Progress on multiple fronts

In the last couple of weeks an awful lot has been going on at Darlington Locomotive Works.  Three coupled axles have arrived and the leading coupled axle set up to press on its bearings.  There has been some more progress on cladding and Daniela Filova has been producing manufacturing drawings on a regular basis.  Orders have been placed for the cylinder cover patterns and castings, tender alternator pulley and roller bearing adjustment rings.  The air pump which arrived in kit form reassembled and sent with its twin plus various ancillaries to Meiningen for overhaul. Ian Howitt collected tender hornblocks and liners and intends machining to start soon and the tender front dragbox is almost complete at North View Engineering Solutions prior to sending to Ian.

Plain driving axles, newly delivered from South Africa – Gemma Braithwaite

One of the axles set up on the bearing press – David Elliott

Jordan Durham from Middlesborough College re-assembles an air pump – David Elliott

Tender castings for Ian Howitt – Bob Hughes

Design, components, assembly!

Progress continues on many fronts at Darlington Locomotive Works (and elsewhere) in the race to assemble Prince of Wales.  In the following photos, Daniela can be seen working on the CAD of the cylinder end covers, the Cartazzi axleboxes are assembled on the axle and then fitted, two 08 shunter speedometer drives are prepared for re-working and components of the two newly acquired air pumps are checked before dispatch to Meiningen.  All photos by David Elliott.

Up, up and away!

In preparation for wheeling the locomotive, No. 2007’s frames were trial lifted by the Matterson jacks at Darlington Locomotive Works.  The lift was successfully achieved proving the integrity and rigidity of the frames.

The view from underneath, from the pony truck pintle backwards – David Elliott

Some idea of the height of the lift can be seen here – David Elliott

Final combined frame stay in place

Working right up until the Christmas break, the team at Darlington Locomotive Works took delivery of and installed the final combined frame stay and spring bracket assembly.  All photos by David Elliott.

Bearing up….

Supervised by Mark Leatherland from Timken, the team at Darlington Locomotive Works pressed the roller bearings on to the crank axle.  The process required the use of an induction heater for the bearings.

Most of Tornado’s roller bearings were fitted by the wheelset assembler at the same time as the wheels were pressed on. For Prince of Wales we have decided to assemble the bearings, axles and axle/cannonboxes ourselves as the plan is to fit the completed axle/axlebox and cannonbox assemblies to the frames before the wheels are pressed on. This makes the setting of the coupled axles much easier as the distance between the axles (which is a critical measurement for a smooth running) can be measured directly – this is not easy when the wheels are on.

The first bearings were fitted on 13th December to the crank axle. Having checked that the dimensions of the axle ends and the various spacer and thrust rings are correct, each component is heated to 110 degrees C using our new SKF bearing heater and slid onto the axle in turn. The axle is typically 0.004″ greater in diameter than holes in the rings and bearings, so as the components cool, they grip the axle. The problem is that if the outside edge of the ring or bearing cools and grips first, the the item will no longer be tight up against its neighbour as it shrinks on cooling. To overcome this we use our 50 tonne jack with various bespoke adapters to press each ring and bearing as it is fitted. The pressure is released once the component has cooled down.

It is a requirement of Railway Group Standards that work on roller bearings is overseen by a qualified bearing specialist which we do not have, so the operation was attended by by Timken Service Engineer Mark Leatherland who will provide suitable paperwork conferring acceptance of our work.

The next stage is to machine the adjustment rings that set the end float of the bearings, after which the axleboxes can be fitted.

    

The roller bearing fitting rig – David Elliott

The induction heater for the bearings – David Elliott

Bill Drumm applies grease – David Elliott

Ian Matthews and Bill Drumm  with their handiwork – David Elliott

The bearings in place, wrapped in cling film to keep them fresh! – David Elliott

Going green!

As assembly of No. 2007 Prince of Wales accelerates, some components need to be finish-painted in topcoat, particularly those that will be inaccessible once the locomotive is fully assembled; one such is the wheel hub behind the Cartazzi axleboxes.

