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'Antwerp'-restoration update-Back to the Future with Porta's GPCS.

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Austerity, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Austerity

    Austerity New Member

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    Well the initial boiler report is in and thankfully no nasty shocks. We knew that the firebox was having to go over the hedge so no surprises there. Wrapper plates all round need a few building - up repairs here and there and with the front tubeplate we have the choice of repair or replace. Plenty of time to think about that. Amazingly we have managed to rescue most of the cladding for refurb and further use.

    The motion is currently being dismantled with appreciable wear noticed in the valve gear. The valve port faces gave us a more or less pleasant surprise appearing to be in petty good nick (Norman's were a nightmare!). The bronze valves have done their sacrificial job and dutifully taken most of the wear, ably assisted by mechanical lubrication. The valve spindle glands have the correct hard packing kit extant. However the piston rod glands have been converted to soft packing at sometime in the past and we are looking for a set of hard packing components for the same-can you help?

    Last summer was spent restoring the saddle tank (ex the now tender Bouquet at MHR) and it's now laid aside. On the frames the old under feed stoker footplate and bunker hopper have been removed and given the heave ho-both rotten as a pear - and needle gunning the rather corroded section of platework leading up to the inside of the rear buffer beam is now in progress. By the way, some time has been given to removing the rather unsightly buffer extension discs, a throw back to a time of colliery siding buffer lock syndrome. We'll be jacking the frames off the wheels in the spring which in turn will need re-tyring. Unfortunately a major cost centre presenting itself here.

    The bunker has gone to scrap but most of the cab roof and the cab sheets have been retained for further service. The new bunker will follow the same familiar pattern as seen at NYMR.

    We now have a complete Porta conversion kit except for the underfeed stoker which we are still thinking about including in the retro fit. We do have some misgivings with the stoker as there were problems with it in service and it did take up rather a large area of grate which we feel would be better given over to firebed. Would appreciate any comments from those with user experience!
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    The stokers were OK as long as you were using washed singles. If you haven't got that, forget it!
    As the guy who helped put the lagging sheets (and the blue asbestos lagging) on, it's good to know it has survived! Can't remember anything about the piston gland packings, though.
     
  3. Austerity

    Austerity New Member

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    Well I imagine that washed singles are a somewhat rare commodity nowadays - so that solves the stoker desicion!

    Cheers Steve- have you anything else to add? Kim Mallion commissioned the loco (I understand) and at first tried it out in GPCS form-do you know what happened?
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Memory plays tricks but, as I remember it, it was never put back into gas producer mode at the NYMR. It reverted to a conventional grate, the stoker removed and the auxiliary air holes blocked up. A home-made Kylchap was fitted and as far as I know, it still has that.
    The biggest problem with it was keeping the glands tight; typical Austerity!
     
  5. martin butler

    martin butler Member

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    If the reports of firecreep back through the stoker to the bunker were correct i dont see how you could retro fit the mechanical stoker, any railway wouldnt allow it to be used because of the insurance risk surely? how would you like to come on shed at 6am to find your engine has burnt out its bunker and taken half of the loco yard with it? or worse to have to be failed on a passinger train because the bunker is on fire, you would have to drastically re design the screw gear and have some way to prevent the fire from creaping up the screw, if it were to be a test bed to iron out any problems for a new breed of GPS engines yes it might be worth it but at what cost?? in my view best to play safe and incorporate what worked well on the converted locos, but with a convential grate, or convert to oil firing if GPS can be made to work with oil
     
  6. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    I though the screws were reversable mainly to help clearing blockages, in which case a short reverse when no more coal was required would clear the firbox end quite easily.
     
  7. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    I think it was a "shuffle plate" rather than a screw, but I may be wrong.

    Richard
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    It was.....
     
  9. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie New Member

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    Well, we have wood chip burning boilers at work, and these have a water tank fitted above the pipe from the wood chip bunker to the firebox. The pipe from the water tank is plugged with wax - a fusible plug if you will. If the fire makes its way back along the pipe toward the bunker, sploosh!
     
  10. Austerity

    Austerity New Member

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    Now that's novel Jamie!
     
