North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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K1 Blog

A blog of activities associated with the K1 62005.

23rd January 2021


K1 in the snow at Carnforth on 23th January 2021 - Paul Hutchinson

Since the last update the loco and coach have been successfully UAT'd (last Tuesday) and we have had one further working party (last Saturday) to refit the cladding sheet removed to facilitate the throat plate repair, tap a washout plug hole that, while steam tight, wept when cold and attended to a few other minor matters.

We were greeted with a covering of snow when we arrived on Saturday, as shown on the attached photo. This was taken as we started to drain the boiler. Tom Dibbs and Angie (just visible next to the coach) are in the process of sorting the drain hose out.

I am going back over tomorrow to refill the boiler and finish off a few minor jobs and I have requested a move, for the engine and coach, from Carnforth to Grosmont. I hope that this will be confirmed tomorrow, following which I will contact all those who offered their services to support the move.

We will start this winter's maintenance as soon as the engine gets back to Grosmont with a view to having it ready to enter NYMR service, with annual mainline certification complete, for the end of March. It is then hoped to do a couple of weeks running before we head North, probably on the 19th or 20th April. Our first Jacobite is on 25th April.


16th December 2020


Last night we received final approval from our insurers to proceed with the K1’s throat plate repair.

The weld repair will therefore be carried out by Flavells on Friday. The insurance annual cold exam was undertaken last week without issue. Rich Pearson and I started boxing the boiler back up yesterday and I will finish this on Friday while the welding is being done.

The plan from there is to NDT the repair early next week but as Carnforth depot will be effectively shut down for Christmas from this Friday lunchtime it will not be possible to move the loco to Grosmont until early January. I have therefore, in order to reduce the risk of frost damage over the Christmas period, decided to delay the hydraulic and steam tests on the repair (and insurance hot exam) until the first week of January.


15th January 2021


I am pleased to say that hydraulic and steam tests of the throat plate repair and the annual insurance hot exam have now been satisfactorily completed.

The hydraulic was carried out on Wednesday and the steam test yesterday (the original plan had been to do these last week but they had to be postponed). Many thanks to Mike Bloomfield and Ashley Moore who joined me for the hydraulic and steam tests, both of which were carried out in very cold and wet conditions. Fortunately, despite our worries about not being able to get back over the Pennines last night our journey home was uneventful.

I hope to be able to advise of the date for the move to the NYMR shortly. Many thanks to all who have offered to be involved in this - I will be back in touch as soon as the date has been confirmed.


23rd December 2020


The weld repair to the K1's throat plate has now been completed. The procedure took a little longer than anticipated but was completed on Monday.

The repair was satisfactorily mag particle and ultrasonically tested yesterday. The boiler has also been boxed up ahead of the hydraulic test for the repair which will be undertaken early in the new year (the insurance company hydraulic booked for 6th Jan (and the steam test on the 8th)). As the hydraulic is to be full working pressure, the safety valves have been replaced with blanks for now.


15th November 2020


Unfortunately the K1’s move from Carnforth to Grosmont scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled as I failed the loco this morning with a fracture on the right hand side of the throat plate. This is surprising as the throat plate was extensively ultrasonically tested when the boiler was out of the frames over the winter of 18/19.

The plan from here is to discuss the principle of repair with our boiler insurance company tomorrow and Tuesday with a view to draining the boiler and removing the boiler cladding adjacent to the affected area on Wednesday and investigating the extent of the fracture by appropriate testing on Thursday. Assuming our insurers agree to the principle of repair, a detailed repair procedure will then have to be agreed before any remedial work can take place.


28th October 2020


After a successful move from Fort William to Carnforth on 28th Sept the support crew removed the side rods and speedo bracket and drained the tender tank on the 29th in readiness for tyre turning. All went well with that but unfortunately generator that powers the wheel lathe failed and has to date, been impossible to repair.

