The Team at Grosmont M.P.D. have been working their socks off to get the locomotives ready for re-opening this year and now, M.P.D. Manager, Nick Simpson has had a few minutes to restart the monthly blog posts for this season:

Easter Monday and now the locomotives have left the shed for service and we have been running a couple of weeks, a small chance to take a breather after a very busy winter here at Grosmont M.P.D.

This winter the department has undertaken tyre turning of three steam locomotives, winter maintenance of the steam fleet, staff training and rolling out a new competence management system, generator removal of D7628, D5032 and No. 44806 restoration, engine work on No. 37264, Repton’s new header casting, site improvements to the coal handling area, new fencing, wash room tiling, No. 75029 and Bagnall continued boiler rebuild along with Hartland’s...

This project reached a milestone over winter with the inner and outer fireboxes joined for the first time in 15+ years when the loco was first removed from traffic. 

This adjoining followed many hours of measuring, marking and drilling of all the holes that the stays go into.

The welding stage so far has seen the inner box lifted in, aligned, braced, a root pass then filler passes on three sides of the fire box assembly, the new corner patches and throat plate outer.

We now have the task of through reaming all the holes to ensure perfect alignment and we are looking at sourcing our first stays.

While this work goes on daily, as you can imagine there are many weeks of reaming the near 2500 holes, that will then need threading, both of which are done by long tools driven by air drills, the back head has been offered in.

Marked up for any alterations, holes transferred through from the outer to the inner and lifted out for the grinding of weld prep both on the edges of the outer plates and the door ring. The transferred through hole marks will give a start to work off for marking the inner holes to drawing, that will lead to more drilling, reaming and threading!

This project is keeping 2 to 3 staff a day busy along with the super efforts of regular volunteers who work on Hartland weekly and overseen by our Boiler Manager leading the team. Our next target is to get a stay into the boiler, sort an area to bring the tubes and flues down to so they can be begun to be thought about and washout plug hole drilling out.

Nick Simpson, M.P.D. Manager

Check back next month for Nick's updates or view his previous post.