Efforts have been concentrated on completing the assembly of the front frame components which have been riveted in place with the exception of the curved section of the RH running plate support angle (see first photo. on 29 March top centre). On assembly it was found that the top corner had been modified at some time, presumably as the result of damage, and was lower than the transverse angle member across the front of the saddle. This can just be made out in the following 2 photos.
This support angle will be corrected before being finally fitted in place. As can also be seen, the opportunity has also been taken of fitting the two braces between the underside of the smokebox and the buffer beam. These reinforce the front frame’s ability to withstand and heavy shunting impacts.
This view shows all the frame members in front of the new cylinders duly riveted in place including the front pony truck support member in the centre and shows the diagonal braces more clearly. The cylinder block and smokebox saddle have been given a coat of grey primer while the remander is being painted black.
This view of the LH front shows clearly how many rivets there are in the front buffer beam now that it is finally riveted in place.
Apart from the frame members other parts are being refurbished and/or machined ready to be fitted in place. These include :
The fulcrum block freshly painted. This was sent to contractors to weld up the badly worn bolt holes before they could be re-drilled ready for fitting.
This shows the fulcrum block fitted to the underside of the horizontal frame stretcher between the cylinders. In this position it provides support for the spring compensating beam to be fitted in due course between the pony truck and leading coupled axle.
Both rear cylinder covers have been machined and painted. The RH is shown. The central hole is for the piston rod and gland packing. The other hole is for the cylinder safety valve. Particular care was taken with cutting the screw thread in this hole to ensure the valve fitted snugly.
This shows the RH cover fitted to the cylinder with part of the safety valve fitted. Also a datum wire has been set up through the cylinder bore. This enables a check to be made that the cylinder is in line with the locomotive longitudinal centre line, parallel to it; and the correct distance from it and the adjacent frame plate.
This shows how the matching datum wire is anchored at the front of the LH cylinder. It is stretched tight enough that accurate measurements can be taken from it when fitting the slide bars, crosshead and connecting rod when the 4561 is re-wheeled. It also enables a check to be made that the centre line is horizontal and 2 ½” above the coupled wheel axle centres. This was a needed on Churchward locomotives to ensure the large cylinders were within the loading gauge
Finally the 10 axleboxes have been recovered from storage and are being thoroughly cleaned ready to assess their condition and decide what work is needed to make them fit for service.
More funds are still needed to get this loco back on the west somerset rails. Please donate what you can.