This month we get an update on the progress being made on the rebuild of locomotive No. 44806 by Nick Simpson, MPD Manager

From the boiler being lifted out of the frames in November 2020 many tasks have been undertaken on the chassis rebuild of No. 44806 here at the Motive Power Department in Grosmont while the boiler is away for its overhaul. The early stages of the project so far have been on stripping and removal components, this has included the motion, cab, wheel sets, running boards, pipe work, paint and rust.

Work then turned to the most recent undertaking of restoration - restoration of the locomotive components - and has seen the cab fabrication of sections, some running boards replaced, new front buffer, all the lubricating systems pipe work cleaned and examined before refit, the tyres turned, rear drag box repaired and many other tasks that won't be seen after it enters traffic following its 10 yearly rebuild.

These tasks, which may not be directly seen, are imperative to get right so the machine runs as smoothly as possible when it re-enters traffic on the Moors once again. We have an ideal time frame to meet, as other locomotives come out of traffic No. 44806 will be needed to haul coaching stock once again, so we can hit the steam mileage the passengers enjoy seeing (usually despite heat waves) to Whitby.   

We are now in a position for the rebuild part, for the wheel sets to go back under the frames to make a rolling chassis once again. This will be a massive step forward in the rebuild, not only to have something that can be shunted, but also all the workshop floor space available again which a project like this takes up, we will then be able to bring in the tender.

However, we have not just been leading up to the re-wheeling point of the project, the cladding is well on with being restored, the cylinder bores have been machined, all the frames are painted and combination levers are in the machine shop.

The end point of the project is not to re-wheel but to fully restore the frames so that the boiler can be refitted when we are ready for it and the tender reconnected.

To fit the wheels we will lift the frames, remove all the stands it was resting on, wheel the sets and bogie into position and lower back down. Horn ties and bolts are secured into position and oil lines on the bogie reconnected, thus completing another task of many done and still to do on this frame rebuild. Following the rebuilding stage we will move to finishing and testing.

Nick Simpson, MPD Manager.

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