Nick Simpson, MPD Manager, give us an update mid-July on the work being done by the staff and volunteers at Grosmont Engine Sheds.

This week the rebuild of No. 44806 has taken a big step forward with the boiler being reunited with the frames. This locomotive will strengthen our steam engine availability when finished and we look forward to having a pair of Black 5’s to run in and around our railway.

The lift of the boiler went very well with the crane being set up previously in readiness, to set the crane up we need to wind out 6 stabilising legs that get supported with wooden packings to increase the lifting footprint of the crane, also the coal bunkers are filled and the water tanks brimmed.

On the lift day at 6 am the fire is lit to raise steam, the packings checked and when the needle rises to a sufficient pressure the jib is raised by the crane driver, lifting chains are attached by the slingers and the crane is ready. While the crane is being sorted the team are shunting the frames, boiler and barrier wagon out of the sheds 2 road to allow the roof to be removed using the fab shop overhead crane. The roof needs to be taken off to make the clearance needed for the boiler to fit in the cab area.

The consist, after the roof is off is then shunted around to the crane and stopped to allow the crane to slew over the boiler and chains wrapped around the boiler ready for a nip, taking a nip of the load allows us to check when have the load centred and balanced. After this check the boiler is lifted off the wagon and the shunter moves the train so that the barrier wagon, which has the ashpan stored on it, is under the boiler. The boiler is lowered and the team attaches the ashpan to the foundation ring of the boiler. The load is now complete and is finally raised up, so that the ashpan clears the saddle on the frames. The shunt now moves back to align the frame under the boiler where the steam crane lowers the boiler into its final resting place.

The team then take the chains off the boiler, hold the chains clear and the boiler laden frames are shunting back into the workshop. The crane after performing once more sterling service slews back to centre, lowers the chains so they can be detached and put away and the jib is lowered onto its cradle.

The following day the packings under the legs are disassembled, legs wound in and the crane is ready for the next job, whether it is a breakdown or boiler lift.

This work now allows the final fitting out of the project to commence, smoke box can have its header and elements fit, spark arrestors made, back head fittings installed, tender connected and all the other components that have been looked at while the engine has been under overhaul attached.  

We're excited to have another locomotive coming into traffic.

Nick Simpson, MPD Manager

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