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Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri
Welsh Highland Railway Society

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The Project:

The K1 group are responsible for the general upkeep of the locomotive. They look after winter maintenance and any improvements to its operation.

K1 Working Parties

A typical K1 working Party scene in Dinas Loco Shed Loco ShedIn order to keep K1 in good shape regular working parties are held, especially in the winter period when no train services are running. They are held at Dinas in one of the available sheds there.  

When in service day to day running maintenance is done by the railway's staff, however there are always bigger jobs to be done during the winter as well as other improvement type work. And there's nothing bigger than the loco's 10 yearly boiler examination. With the boiler certificate having expired towards the end of 2014 the loco is now being stripped ready for the boiler inspector, as well as attending to other mechanical aspect of the loco.

Volunteers will be welcome at the working parties so in the first instance please contact any of those listed on the Group's details page. The more people we get the quicker it'll be back in service. More details and advice on equipment is on the 'Volunteering with K1' page.

The next working party will be the same weekend as that for the NG15 team on on the 20th & 21st June. 

If any volunteers wish to join the team on any of these weekends then please contact John Startin. 

Thank you.

K1 Group Working Party Report for April 25/26th.

First my thanks to Andy Rutter, The cab following the removal of fittings. (Photo: Andy Rutter)Charles McKenzie and Robin Rees Jones for the K1 Group and Andie Shaw along with Terry from the NG15 Group. The latter are always good company and without them we should not have been able to move K1 to the shed to work on. Robin and Charles were also very useful during these manoeuvres. The work remains centered on removal of the boiler tubes. Terry wanted to continue with this while we did other things, principally removing cab fittings in preparation for the cab to come off. This has not been easy. The steam distribution for the oil firing and other auxiliaries were piped in steel requiring a more than a comfortable application of thermal violence! Andie Shaw has suggested a proper manifold is installed this time with better fittings.  The various pipe runs to pressure gauges etc. need be sorted too.  Some of this was done, in hindsight, with undue haste to come out of the Works and try the engine.  We might make the next boiler lift much easier; Andie’s suggestion will be adopted.

Terry ran into trouble with the tube removal tool.  We were already aware it was not very stable in the ends of the tubes but had not understood why.  The results of the work on K1 were much less successful than Andy Williamson’s work on one of the 16’s boilers.  The instability increased and was investigated.  The collet that expands inside the tube had broken which to begin with did not make much sense.  Further investigation revealed the cause.  The parallel section at each end of the tubes that is swaged (expanded or reduced) to allow fitting is not long enough for the collet and for the cutters to engage.  The fire box ends are swaged down resulting in the inside end of the collet having nothing to grip in.  Hence the instability and the break.  Terry, determined to make progress, turned to the angle grinder but this simply proved the value of the tube tool.  An adaption has been proposed to deal with both ends.

K1 being worked on in the Loco Shed. (Photo: Andy Rutter)Andie Shaw has offered to do the CAD drawings for the front water tank.  This is most welcome and will save a lot of work and expense.  The steel comes cut to size with all the holes for dummy rivets cut and tabs and slots to put it together rather like a large Airfix Kit.  Plastic cement though will not do, they are welded.  Now where are the Rivet Counters when you want one?  The drawings are little use on this.  The rivet sizes are different around the base of the tank and the spacings chosen to fit along the distances without resorting to silly fractions.  Not at first obvious.  The drawings you might think would follow British Standard practice, but they predate the introduction of this.  What at first looks like a third angle projection is nothing of the sort.  This had us going for a while.  The spacings for the front and rear tanks are different, had you noticed?  Andie and I spent some while on this, but time was well invested.

Update for March 2015.

Andy Rutter reports:
K1 volunteers did not attend the March working party, but the younger members of the NG15 team, Sean, Sam, Dave, Edward & Ben all contributed to removing the injectors, brake ejector, water gauge frames and made a start on removing the regulator under supervision of Andie & Pete, as well as cutting another 16 boiler tube ends.  Interestingly the combined ages of these young men are less than the age of K1! 

The NG15 team members helping with K1. (Photo: Andie Shaw) K1 outside the loco shed. (Photo: Andie Shaw)

Removing cab fittings. (Photo: Andie Shaw) Removing the weld at the firebox end of the boiler tubes. (Photo: Andie Shaw)

Excellent progress again, and this will continue all being well over the coming months.

