The Toddington Standard Locomotive Ltd has released an update on their progress to restore BR Standard 4MT No. 76077.
Since the pony truck work was completed, progress has now been focussing on three main areas – the front drag box repairs, the rear drag box replacement and axle box refurbishment.
Front Drag Box
A decision was made earlier in 2020 that the corroded steelwork in the front drag box must be replaced to make sure that the locomotive has several years in service before work is needed in this area.
New steelwork has been welded into place before assembling the complicated parts that make up the front buffer beam. Some of these parts were made many years ago and required major alterations to make them fit.
A significant bend in the right-hand front main frame plate was needed to be straightened before the assembly could be completed.
The 1 ¼” steel is heated to a dull red before being jacked straight down – it was necessary to repeat this several times until a straight edge was found.
When 76077 arrived from Barry Scrapyard, the front corner of the buffer beam was bent. Presumably, this happened after 76077 was withdrawn from Springs Branch, either on the journey to Barry or whilst being shunted around the yard.
Once a test assembly was complete on the front drag box, all the holes were them reamed and prepared for riveting.
New running board support brackets have been fabricated and riveted to the frames; this is because the rivets also go through the pony truck centre casting frame stretcher. The originals have unfortunately been lost.
The outside corner gusset brackets had to be machined to make sure the buffer beam was kept straight.
Rear Drag Box
The rear drag box has been known by the team to need work on it to replace the corroded metal, but the group have now obtained quotes for a complete replacement. An order has been made with the Loughborough Standard Locomotive Group alongside Goodman’s Metal Works in Nottingham.
It has also been confirmed that the rear buffer plank will be replaced as there is significant corrosion in the centre section, and this would have had to be removed anyway to withdraw the drag box.
The new drag box as been drawn out using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) technology and has been cut with a laser before being welded together. The assembly was then bolted to a CNC controlled milling machine to make sure all surfaces were flat.
As the item is challenging to get to, volunteers are now busy painting the drag box before fitting. Once riveted into place, any damaged paintwork will be touched up if required.
Apart from a bit of oil to prevent any corrosion, the axle boxes have had no work done since the locomotive was dismantled in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, the boxes have heavy corrosion on the liners and in the trailing boxes, so they were milled with special cutters as grinding away the corrosion would have taken a long time.
At the time of writing, the crowns are now being prepared for white metalling; they will then be pressed into the axle boxes for machining once the final alignment of the frame is complete.
Some good news is that, even with extra work discovered, and the coronavirus pandemic, 76077 is still on track to be re-wheeled by the end of 2020.
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