Ian Matthews’ handiwork on the Cartazzi wheelset – David Elliott

Crank Axle Delivered

The Mikado Club funding the wheeling of No. 2007 Prince of Wales reaches 90% of extended £250,000 target

We are delighted to announce the achievement of significant milestones both in construction and fundraising. The crank axle has been delivered to Darlington Locomotive Works (DLW) following its assembly by South Devon Railway Engineering Ltd at Buckfastleigh, Devon and finish machining by Unilathe at Stoke on Trent. In addition, The Mikado Club fundraising initiative to pay for the wheeling of the engine and tender has reached 90% of its revised target of £250,000 pledged almost three months earlier than anticipated.

The class P2 2-8-2 ‘Mikado’ locomotives were the most powerful passenger steam locomotives to operate in the UK, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley to haul 600 ton trains on the arduous Edinburgh to Aberdeen route.  Sadly, the design was never fully developed and they were rebuilt in 1943/44 and scrapped by 1961.  The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (registered charity, builders and operators of famous new 100mph steam locomotive No. 60163 Tornado) is building the seventh member of this class over seven years at an estimated cost of £5m. The project will demonstrate how the design can be fully realised through use of modern computer design techniques, enabling the new locomotive to deliver its full potential hauling passenger trains at high speed across today’s national network.

The delivery of the crank axle is a critical milestone for the project being the culmination of a long and expensive process including Finite Element Analysis (FEA) carried out by the railway engineering consultants, Mott MacDonald at Derby to eliminate a weakness in the original design that resulted in fracturing of the crank axle. It is anticipated that the fitting of wheels and tyres will take place in March which will complete the wheelset. It is hoped to have the engine wheeled by spring 2018.

The Mikado Club was launched at the end of March 2016 to raise £200,000 from 160 members to wheel the engine and was extended in June 2017 to 200 members and £240,000 to also wheel the tender. The work involved wheeling the engine to create the first standard gauge ‘Mikado’ since 1945 includes:

1.                Machining axle and cannon box castings, manufacturing roller bearing details

2.                Boring eight coupled wheel bosses to finished size

3.                Assembling bearings and cannon box onto pony truck axle

4.                Assembling bearings, cannon and axle boxes onto plain coupled axles

5.                Trial fitting coupled axles to frame

6.                Pressing Cartazzi wheels onto axle, fitting & machining tyres and fitting bearings & axleboxes

7.                Pressing plain coupled wheels onto axles, fitting and machining tyres

8.                Assembling crank axle, fitting bearings & axleboxes, pressing wheels onto crank axle, fitting and machining tyres

9.                Finish machining crank bosses & boring crank pin holes and machining & fitting all crank pins

10.             Trial fitting wheelsets to frames at DLW.

First wheelset assembled for No. 2007

Work started on boiler cladding for Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales

We are delighted to announce that the first wheelset for No. 2007 has been assembled by South Devon Railway Engineering at Buckfastleigh, Devon. The Cartazzi wheelset has had its wheels pressed onto its axle and its tyres are due to be shrunk onto the wheels within the next fortnight. This is a significant milestone in the £250,000 wheeling of the new locomotive.

Mark Allatt, Trustee and P2 Project Director, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “The assembly of the first wheelset is a major milestone in the £250,000 wheeling of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales. We are hopeful that we will have completed the rolling chassis for the engine during next winter and we remain on-track for completion of the new locomotive in 2021. However, to maintain this rate of progress we need to continue to raise in excess of £700,000 per year, which given the nature of the regular donation scheme becomes more challenging as each year passes.

“I would encourage all steam enthusiasts who haven’t yet contributed to this exciting project to help us to meet these deadlines by becoming a monthly covenantor or joining The Mikado Club to fund the wheeling. It’s time to get on board! This year will see further major announcements as the construction of new Gresley class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales gathers pace.”

The wheels being pressed on and the finished item awaiting tyres – Rob Le Chevalier

In other news work continued fabricating the boiler cladding, calculating the centre of mass for the wheels for balancing purposes and the assembly of a spring bracket stay at North View Engineering.

Ian Matthews and the apprentices roll the boiler cladding – David Elliott

Cladding sheets pile up at Darlington – David Elliott

Wheel centre of mass balancing in progress – David Elliott

A spring bracket stay is fabricated at North View Engineering – David Elliott

A P2 skeleton?