It's intended that the next K1 working party will be the same weekend as the NG15 weekend on April 25 & 26th.

K1 Working Party report for February 7th and 8th 2015.

The K1 volunteers this last weekend were Charles McKenzie, Robin Rees-Jones and Andy Rutter.  We joined the NG15 group under the leadership of Andie Shaw, and Steve and Sam from the NG 15 group helped us with the work in hand.   Many thanks to both teams for their camaraderie and help. Starting to remove the safety valves (Photo: Andy Rutter)

Sat. a.m, and our first job was to arrange the interior of the storage facility for dismantled loco parts, so all the K1 kit that had been placed on pallets on the Dinas workshop was transferred to this.

Sat. p.m, The NG15 group were busy with making good their work area so that they could tackle some of the workload on 134, and that meant we could not start on the boiler tube removal straight away.  However, we started removing the rest of the boiler fittings, the dome, safety valve, whistle, cab gauges, spectacle glasses, and other parts that will make the boiler ready for eventual removal. All these fittings were placed in storage.The view inside the boiler from the removed dome. (Photo: Andy Rutter)

We inspected the interior of the boiler and pipes, finding a disconnected section of the fireman’s side injector’s cold water feed pipe.  This was right under the dome, so the cold injected water would not have been fed right towards the smokebox end of the boiler.  In fact the driver’s side injector cold water feed is thought to be too short also as both are too near the hottest part of the boiler – right under the dome.  Some thought to re-working these pipes will be needed.

The view inside the boiler from the dome and looking rearward to the firebox. (Photo: Andy Rutter) The view inside the boiler from the dome and looking forward to the smokebox. (Photo: Andy Rutter)

Andie Shaw hauled K1 into the yard with the diesel loco so that the heavier items could be removed using the loader with forks and slings, and then take them into storage.  Heavy items such as the smoke-box door, dome and receiver pipe were handled this way.
Removing the safety valves (Photo: Andy Rutter)
Sun. a.m, Some of the team continued with removal of the safety valves as these had seized bolts, dealt with by using a blowtorch.   Andie Shaw instructed us with the operation of the compressed air cutter for removal of the welded ends of the boiler tubes.  A platform was built under the firebox with a ladder from the pit area so that we had a safe working place inside the firebox.  It is considerably quieter than grinding with no sheets of hot sparks, so we found it quite an easy environment in which to work considering the confined space of the firebox.

Removing the tube ends with the compressed air cutter. (Photo: Andy Rutter)
The cutter is quite slow, and the technique of doing it gently must be adhered to – if set up correctly by cleaning each pipe interior with a rotating brush beforehand – it cuts accurately and the end of the pipe is evident once the weld is cut back.
2 pipes were cut before lunch by Andy & Sam, then Sam & Charles did 4 more during the afternoon. This will obviously take time – up to 30 mins for each tube end.

K1 Working Party Report for Nov. 15th & 16th. 2014.

John Startin reports:

There has been a suggestion that a WHRS locomotive support group will take on the role of supporting the WHRS funded locomotive projects and other WHR locomotive work.  So over the weekend of Nov 15/16th we joined up with the NG15 group working on 134.
Andy removing smokebox fittings.  Nobby Clark
As always, my thanks to Andy Rutter, Charles McKenzie and Nobby Clark of the K1 Group.  Had it been just the four of us we should not have achieved so much.  We had been offered extra hands from the NG15 Group should they have surplus capacity.  In the event they did and therefore thanks to Andy Shaw for help from Ben, Sam, David and Sean.

Work began to facilitate removal of the boiler tubes.  The Group’s intent is only to take the engine apart on a just in time basis and to keep the number of parts off the engine until required, out of the way, to a minimum.  Thus the cladding and the like will not be taken off until the lift and inspection is imminent. The smokebox almost clear of fittings ready for extraction of 170 tubes.  Andy Rutter

Much time was expended dealing with corroded nuts and bolts.  For the re-assembly the Group will provide suitable stainless steel, more so as the bolts around the Chimney were not the correct size.
The smoke box is pretty much empty. The Chimney, Spark arrestors, Pendulum Pipe and Casing are now all out.  The Pendulum Pipe and Casing are properly available for inspection by Boston Lodge to decide upon a suitable course of repair.  The Blast Pipe top had a layer of carbon and its connection for the blower fractured during dismantling.Nobby & Charles removing the front tank water hose.  Andy Rutter

The Front Water tank has its flexible water pipe below disconnected, and the front buffer plate could therefore be put back on the engine unit.  Tank water has been emptied but not from the boiler.   Only the side bolts need to be removed to lift the tank. Peter Randall and Andy Shaw helped with the chimney lift and pendulum pipe removal as well.

