The Fund’s working party held an extra day on 29 October as that would be the momentous day when the engine and its wheels would be reunited. Other activities continued, however, generally and on our engine specifically. Further work has been done in the boiler shop on the inner backplate, with another section of the flange welded in.
Work on the left hand valve spindle, crosshead and combination lever started the previous Thursday is complete and assembled.
And similar work has begun on the right side.
Working around the re-wheeling job, the SVR fitter had located the inner lower slide and die block.
The coupling rods will be fitted while the engine remains on the jacks to allow the wheels to be turned to align the crank pins, and ultimately to ensure that the wheels rotate freely with all rods in place. The first, right hand leading, coupling rod is at the engine ready to be attached.
Other parts which can be refitted include the two return cranks and three brake cross beams.
In the machine shop, the crossheads are receiving attention and this is the left hand side one. It is an original and still bears signs of the location of the original drop arm for the vacuum pump in the vertical strip to the right of the Gudgeon pin hole.
The right hand crosshead is on the bench with the connecting rod attached, checking the fit of the gudgeon pin.
But at last we come to the point of the day: refitting the wheels under the loco. As the chalked date on the jacks show, they were removed almost two years ago.
The first stage was to raise the engine clear of the frame stands on which it rested.
The stands were then removed - which required the use of a fork lift truck! - followed by all the packing on which they stood.
This gave a rather unusual view of the engine. The wheels are beyond the jacks and the tender to the left. The frames will eventually be relocated to this position.
Graham and Brian of the SVR staff move the trailing wheelset towards the engine; the Fund members did assist here. Note the scotch ahead of the wheels; the wheels contain the balance weights but not the opposing coupling rods, and once the weights go over centre they can easily run away.
All three coupled wheel sets positioned below the frames. Final positioning would be done when the horn guides were just above the axleboxes.
The frames on their way back down.
The flange of the right leading wheel was hard against the rail, so there was little clearance between the left wheel and the frames.
So a hydraulic jack was used to force the wheel across to the other side.
The vertical faces are the horn faces - with oil dribbling down - while the black, horizontal areas are the tops of the axleboxes. The engine is about to come down so the boxes will enter the horn gaps.
So the engine finally reached its rightful height with the wheels now fitted.
This successful rewheeling caused a short period of well earned self-congratulation by all concerned!
This didn’t last long as there remained further work to do, notably attaching the horn clips, that of the right intermediate wheel shown here lying on the spring.
It was SMF members who undertook this task below all six axleboxes.
With the horn clips fitted, the engine was again raised, complete with wheels, to allow the pony truck to be moved below it. Brian watches carefully as the engine is lowered towards it.
Another view as the engine and pony truck are reunited.
This is the pin attached to the frames being aligned with the slides in the top of the truck housing.
Between the frames and truck are sliding ‘spittoons’ to allow the truck to swivel, the left one shown here above the phosphor bronze rubbing plate.
The engine again standing on all its wheels, once more a 2-6-0. It had been a hard but very successful and satisfying day. The rewheeling allows many components, already prepared, to be fitted.