In contrast to the methods used to assemble Tornado’s boiler cladding, we are using a different technique for Prince of Wales. Work is now well under way at Darlington Locomotive Works, as the team make a start on building the ‘skeleton’ (unofficially named ‘Craig the Cretaceous’) to support the cladding sheets.  Progress so far has involved the frame design and fitting of the crinoline rings and handrail batons to the jig.  It will enable the Trust to make the entire cladding before the actual boiler is delivered. This postpones the need for the boiler to be at Darlington Locomotive Works by at least six months. Once the boiler cladding is finished and primed, it will be dismantled and stored, pending fitting to the boiler in 2020!  All drawings and CAD by David Elliott.

The following cladding components, which include some new items, are
available for current supporters to sponsor;

1 of 30x Wash out door escutcheons £70 each
PS0271 Boiler Cladding – Boiler band 7 (rear of firebox in cab) £160
PS0272 Boiler Cladding – Fire hole mask plate £500
PS0221 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet 5 LH (firebox front) £500.00
PS0222 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet 5 RH (firebox front) £500.00
PS0223 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet 6 LH (firebox rear) £500.00
PS0224 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet 6 RH (firebox rear) £500.00
PS0225 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet firebox throat plate LH £900.00
PS0227 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet firebox throat plate middle £800.00
PS0228 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet rear firebox corner LH lower £400.00
PS0229 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet rear firebox corner RH lower £400.00
PS0230 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet rear firebox corner LH upper £800.00
PS0231 Boiler cladding – Cladding sheet rear firebox corner RH upper £800.00
PS0232 Boiler cladding – Firebox back sheet LH £350.00
PS0233 Boiler cladding – Firebox back sheet RH £350.00
PS0756 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 1 LH £120.00
PS0757 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 1 RH £120.00
PS0758 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 2 LH £120.00
PS0759 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 2 RH £120.00
PS0760 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 3 LH £120.00
PS0761 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 3 RH £120.00
PS0762 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 4 LH £120.00
PS0763 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 4 RH £120.00
PS0764 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 5 LH £120.00
PS0765 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Ring Half 5 RH £120.00
PS0766 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Hoop Half 6 LH £120.00
PS0767 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Hoop Half 6 RH £120.00
PS0768 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Hoop Half 7 LH £120.00
PS0769 Cladding Frame – Crinoline Hoop Half 7 RH £120.00
PS0770 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 1-2 LH £40.00
PS0771 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 1-2 RH £40.00
PS0772 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 2-3 LH £40.00
PS0773 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 2-3 RH £40.00
PS0774 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 3-4 LH £40.00
PS0775 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 3-4 RH £40.00
PS0776 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 4-5 LH £40.00
PS0777 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 4-5 RH £40.00
PS0778 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 5-6 LH £40.00
PS0779 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 5-6 RH £40.00
PS0780 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 6-7 LH £40.00
PS0781 Cladding Frame – Handrail Baton 6-7 RH £40.00
PS0782 Cladding Frame – Lower Handrail Baton 5-6 LH £40.00
PS0783 Cladding Frame – Lower Handrail Baton 5-6 RH £40.00
PS0784 Cladding Frame – Lower Handrail Baton 6-7 LH £40.00
PS0785 Cladding Frame – Lower Handrail Baton 6-7 RH £40.00

If you wish to sponsor one of the above items, or enquire about sponsoring
any other component on No.2007 Prince Of Wales, please contact us at
dedicated.donations@p2steam.com
The dedicated donations scheme is available to current Founders,
Covenantors, 163 Pacific’s Club, Boiler Club and Mikado Club supporters of
the P2SLC or Covenantors of the A1SLT!
Different payment options may be available upon request, please contact us
to discuss.
If you’re not currently signed up as a supporter, details on how to get on
board as a covenantor for No.2007 can be found here
http://www.p2steam.com/how-you-can-help/regular-donations

Sandbox news

Assembly of the sandboxes has continued, it is a tight squeeze to get these in between the frames but the finished result is a credit to the design and fabrication teams!  The original class P2 locomotives were fitted with gravity sanders for the leading coupled wheels and steam operated forward sanders for the driving coupled wheels. No backward sanders were fitted. No. 2007 is likely to do significant work in reverse, mostly on heritage railways, but from time to time hauling substantial loads over significant gradients on the main line running tender first. The leading and forward driving sanders have been altered for air operation (as per Tornado) and new backward sandboxes and fillers have been designed. All six sandboxes and fillers have been assembled and fitted to the frames. All photos by Bob Hughes.