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Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway Trust

Hunsbury Hill Road, Camp Hill, Northampton NN4 9UW. Tel: 01604 702 031

06 Jul 2020
Submitted by Carl Hinton

A first evaluation was undertaken of the sentinel locomotives on the NIRT site on 5th July 2020. Both locomotives (belvedere in green and Musketeer in blue) contain asbestos lagging / gaskets to steam pipes, boiler, and engine cylinders. Generally, this is in good / contained condition, but care must be taken around belvedere’s boiler.

Whilst the majority of parts are on site there are several areas to address for a successful project to return to one unit to steam. It should be noted that which ever unit becomes a donor will cease to be a viable preservation project in the future.

Parts and their condition:

Item

Belvedere

Musketeer

Recommendation

Boiler

Poor / asbestos clad

Good / no lagging

New / retube musketeer

Ashpan

Good / minor tin works

Missing

Re use Belvedere

Regulator

Present Seized

Parts only / seized

Refurbish Make one from two

Break valve

Present Seized

Parts only / seized

Refurbish Make one from two

Safety valve

Present / Missing one cap / seized

Missing

Remake cap / search for missing unit

Clacks

Present / seized

Missing

Belvedere units refurbished

Injector

Present / seized

Present Good

Refurbish and Use Musketeers

Gage glass

Missing parts

Missing

New

Steam pressure gauge

Poor

Missing

New

Whistle and valve

Missing

Missing

New

Weir feed pump

Present / seized

Top section only

Refurbish Make one from two

Steam Pipes

Poor asbestos clad

Poor asbestos clad

Make new

Superheaters

Poor

Missing

Make new

General

Missing

Various

Use what is available / make new

Water filters

Complete good

Complete Poor

Use belvedere

Linkages

Some missing

Mostly missing

Use what is available and make new

Gear Box

Appears good

Seized / rusty

Use belvedere + spares from musketeer

Chains

Missing

Missing

Possibly In storage

Sprockets

Poor / serviceable

Scrap

Use belvedere or replace

Wheels / tyres

LHS good /RHS very thin flange

All thing flanges

Use belvedere but will not pass other railway standards

Springs

Good except left trailing

All good

Replace belvedere left trailing for musketeer one

Axle boxes

Appear good

Appear good

 

Engine (cylinders)

Appear good Asbestos clad

Rusty asbestos clad

Use belvedere

Engine (valves)

Poor /missing

Poor

Unknown, rebuild from components

Oilers

Missing

Poor

Use musketeer

Water Tank

Good

Good

Use belvedere

Brake rigging

Complete

Complete / some bent

Use belvedere

Brakes

Complete

Complete

Use belvedere

Brake cylinder

Complete

Complete

Refurbish and use belvedere

Cab

Good

Good

 

Cab windows / doors

Missing

Good

Use Musketeer parts

Bonnet

Good / small patches required

Poor

Use belvedere

Running boards

Scrap

Scrap

Make new

Frame / structure

Requires new stretcher to tank supports

OK

Make new support

Buffers / beams

Good

Good

 

Best forward plan with items on site.

Utilise the chassis of belvedere with some minor repairs to supporting stretcher brackets. Exchange poor spring for one from musketeer. The state of the right-hand flanges on the wheel sets will mean it WILL NOT be suitable to run on anything other than a tram system. If this were not acceptable then new tyres will be required or an attempt at metal spraying could be undertaken.

Utilise all boiler, engine, and steam components from the two locomotives to create a working example (belvedere) and a shell on wheels (musketeer).

Boiler from musketeer to be exchanged for a complete tested unit or retubed and returned. All existing steam fittings to be refurbished, if possible, or replaced with new examples.

All engine components will need to be stripped and refurbished with the engine split from the gearbox. This will require a crane / hiab to remove the bonnet and then the cylinder section. All steam valves and their manifolds are in poor condition and will need extensive work to return them to a useable condition.

Whilst the gearbox condition is unknown it is thought that belvederes might be free and usable. The drive sprockets are not in the best of condition but are useable. Chains believed to be in store and good.

New running boards and spot patching of bonnet steel is required.

New ancillary pipework and linkages will be required

The brake system will need complete strip and freeing.

Costs:

Boiler £13k new, I would add another £2k for safety and for the ash pan

Engine, unknown, estimate £10k.

  • given the state of the valves I would expect them to all need re-machining, as such £1k each valve of which there are 8. The valve actuators / push rods / springs etc are all poor or seized. Cylinders appear good but may require rings at £2k

Gearbox, £1k for oil, fittings, and part refurb

Cab / bonnet Steelwork, £2k for sheet steel, fastenings, hinges etc.

Ancillary pipework if steel £1.5k, if copper £10k

Boiler feed pump, unknown, est £2k if new one required

Asbestos estimate to strip boiler, pipework, and CAF gaskets £10k as it requires full enclosure.

Conclusion.

A cost estimate of £40k is realistic, even without labour included for the majority of tasks, and the final outcome will never be certain until works commence. Nothing can be done realistically until the asbestos issue is resolved. There is always the opportunity for hope that the valves are not in as bad a condition as can be seen, but also that they might be irreparable.

A full set of drawings will also be required to ascertain correct positions of piping etc.

If funding were available the first step would be to remove the bonnet and strip the engine to understand the state of the valves, if considered acceptable then full asbestos strip would follow.

Labour would be needed to undertake the repairs using lathes, mills and grinders so would have to be specialist.

Estimated time for works to be completed three years from start date.

Outcome, a steam engine for trundling around the yard which may clank and leak a bit but would be working.