To cut a long story short a temporary replacement is now being brought on to site and will be installed later this week. The K1 will therefore finally get on to the lathe on Monday.

As we were not sure when the loco would get on to the lathe we could not do too much during the wait. However Angie and I have been over a couple of times to drop the fire, do a bit of frost protection (to loco and coach) and a few other minor jobs, the most significant of which has been servicing the graduable steam brake valve (which we did at home and refitted it yesterday).

The plan from here is that I will go over to witness the tyre turning which I hope will be completed by Wednesday next week. There will then be a working party to reassemble the loco on Friday. The speedo will be recalibrated before fitting. I have (today) requested a move to Grosmont for early in the week commencing 9th Nov and will let you know as soon as this is confirmed.


30th September 2020


The K1 got to Carnforth safely, running pretty much to time despite not being able to take water at Carstairs owing to a points failure. We were a few minutes late into Carnforth after following a huge freight train which overtook us as we took water at Lockerbie. We caught it back up on the climb up to Shap.

We removed the side rods and speedo bracket (to facilitate tyre turning) and the graduable steam brake valve (for me to service/repair) before we left Carnforth at 16.00ish yesterday.


24th September 2020


The K1 completed its Jacobite duties on Saturday without any significant problems.

Given that we had written the season off only a few months ago, the fact that we have done 5 weeks work is a real bonus. I am also pleased to say that the Covid 19 restrictions did not cause us any problems. in fact, surprisingly, they made life easier in some respects. Many thanks to all who made it possible both in getting the engine and coach ready at Carnforth and by looking after the loco in Scotland.

The only down side to our short season is tyre wear which has been greater than usual. In order to get the most out of next season the tyres are to be turned on Carnforth’s ground lathe on the way back to Grosmont. This will be the last time the tyres currently fitted are turned before they require replacement.

The loco and coach are scheduled to leave Fort William on Monday and to arrive at Carnforth in the very early hours on Tuesday morning. The plan is then (after a bit of rest) for the support crew to remove the side rods and speedo bracket in preparation for tyre turning.

The loco and coach will move on to Grosmont as soon as possible after the tyres have been turned. This is likely to be mid October. Before then there will be at least one working party to refit the side rods and speedo bracket, to adjust the brakes and to see to anything else that needs attention.

When back at Grosmont the loco is expected to do some work during the second half of October and November. During this time the plan is to improve the wiring in the coach, before is next fixed wiring inspection early next year and to improve and decorate the kitchen and wc. Other improvements to the workshop area are also planned.


Sunday 26th July 2020


The K1 completed its first week on the Jacobite with no significant problems.

As the week progressed we had a few very minor settling in issues to deal with but the loco performed very well. The loco carried a wreath for 3 days mid week in memory of the friends and colleagues we have lost this year.

The support crew, Angie, Saskia, James Pearcy and me managed to deal with the Covid 19 restrictions without issue. One of the benefits of the restrictions is that we now have our own shower/toilet block (the little green box) at the depot. This is much better than using the NR facility as in previous years.

Loading on the Jacobite generally increased through the week but the train was only running at maximum Covid 19 capacity on one day. This meant that there was room for the whole support crew to travel in the train apart from the one day that it was full. I expect that demand for tickets will continue to rise as more tourists reach the area but we will just have to see. Predictably, there were noticeably more British passengers than in previous years.

One very positive outcome from last week was passing James out as a mainline R.O. James shadowed me for the first couple of days then took over for the rest of the week. He did a brilliant job so congratulations to James and another very positive step for the Group in continuing its main line activities.

Before we left on Sunday we did a bit more work to the coach to make the 3rd compartment habitable (not needed in the first week as Angie and I sleep in our van) and had a good tidy up in the workshop.


Wednesday 22nd July 2020


The K1 with the Jacobite at Fort William - James Piercy

The K1 is carrying a wreath on the Jacobite today in memory of all friends and colleagues lost this year.

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