4253 Locomotive
A not-for-profit company run entirely by volunteers
Contact us at: gwr4253@gmail.com


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What's Happening This Month





This week, the final cylinder cover cladding piece was welded up

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the holes for the pressure relief valves were cut in each front cover, the valve chest covers had their final fettling

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and the fill-in pieces for the fireman's side were marked out, cut and bent as necessary.

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The cleaning up around all the firebox stay holes has finally been completed and many of the new cladding pieces have now been painted.  The pep pipe and bracket have been fitted and a start made on shaping the copper pipework running from there to the injectors.

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This involved a number of trial fits as the bending progressed

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before one pipe was finished - we just need to decide on a route for the one that crosses to the driver's side.  The solid pipeweork that runs from the vacuum reservoir towards the brkae cylinder was fitted and we now need to obtain and fit the section of flexible hose and the lower cab steel floor can be bolted in.


On Tuesday, the rocking shaft covers together with the first of the cylinder front covers were dressed back after welding and given a first coat of paint,

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the take off boss for the pep pipe was fitted to the injector delivery pipe,

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another set of rocking shaft covers were formed for the 7200 Group,

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and a start was made on cleaning up the faces of the firebox around the stay holes in preparation for a visit from the specialist copper welders next week - another long and boring job.

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On Friday this task continued as did the dressing back and painting of yet more sections of cylinder chest cladding.  On Sunday, the reverser quadrant cover had the new wooden rubbing strip trial fitted before being taken to a cleaner environment to get its first coat of varnish.

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The cleaning up of the firebox surfaces was progressed to the point where not much more needs to be done and we cut and welded up some more sections for the cladding on the cylinder chest with our refurbished bending machine coming in handy yet again.

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We also helped out the group restoring the Railway's GWR Railcar by fabricating some new transom strips for the front windscreen and one for over the door, all of which has meant we've used up an entire sheet of 8' x 4' steel in the last week.




On Tuesday, the newly fabricated valve chest covers were dressed and given a coat of red oxide,

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the main steam pipe and brackets was stripped down after a struggle and all the old scale cleaned off, the ashpan axle heat shield had the insulation fitted and was bolted into place - once again after a struggle and catches for the vacuum pump access door were made.  On Friday, the repaired reverser quadrant cover plate was trimmed and trial fitted and, while we were at it, the one from 5668 was also repaired, painted and put into storage.

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On Sunday, we had one team making various cover sections for the front of the cylinders and for the rocking shafts which involved much use of our smaller plasma cutter producing endless pieces of various shapes and sizes.  This is a shot of the first piece, a large circle for the cylinder cover, being cut.

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These were then fettled, bent, rolled and welded as necessary.  The second team were removing the regulator steam collection unit as the regulator pipe was found to be cracked where it joined it.  This was not a quick job as the holding bolts had to be beaten to death to get them to undo

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and, once free, the seriously heavy unit had to be transferred to the workshop to remove the damaged pipe section.

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After heating, clamping the unit to the table, finding a spanner big enough and three people having a turn, the locking nut was eventully wound off

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and, after that, the broken pipe section itself was removed which proved to be another challenge.  This involved locally heating the casting, pouring diesel into the threads and letting it cool (three times), finding a section of solid bar that would just fit inside the pipe to prevent it collapsing and then using a very large set of Stilsons to wind it out.  On top of all that, the modified slipper blocks were machined

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and are now ready for white metalling.  All in all, a good week's work.


A bit of an Odds & Sods week this time starting with putting a new tarpaulin over the loco and then placing the old one on top of it to take some of the weathering.  The new swab box tops for the piston rod oilers were completed and trail fitted,

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and all the old bits of cylinder and valve cover cladding were taken out of storage and cleaned up to see what fitted and what was needed.  Also retrieved was the reverser cover panel which was cleaned and one corner together with the fixing angle cut off due to corrosion.

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A new piece was shaped and welded in and, once we had established which bits of cylinder cladding were missing, the task of making new ones was started.

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This also gave us the opportunity to try out our refurbished bending machine which worked very well.

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On other fronts, the new condensing coil arrived and was immediately fitted to the cab roof

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and the main steam pipe was removed from the boiler

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and a start made on cleaning up all the brackets.


This week saw the rest of the palm stay fixing holes drilled after some more fettling and alignment work.  The small splasher plate for the driver's side trailing wheel was made, assembled, painted and subsequently bolted into place.

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Work progressed on cutting and shaping the covers for the piston rod swab boxes

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and a tidy up of the tool racks was undertaken.  On Sunday, the motion return spring assembly was put together and fitted which took a lot of fettling including reaming out the fork in the arm

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and cleaning up the hole in the shaft

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until it could be persuaded to fit and be bolted up.

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The final tank splasher was cut and bent to shape and will be drilled and fitted during the coming week. We also received the castings for the gauge frame which will now go for machining.

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A project for this week was the restoration of an old sheet metal bending machine which we shall need when it comes to making the various sections of boiler cladding.  It was first moved into the workshop

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before being dismantled which was no easy task considering how long it has been lying unused.

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A considerable amount of unsiezing, cleaning and repair work was necessary before it could be reassembled and painted but we now have a fully functioning and very usefull piece of kit.

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The second modified slipper block was fettled for trial fitting to the crosshead (seen in the background),

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the ashpan axle heat shield was given a coat of Apexior heat resistant paint, the two outer palm stays were aligned with the stay holes in the firebox, clamped into position and then drilled through the boiler barrel ready for riveting.

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As they will be coming on and off a number of times before final fitting, both the stays and the barrel were number stamped to ensure they are all returned to the correct position.

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Also, the sales team attended the Ramsgate Loco Works open day on Saturday to spread the word and raise a few pounds for the cause.


This week we've been making lots of bits.  A splasher plate to cover the oil pipework on the driver's side of the cab as protection from water thrown up by the rear wheel,

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and new covers for the piston rod swab boxes were shaped and are seen here prior to being bent into the required shape.

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The modified sections for the slipper blocks were prepped and welded into place and then the crosshead was trial fitted after a little hydraulic spreading.

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Once that was done we could continue with making the new vacuum pump actuating bracket involving cutting, bending and drilling

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and then trial fitting.

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