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Boiler Passes Steam Test

6024’s boiler has passed its steam test.
Today, Tuesday November 5th, 6024’s boiler was subject to its official “in steam” boiler exam with our insurance inspector assessing the freshly overhauled boiler. Also in attendance were 6024PS officers and, of course, Riley & Sons (E) Ltd staff.
Over the previous few days the boiler had been brought into steam for the first time since April 2012. The safety valves were initially set well below the normal 250psi, being raised in stages. As would be expected, and especially in view of the heavy work undertaken, this process highlighted a few areas needing further work. However, it is pleasing to report that this was no more than relatively minor if rather warm work! The vast majority of the boiler was right first time, a tribute to the quality of the workmanship.
The boiler, which was tested in the ELR yard at Baron Street, Bury, is now to be returned to Riley’s works in Heywood for final painting and trial fitting of the ashpan. This will occur over the next week or so making the boiler ready for despatch to Minehead. It is planned to return it to the chassis on the same day it arrives.


Boiler in steam

6024’s boiler has had, for the first time since April 2016, steam in it and the safety valves have, over several stages, now been set to and have lifted at 250psi. Fingers are crossed for a successful official steam test.


Boiler Hydraulic Test Passed

It is with considerable pleasure we are able to tell you that on Thursday October 31st 6024’s boiler passed its formal hydraulic test with flying colours. The boiler inspector pronounced himself very happy with what he saw. 

The first fire since 2012 is expected to be lit on Sunday November 3rd. Barring any problems we expect the steam test to be on Tuesday November 5th. 


Boiler Progress – 3rd October

On 3rd October Richard Corser, Diana Shindler & Martyn Bane paid another visit to Riley’s to view progress on the boiler. Since the previous visit there was much progress to see. 

  • All crown stay work completed.
  • A handful of side stays needed removal and replacing due to becoming damaged when installed. Once done all the side stays would be complete.
  • Foundation ring rivets completed.
  • Feedwater delivery trays (brand new) had been installed, work nearly completed.
  • All flu tubes installed, beading at smokebox end about to commence.
  • Main steam pipe installed.
  • Internal pipes for steam to the vacuum ejector and blower completed.
  • Overhaul of safety valves and clacks in progress.
  • Overhaul of gauge frame in progress.
  • Blowdown pad work commenced with throatplate marked out.
  • The smokebox was complete.

The small tubes were away being swaged, they arrived at Riley’s on Friday 11th October, earlier than scheduled.

The ashpan design was signed off and a laser cutting firm had been engaged to produce a “flatpack” for Riley’s to assemble and trial fit.

Richard Corser spent some time going through invoices and outstanding work to ensure financially things were on track, which they were.

After the inspection the boiler was moved from being on its side to being upright.

Hydraulic and steam testing of the boiler is expected to occur by the end of October at the very latest.


Boiler Tubing in Progress

The tubing of 6024’s boiler has started. The photo, sent from Riley’s on 1st October, shows the first of the flu tubes being installed. Since the last inspection by 6024 officers the main steam pipe has also been put back in place. The next visit to inspect progress is scheduled for Thursday 3rd October after which a fuller update will be published.


Boiler Progress – 5th August

On August 5th Martyn Bane and Diana Hurfurt paid a visit to Riley’s in Heywood to review progress on the boiler, it having been 3 weeks since the last visit. It was good to find much work had been undertaken and was continuing. 

A short summary of the work is:

  • More crown stays fitted. The remaining tapped holes were being prepared.
  • Welded in crown sheet patch weld passed non-destructive testing.
  • Crown sheet patch drilled for stays, to be tapped.
  • Work on-going to fit foundation ring rivets.
  • All backhead rivets/patch screws fitted and tooled.
  • New smokebox and doubling plate in stock.
  • Some flu bottle end welds tested and passed, others in progress.
  • Ashpan design will shortly be available for review.
  • Tubes in stock.

Whilst a lot remains to be done we are confident the boiler will be in Minehead during the autumn.

The next visit to review progress is scheduled for the last week in August. By then the boiler is expected to be upright again.


American Arrival

As part of No.6024’s overhaul the boiler is being fitted with a blowdown valve. Many Kings received them in the 1950s but No.6024 did not. No.6000 King George V retains the equipment whilst the boiler fitted to No.6023 King Edward II retains the pad on the throatplate required for the valve.

No.6024 is to be fitted with the system designed at Swindon in 1958. The Swindon system used a blowdown valve produced by the Everlasting Valve Company of New Jersey, USA. In an effort to replicate the system Everlasting, thankfully still in business, were contacted and asked if they could supply the valve used in the 1950’s. Amazingly, they could!

A short while later and after a pause in customs No.6024’s new blowdown valve arrived at Minehead shed in late July. The valve will now be stored ready for the return of the boiler and the sourcing of remaining items needed for the blowdown system. 


Tender Electrics

The tender has now moved one step closer to being complete. Over two days the electrical installation has made significant progress having been taken as far as it currently can be subject to final checking and tidying up. The wiring of the various connectors taking power from the batteries to the control board and to the connections points for the tender to engine jumper cables has been finished. This might sound like a straightforward task but the number of wires involved made it anything other than quick or simple! Much concentration, double and triple checking was needed to make sure things were correct. Our thanks to Martin Ryan and our electrical contractor Rob Morland for their hard work in pushing this on.

Remaining electrical tasks on the power side can basically be summarised as equipping the pair of toolboxes at the rear of the tender with batteries, chargers and voltage controllers. These are currently being made ready electrically by Rob Morland following mechanical construction by Martin Ryan.

On the safety systems side the wiring is in place for the OTMR (black box) and AWS/TPWS. These will be completed by Sharpe Electrical Services once the tender is in Minehead and the engine wiring is in place, the preference being to undertake all the related work at one time. The GSM-R (radio system) is nearly ready for reinstallation, Rob Morland having undertaken some work on the previously installed wiring to draw power from the loco batteries rather than the previously installed discreet battery bank.


Volunteer Meeting

On Saturday July 13th, members of the 6024PS Board were joined by 22 support crew volunteers for a Volunteer Day. We were also joined by Dave Easson, a steam locomotive mainline ‘fitness to run’ examiner and leading member of the Merchant Navy Locomotive Preservation Society (“MNLPS”), the group responsible for the maintenance and operation of Clan Line.

The purpose of the day was to update volunteers on the proposed timetable for the completion of the locomotive overhaul, and to discuss proposals for running-in, recommissioning and eventual return to mainline running. This included proposals for where the locomotive may be based and the number and type of trips which she may haul.

Much has changed since the locomotive last ran on the mainline so part of the meeting was devoted to looking at the paperwork which will need to be produced, how the engineering functions might be managed, and the competencies support crew members will need to have to work on the locomotive. We are particularly indebted to Dave Easson for his advice and guidance, based on his long association with the MNLPS.

All volunteers who attended the meeting, and those who sent apologies, have been invited to complete a questionnaire about their current skills and qualifications, and which tasks they may be interested in taking on in the future (with suitable training where appropriate). This will assist the Board in ensuring we have the right mix of volunteers to contribute to the many jobs which will need to be done, both practically on the locomotive and in the background.

Feedback on the day has been very positive: everyone finding it to be a useful and enjoyable day. And Board members were greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm and interest shown by volunteers both existing and new.