J72 Overhaul Update Feb 2021

Monday, 08 February 2021 09:35 William Nutbrown

69023 Upturned Boiler


The boiler barrel has been opened up and the copper tubeplate removed, by Northern Steam Engineering (NSEL), for close internal examination. Ultrasonic thickness testing has been completed on both the steel outer wrapper and the copper firebox. The testing of the steel wrapper proved challenging and the plates will be visually examined, to establish the extent of repairs required, once further dismantling of the boiler is complete.

Our insurance company inspector visited NSEL on 11th January accompanied by Dave Pennock and Neal Woods. This took place under NSEL’s strict Covid-19 measures which limit attendance at the site. The outcomes from the visual inspection and the NDT report are being assessed, pending some further dismantling to fully establish the condition of the firebox side sheets and corrosion around the stay heads.

Paul Hutchinson and Neal Woods visited NSEL on 29th January. The smokebox tubeplate had been removed to establish the extent of the grooving to the tubeplate and the condition of the angular joint ring. The bottom 3/4 of the backhead had been removed to aid examination of the outer firebox sides.

Once the examinations are completed. costing options will be provided to decide on the best way forward.

Cylinder Block

We plan to ship the original cylinder block halves to South Lincs Foundry (SLF) shortly, prior to the start of pattern making, which is expected to commence during February. Richard Pearson is arranging their transfer on pallets from Hopetown. An upfront deposit payment to SLF has been paid, following the contract award for pattern making and cylinder casting.


The wheelset assessment has been completed by James Pearcy. This has confirmed that the wheelsets are sound, apart from dishing in the boss faces, which will be rectified at the same time as tyre turning. Ultrasonic Axle Testing (UAT) and Eddy Current Testing will be carried out before the wheelsets are dispatched for tyre turning.

The eccentrics and the eccentric sheaths have been assessed and will need minimal work prior to refitting, once the wheelsets have been tyre turned.

The driving-wheel (centre) set of horn guides have been machined and refitted. The rear set of horn guides have been removed and will be machined shortly. The first 30 fitted bolts for the horn guides have been ordered. Neal Woods has ordered reamers and a 3-metre rule to progress the work on the horn guides and axleboxes.

Hopetown working parties have continued to progress only essential jobs, with limited numbers of volunteers, who have been specifically rostered. In the light of the current lockdown, the Project Team has decided that the cylinder block movement is the only essential job in the immediate future. The situation will be kept under review.

NELPG needs to invest some £225,000 to steam Joem again and a ‘Set to Steam Again’ appeal has been launched for direct donations or sponsorships.

For more details of the appeal including the opportunity to sponsor specific elements of the overhaul click here

All donations will be gratefully received.  Please, if you can, support Joem’s much needed return to steam.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 March 2021 12:44