Working parties start

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K1 at Tyseley after its arrival there in 1995.
(Photo: Andy Rutter)

After the May 1995 Gala at the Ffestiniog Railway, K1 was moved to Tyseley Locomotive Works in Birmingham for the restoration to commence, and the photograph right shows the loco after its arrival there.

The K1 group had been given an area at Tyseley where they could work together with a mainline GUV vehicle that they could use as a workshop and for the storage of smaller parts as they were removed from the loco. Dismantling started almost immediately once the working parties had established a base there.

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The K1 GUV vehicle that would become the
groups workshop and parts storage at Tyseley.
(Photo: Andy Rutter)

It's almost certain that this was the first time the loco would have been completely stripped down since it was built in 1909.

The main item of concern with any steam locomotive overhaul is the condition of the boiler, and with further evaluation here, unfortunately its condition was looking to be worse than expected. The original idea was that Tyseley would overhaul the boiler on a commercial basis, while the K1 Group tackled the rest of the loco, but this was seeming less likely to be the route taken.

Dismantling commences

 With the group set up and their facilities organised the dismantling started in earnest. The photos below right show the two engine units after being completely stripped down whilst the main boiler cradle can be seen below left (with the two engine frames fore and aft of it).

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The front engine stripped down at Tyseley in 1996.
(Photo: Andy Rutter)
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The hind engine stripped down at Tyseley in 1996.
(Photo: Andy Rutter)

During the time at Tyseley a great deal of work was done on the many individual components, as well as cataloguing the items needed to complete the loco - a major task for such a complex and unique piece of machinery. Also, through various avenues, a very substantial collection of copies of engineering drawings for the loco had been assembled by this time - including almost all the original drawings used to build K1 at Gorton in 1909.

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The stripped down boiler cradle at Tyseley.
(Photo: Andy Rutter)

In addition to the work carried out by volunteers, some items were supplied or refurbished by outside contractors during this period. These included new bogie pivots and axleboxes, and refurbishment of the wheelsets, including turning to accommodate the slight gauge reduction for use on the WHR - the WHR is not actually true 2ft gauge but is the same as the Ffestiniog Railway's 1ft 11½in. The frames of the power units were worked on by ESCA Engineering near Wigan during 1999.

Condemned Boiler

As mentioned above, during the time the loco was at Tyseley it became apparent that the boiler, that was actually K2's boiler, was confirmed as being beyond economical repair, a fact that was not lost on Bayer Peacocks when they had intentions of steaming the loco at Gorton following its return from Tasmania! The process of condemnation however was a gradual one. It was realised at an early stage that the barrel of the boiler was unfit for further use, and a new barrel section was made, with the intention of fitting it to the original firebox. However once the old barrel was removed, structural cracks were discovered in the outer firebox, and this led to the decision to go for an all-new welded boiler.

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Old and new boiler components after being moved to Dinas at Easter 2000.
(Photo: Ben Fisher)

The major components for the new boiler were made at quite an early stage, as part of what proved to be an abortive contract for its manufacture by the now defunct firm of Winson Engineering. These parts were moved to Dinas at Easter of 2000 as shown left, together with the condemned original firebox and other remaining parts. From left to right in the photo, the parts seen on the flat wagon are the (condemned) old firebox, the new steam dome, new boiler barrel, and new inner and outer firebox wrappers.

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The old boiler components at Minffordd.
(Photo: Ben Fisher)

The old components subsequently moved to the FR's "Boiler Park" exhibit at Minffordd, whereas the new ones are now a part of the loco. The old boiler barrel was scrapped whilst at Tyseley.

The rest of the larger components, the three frames, cab etc, were refurbished and suitably painted not only to protect them from further decay but also ready to be in a suitable condition to start attaching the various other components as they were refurbished.

The move to Boston Lodge

However, before the reassembly stage was reached the decision was made to transfer K1 to Boston Lodge, the Ffestiniog Railway's main workshop and running shed. This then meant gathering all the components together, although as mentioned above some boiler components had already moved to the railway, and preparing the frames ready to be moved. A not insignificant task when there are hundreds of components to deal with.

The move involved moving the main larger components to be accessible, but also taking advantage of being able to temporarily attach items to them to make the move easier as can be seen in the photographs below.

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Preparing the boiler cradle for the move. Attaching the piping stock to go with the cradle (left)
and then moving it outside the yard ready for collection (centre & right). (Photo: Andy Rutter)

 

All the components where then loaded onto two lorries, one taking the boiler cradle and the other the two engine units, tanks, smaller components and the various boiler components.

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Loading K1's components at Tyseley ready for the move to Boston Lodge at Easter 2000.
(Photo: Andy Rutter)