  11. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie New Member

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    I remember being quite delighted with it when being shown round when I started. It might be an idea worth noting down?
     
  12. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Here's more info on Martyn Bane's excellent website:
    Austerity 0-6-0st type as modified by L.D.Porta & Hunslet

    particularly this image:

    [​IMG]

    Makes you wonder how controllable it all was. If, as Steve said, the stoker was fussy about the type of coal as well, I can't see how it would have succeeded in main line operation. For NCB use, the "right sort of coal" was presumably easy to get hold of. But their maintenance and operating techniques could sometimes be a little non-standard.

    Richard
     
  13. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    The reason I though that an Archimedian screw was the norm was that the only one I seen was this one underneath the loco pictured.

    PICT2245.JPG Info plaque 1110.jpg PICT2244.JPG
     
  14. ragl

    ragl Member

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    Looks very much like a Berkeley Stoker, which is an over fire coaler, so there would be very little chance of the fire migrating back into the tender/bunker.

    I believe that the Underfeed Stoker was a Hunslet innovation, a relatively simple but effective device, but, with it's limitations that have been discussed on this thread.

    I recall that one of the locos at Embsay having it's underfeed stoker re-instated about 20 + years ago, it was one of the 16" locos or the Austerity "Wheldale".

    Cheers

    Alan
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    'Wheldale' didn't have its stoker re-instated; it still had it when it arrived at Embsay. Time flies and it was well over thirty years ago, now. The loco was overhauled at Allerton Bywater in 1971, alongside Antwerp, and the stoker was fitted then. There was no use for it due to an influx of diesels, and it was put into store until 1981 when, at the behest of Hunslet, it was put back into service so that they could re-evaluate the stoker/gas producer system.
     
  16. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Thanks for that Alan, the only mechanical stoker I have seen in action was on a South African NC25 where it fed onto a plate at the firebox door and various steam jets pushed it to the required area of the grate.
     
  17. ragl

    ragl Member

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    Thanks for reminding me Steve; yes indeed, time flies and the memory with it. I recall "Wheldale" working at Wheldale Colliery in the very early eighties. After the tests were completed by Hunslet, the loco carried on working at the pit for some time afterwards, standing in for failed diesels. I made the trip over from Lancashire a couple of times to witness it working, a stirring sight pounding up the grade across the level crossing and through the pit. I was delighted that the loco ended up at Embsay, being repainted in the NCB North Yorks Area maroon livery and subsequently named "Wheldale" - fabulous!! I wonder what the loco's present status is, especially in view of this thread and the prospective overhaul of "Antwerp" into Kylpor/GPCS state.

    Cheers

    Alan
     
  18. Austerity

    Austerity New Member

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    Regarding 'Antwerp's front end-when we received the loco at Sellindge it still pocessed the Kordina splitter base for the Kylpor nozzles but bolted to that just 18" of plain of 4" pipe welded to a flange. Well apparently she galloped like a good'un so who ever fitted it made a good guess if easy steaming was the goal!
    We intend to have Antwerp once again resplendant in N.Yorks NCB livery-one day!

    Steve- did Hunslet ever publish or even record the results of their stoker/ GPCS re-evaluation trials?
     
  19. Steve

    Steve Part of the furniture Friend

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    Not to my knowledge. I was the NCB's liaison man for the trials and I never saw anything other than a few notes scribbled in a notebook; very subjective. I can't even remember any measurements being taken, more along the lines of 'Took 25 empties from Wheldale to Fryston - pressure and water maintained - no noticeable smoke.' I'm not even sure that a formal internal report was produced. It was all a bit half-hearted and merely to satisfy the whim of their Chairman who reportedly always came back from holiday with silly ideas that he had come up with whilst lazing on the beach. How true, I don't know.
     
  20. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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    Info on the Embsay website:
    Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway - Loco Profile - S134 Wheldale

    My first volunteering days at Embsay were when Wheldale was returning to traffic - they'd even managed to preserve her NCB driver too. His firing and driving style was a little bit "different", shall we say!

    Wheldale was on static display at Bolton Abbey station for some time, which didn't do her paintwork much good. Looks like she's having a well-earned repaint, but it's not clear if she's going back to Bolton Abbey.

    Richard
     

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