boiler lift the engine and tender are now ready to be split and some a number of mail ends have been replaced as necessary on the atomizer and vacuum pipework.

At Hopetown the cosmetic steam pipe covers have been repaired and progress is being made with preparing and repainting them and various other K1 components.

Following my appeal last week, I now have offers of help with the cab front windows and mechanical lubricator linkage from Neil Smedley and Ian Story respectively - many thanks for that.

The plan for this week is to remove the top of the cab and cladding (all ready to be lifted off) and strip the lagging on Tuesday, lift the boiler off the frames on Wednesday and start removing the superheater elements on Thursday, continuing with this and various other more minor tasks on Saturday.


Monday 22nd October 2018


Another satisfactory couple of days on the K1 last week. Not much to come off now before the boiler lift (programmed for 31st Oct) and more bits examined and serviced. The only problem we have is removing the smokebox concrete which is proving difficult even with the Kango hammer we have on loan. The concrete will, however, be out in time for the boiler lift.

There are now a few parts at Hopetown for repair/cleaning/painting and there will be more to come. In particular if anyone would be interested in bushing and making new pins for the mechanical lubricator drive linkage or ordering and fitting new toughened glass for both front cab windows then I would be pleased to hear from you.

There will be working parties at Carnforth on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday this week when the preparation for the boiler lift should be completed and a start, at least, will be made on removing the superheater elements. As usual the co car should be available. If you would like to come along on any or all of these days then please let me know by e-mail to this address or by text/phone on 07964988551


Thursday 18th October 2018


We had another satisfactory 3 days on the K1 last week. The boiler is now nearly ready to come off and all parts removed so far have been prepared for independent examination where appropriate or examined by us and either serviced/repaired or had any required work identified (not too much so far).

This week there will be working parties on Friday (returning to Darlington for the SGM) and Saturday. If you would like to be involved in either then please let me know by e-mail to this address or text/phone on 07964988551. The co car will be going over both days.

I look forward to hearing from you and to seeing you at the SGM.


Monday 1st October 2018


We had 3 good days on the K1 last week, removing the concrete arch, making a good start on preparing for the boiler lift (with progress on stripping the smokebox and removing back head pipework) and removing 6 tubes to assess their condition.

The tubes were found to be thin so all 141 small tubes will need to be replaced before the loco can see further service. This is not surprising, given the amount of work they have done.

This coming week there will be working parties on Wednesday to Saturday (inclusive) when we will be looking to continue with preparing for the boiler lift. If you would like to take part in any of these working parties and you have not already let me know, then I would be very grateful to hear from you by e-mail or text (07964988551) before 20:00 tomorrow. The company car can be made available if required.

On a slightly different note, Fort William driver, Alec McDonald has now retired after 60ish years working on the railway. Any of you on K1 support crew over the last 30 years are bound to know Alec. Once met never forgotten - quite an engineman too!

A leaving do is being arranged in Fort William towards the end of this month. I will give further details of this when they are available. In the meantime of you would like to contribute to Alec's leaving collection then please let me know by e-mail.


Saturday 22nd September 2018


3 of us at Carnforth yesterday. We washed the boiler out but unfortunately, as the loco was not on a pit and we were not able to move it, we could not drop the remains of Monday's fire or remove the arch.

There will be working parties Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this coming week, the first jobs being to drop the fire, remove the arch and otherwise prepare the boiler for inspection. We will then start work on the preparatory work for removing the boiler from the frames. We hope to do most of this preparatory work ourselves and the plan is to lift the boiler shortly after the SGM (provided the recommendation is approved).


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