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Boiler Fitted!

On Thursday January 9th 6024’s boiler and ashpan arrived in Minehead being fitted later in the day.

The work was assisted by Riley’s who had brought the newly made ashpan to Minehead wanting to ensure the final fit was good and to undertake further work on it once in the frames. Anyone who has seen under the rear of a King will know how tight a fit the ashpan is. It was very pleasing to see it drop into place without any problem.

As would be expected, a few minor alterations were needed to get the boiler to sit happily in the frames. The repaired fire iron tunnel turned out to be very slightly foul of the firebox side expansion bracket but that was about it.

Once the boiler was in the frames the engine was taken for a short run up the yard to shake it around a little. No problems presented themselves.

Whilst the chassis was out in the yard the opportunity was taken to give the pit and surrounding area a pressure wash. Our thanks to Nick Parry for undertaking most of this work. The pit is, for now, nearly spotless.

Now the hard and heavy work required to finish the locomotive begins.


Boiler leaves Riley’s

On Wednesday January 8th 6024’s boiler left Riley’s for Minehead. It had been hoped this would have happened shortly after the steam test but significant problems with contractors making ashpan components for Riley’s caused considerable delay. However, it was very pleasing to finally see the boiler on the move.

Our thanks to Ken Hill for the photos of the boiler’s loading and departure.


Tender moves to Minehead

On November 20th 6024’s tender moved from Bennett Boilers in Highbridge to Minehead. The move, overseen by Keith Lines, went without a hitch and didn’t seem to cause too much traffic chaos on the A39! Several “panels” of track needed to be laid at Highbridge to remove the tender from the workshop and it was pleasing that calculations proved to be correct, the assembled tender would fit through the door.

On arrival at Minehead, which was a tight squeeze down the road and through the gate, the tender was quickly unloaded before being shunted to its temporary position outside the shed. It will shortly move into the shed, either sitting alongside the engine or behind it as WSR needs dictate. 

Meachnically very little remains to be done to the tender. The snagging list is very short. Electrically a few tasks remain to complete the 24V power system along with a couple of minor modifications decided on when analysing the recent commission process. A larger task is the fitting of the AWS/TPWS, OTMR and remaining GSM-R systems. The vast majority of this work is being contracted out to an industry specialist. The most visible task remaining will be the final painting, the green parts will be left until the locomotive can be painted as one whilst the other parts will be worked on as time allows.

The tender was moved for us by Allely Heavy Haulage. Our thanks go to them for their professional service, as ever. 


Electrical Systems Commissioning

Over a 3 day period Martin Ryan and our electrical contractor, Rob Morland, commissioned the 24V power system on 6024’s tender. This system will provide all of the electrical power needed on 6024 in a much more reliable way than hitherto. It is very pleasing to report that the system worked as expected with no functional problems found during the work meaning it is ready for use! 

The commissioning was undertaken in a very structured way following a previously written testing script. This started with wiring tests before connecting any power.  These included insulation tests on every wire net and belling-out key wires to ensure none were swapped.  All the insulation tests were satisfactory (>200MOhm at 250V for the DC circuits and at 500V for the AC ones). 

Next the mains power inputs and chargers were tested.  These worked fine.  Using temporary batteries power was applied progressively testing all the functions of the Main Distrubution Board and batteries.  All worked as planned.

The next stages of electrical work will focus on wiring the engine, including the installation of the necessary conduit runs, and the AWS/TPWS, OTMR and GSM-R installations. All of these areas are already started to a greater or lesser extent but a significant amount of work remains to be done.


Boiler’s Return to Minehead

A combination of problems securing the components of the new ashpan has, very frustratingly, led to a delay in the return of the boiler to Minehead. The ashpan, which is being built for us by Rileys, has been designed in 3D CAD based on the original Swindon drawings incorporating the modifications made during the previous overhaul and a few further alterations based on experience. The ashpan, being built in Corten corrosion resistant steel, was due to be laser cut and bent, delivered to Rileys and subsequently assembled ready to leave for Minehead on November 18th. Delays at suppliers caused this plan to fall apart. Subsequently we have been left with no choice but to delay the return of the boiler to Minehead to give time for the ashpan to be completed. We anticipate the boiler being back in the frames of the locomotive during the first week in December.