The unwanted studs have been removed from the axlebox horn faces (see previous notes) and the holes filled with plugs screwed in and capped with weld to provide a new bearing surfaces. The stud holes that are required have been re-threaded and the horn faces and side cheeks dressed smooth as seen here.

Unfortunately this process has exposed some cracks in the angles between the faces and cheeks in four of the axleboxes. We now have to determine the procedure most suitable to enable repairs which, as the axleboxes are steel castings, is likely to involve welding.

Polishing the outer faces of the axleboxes has revealed a little of their history. It was general practice to stamp all main components with the locomotive number to which they were fitted. This is a sample showing that this axlebox was the Right Leading (RL)  on a particular 45xx originally followed by use on at least 2 55xx locomotives.

Part of the axlebox refurbishing process is the removal and re-metalling of the white metal wheel bearing surfaces. This shows ‘work in progress’ on one box where the white metal is being melted off using a gas torch. Care is taken to recover the white metal as it can be used again if not too contaminated or sold to a scrap merchant as it is relatively valuable. The axlebox faces will be re-metalled and machined to fit the axles once new bearing bronzes have been fitted.

The picture shows the front platform of 4561 in place using the original platework. Owing to the condition of the centre section this will be replaced with new but the side sections can be re-used and made to fit the slight variations in dimensions as a result of having fitted new frames under this area.

Owing to their condition the 6 cylinder cocks are going to be renewed. The picture shows one of the old cocks with some used fittings on the right and 4 of the castings required (3 on left plus a new valve on right)  which have yet to be machined for use.

New cylinder drain cocks cost around £400 each and we need 6 of them.

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