Our extra hands set about removing the receiver pipe before tackling the firebox and its contents.  Eventually all the fire bars were released finishing with the ash pan ready to come down, John at work removing injector pipes.  Nobby Clark.but some fittings could not be removed then.  To get to this all the damper controls and the fire hole doors have to be taken down with the final part being to split the ash pan into its two halves.  Meanwhile Charles and Sean worked very hard to empty the bunker of coal and Andy Shaw used JCB machinery to put it back on the heap.

On Sunday morning Andy Williamson showed us the new machine purchased to ease tube removal. – The next job! – All 170 of them!
John Startin.

K1 November Working Party Report - Postscript.
One ash-pan half and a remaning grate section removed. Phote: Laurence Armstrong
Since this working party, and in keeping with the objective of a WHRS locomotive supporting group, some further work was done towards dismantling K1 during the December working party of the NG15 group. There was some spare effort available so a few of the NG15 guys removed the two ash-pan halves, the brick arch and the front water tank.

The front water tank removed. Photo: Laurence ArmstrongThe ash-pan was somewhat stubborn and it took quite a bit of coaxing to be detached from the firebox foundation ring. Once this was out the brick arch was removed. With this still being in very good condition it too took a bit to get it dislodged and out. The front water tank was removed the following day, the The brick arch in the process of being removed. Photo: Laurence Armstrongbigger job here being the removal of the numerous bolts holding it in place. 

K1 Working Party Report for November 16/17th. 2013.

K1 out on a test run and seen at Dinas (Photo: Nobby Clark) We had a very successful time in the Dinas running shed and steam test runs to Bontnewydd and return over this last weekend. The steam valve connecting the Turbo Generator (Photo: Nobby Clark)When K1 ran in September she had steam leaks from the front of the locomotive, so this weekend was partly devoted to raising steam, and doing some set runs to Bontnewydd from Dinas and locating these.  This was achieved and we know what needs to be done to the pendulum pipe, simpling valve and flexible connections, which is where these leaks were problematical.Lamps being lit by the generator (Photo: Nobby Clark)

A very happy step forward was the commissioning of the steam turbo generator that was finally connected to steam via a new valve and tested.  Rear lamp, although still running from batteries. (Photo: Nobby Clark)The generator produced 28volts and we tested lamps as can be seen in the photo.  A lot of the preliminary work on the generator is due to Frank Collin's efforts some time ago, many thanks to him for the hours he put into that.K1's Driver and Fireman for the test runs. (Photo: Nobby Clark)

The reinstated front lamp. This will be run from batteries charged from the generator. (Photo: Nobby Clark)
K1 simmering in the Saturday evening's fading light after being warmed up for Sunday's test runs. (Photo: John Startin)The front lamp was put back into service with it's internal batteries and the rear lamp also fitted up and operating on a temporary set of batteries in the cab in a battery box.  These lamps will of course be wired up permanently so that the turbo generator charges the batteries in the front lamp which provides the supply to the rear lamp and eventually, cab and sight glass illumination.

Andy Rutter

April 2013 Working Party. Andy Rutter Reports:Sliding h.p. joint components (Photo: Andy Rutter)

John Startin and Andy Rutter were on site to complete and fit prepared parts for K1. John had made at home the components for the sliding high pressure steam joint that is to be refitted by the railway staff at Dinas. This is part of the assembly that has been redesigned to eliminate steam leaks under the hind engine unit together with refitted 'Y' pipe and new up-to-date gaskets. 'Y' pipe & adjacent steam pipe connections offered up for checks on gasket fitting. (Photo: Andy Rutter)

The 'Y' pipe components were offered up to check clearances for these new gaskets and all is now ready for the railway staff to assemble this vital part of the locomotive. 

We are hopeful that this will now happen over the next few weeks as there is a 'window' of opportunity in the Dinas running shed now that the three NGG16's are complete. 

View of cab with black steel plate below fire-hole door. (Photo: Andy Rutter)The steel plate that protects the new cab floor adjacent to the fire-hole door was fitted up and painted, another part that was partially prepared away from site. The team looked at the work needed on the oil lubrication distribution system of splitters and pipe-work to simplify some of the this creating better maintenance and operation procedures. A new schematic drawing is being prepared for this system. 

Lastly, the steam pipe-work for the turbo generator was assessed with a view to completing this in the near future on a working party. And work away from site will continue on the wiring diagrams for the lamps to run off this generator, and cabling, plugs & sockets and other parts will be obtained for such a working party. The next working party is to be advised, hopefully it will be after K1 has been returned to steam, and will be a fitting up of the lighting components all being well.

March 2013 Working Party. John Startin Reports:

First thanks to Andy and Charles and to the Railway for having K1 on the pit for us. Despite just the three of us quite a lot was done.

Andy and Charles set about the cab floor beginning with the trimmed trap door in the floor and turning their attention to how the floor shall be finished at the backhead. The NGG16 engines have acquired steel plates to protect the floor from fire irons and the shovelling up of spilt coal. We shall bring the gap up to height with the timber retained for this purpose and fit a steel sheet. The copper pipe that feeds the high-pressure chest gauge had been flattened probably by coal caught between that and the floor. This pipe has been replaced with a more robust arrangement and routed up the other, left side of the boiler. The steel sheet will cover most of this as it goes across the backhead. A template was made and brought away for the plate to be made off site. Pipe and fittings recovered from the oil heating arrangements was re-cycled to do this. At the moment the rear damper control, a nasty lever that has to be kept open with a piece of wood, comes up through the floor in this area. This will have to be moved or maybe in the opinion of our two firemen, omitted. We also thought the plate might have another shaped piece below it to take detritus out over the frame in the gap to the backhead, rather than falling onto the top of the frame stretcher as it does now. We will examine this further at our next working party.

Meanwhile I looked in detail at the flange faces and cleaned these up. One on the pipe to the cylinders needs further attention and both pipes still need the crack testing done. The return bend flanges were beyond filing and was brought off site to fit onto my milling machine at home. This was done taking very small cuts with 0.005 off the steam pipe face and 0.015 off the ball joint face. Checking the distances across the engine against the pipes needs an exercise to determine how the copper ring gaskets at the cylinder faces will compress. The whole assembly to the Y pipe needs a dry run to make very certain of the fits and angles. R grade - UNC bolts were found for the three Y pipe flanges, necessary to be able to torque these up with modern gasket material. The snifter valve needs a new gasket that will be added to those we intend to purchase for the main joints, and the valve face needs lapping back in with Brasso. The missing screw from the vent cover will be sourced.

No work was done of the front engine unit and water tank other than to look at the oil splitting arrangement.

February 16th & 17th 2013  K1 Working Party Report. - Andy Rutter

K1's refurbished pivot baseWith help from the Railway an enhanced team from the K1 group achieved quite substantial progress in restoring K1 towards being a serviceable locomotive.

The main job was to refit the repaired front engine pivot bearing onto the front engine frame. The bearing casting had been machined in Warwickshire, the new brass inner liner had been inserted using the modern technique of cooling it with liquid nitrogen at a firm near Wolverhampton last week, and the brass pivot base had been machined, as can be seen in the picture of the parts on the bench ready for fitting. The base was lowered in after the main boiler frame had been lifted to, firstly remove the temporary pivot base, and then as shown, the refurbished one lowered into position.Lifting the pivot base into place

Other work attended to included the cab floor, various steam, lubrication, and vacuum pipework and preparation for the fitting up of the steam pipes, etc.

K1 with sharing the Loco Shed with a number of NGG16s.During the work K1 was sharing the Loco Shed with three of its younger family members making full use of the enlarged shed facilities. On the left behind K1 is NGG16 No87 then on the right can be seen No 143 with No 138 in front of it.

Note: Reports from the
earlier working parties are now to be found on the Archive page and more details about the very early work on the locomotive and it's restoration can be found on the WHR Project's K1 pages.

Cymdeithas Rheilffordd Eryri is a Registered Charity, №1094938

All content webmasters or as indicated - This page updated 18th May 2015 by Laurence Armstrong