The 762 Club - LYNformation Bulletins
Aware that much development has been going on in the background, but little has been seen in public, and also that the pace of development is gradually increasing, the 762 Club introduced this on-line update feature in early 2013. This page, updated around once a month, will provide brief news snippets, images and general "Lynformation" on our progress. Please come back regularly for the latest updates.
(just hover your mouse over images to see captions, click to see a larger version where available):
See the current and archived versions of LYNformation here:
LYNformation Bulletin No.12: January 2014
1. Cylinder Fabrication
A visit was paid to the Norwich firm of Robert Frost’s on 19th December. The full LYN technical team was assembled to have a final in-depth meeting to agree the very detailed manufacturing and assembly specification for our cylinders.
On the LYN team were Ian Gaylor, Mike Nelson and Peter Best. They were supported by our ICP (Independent Competent Person) John Scott. The issue has always been to balance locomotive performance against cost. Already the cylinders are much more than originally estimated but whilst very conscious of our meagre resources, we do not want to downgrade the efficiency or power of LYN. Over a 2½ hour meeting, we reviewed all the possibilities and several most helpful suggestions were offered by Robert Frost, the MD of F.W.Frost and Sons. To cut a long story short, we reached a satisfactory conclusion that will allow the cylinder blocks to be made. Robert Frost will now tidy up all of the changes into a new quotation. I expect to receive this over the holiday period or very soon after. The 762 Club can then place the order for two cylinder blocks. Delivery is due by 30th June 2014, directly to Alan Keef’s.
To mark this monumental stage, I am pleased to show you some of the team that has done so much to get us here.
2. Component of the Month
We introduced this concept in August and it has proved to be very popular and beneficial to the 762 Club. We have run it five times so far, and had for hits. Of even more interest was the result in December. Not only did we get a very positive response, but actually got the component as well! Through the remarkable generosity of supporter Roger Davis, a beautifully restored Gresham and Craven Duplex Vacuum Gauge has been given to the 762 Club for use on LYN. This 1962 gauge, which is in almost immaculate condition, and superbly polished up was handed over to Peter Best at Andy Bennett’s boiler works on Friday 13th December. Definitely a lucky day for the 762 Club. I am pleased to include a photograph of Roger handing it over to Peter Best.
Roger is a leading light in the Bath and West Railway and owns and drives a 7¼” gauge locomotive, Tinkerbelle. He also took the trouble to test the gauge and confirms it is working 100% well. Thank you, Roger.
3. 762 Regulator Assembly
This area has had some head scratching recently! Our design team made the overall details for the regulator assembly some time ago and it was all made by Alan Keef. Now we have reached the stage when we need to assemble the regulator in-situ which has proved problematic. To cut a long story short, it proved nearly impossible to connect the components into the space available in the dome. It was also likely to be very difficult to screw the dry pipe in place without the possibility of cross threading. A man with six-feet long arms would also be needed! To avoid these issues and to make all future maintenance on this part of the locomotive, it was decided to split the dome and insert two flanges on either side. This means that we can assemble the regulator with some degree of certainty and ease. The down-side was that it has taken an extra six weeks or so - and a few extra thousand pounds - to do this. The up-side however, is that we now have a much easier assembly, space to work and most importantly, an easily maintainable regulator.
I attach a few photographs of this assembly being put together. The complete boiler had to be hydraulicly tested again (which it passed) and our boiler surveyor is happy with the actions taken. If you look closely at the photo of the top flange, you will see two brass plugs. This is where the safety valves fit, which we now have in stock. As I write these notes on 24th December, I am pleased to report that the full regulator assembly has now been installed and complete. The dome has been put back on and the regulator stuffing box fitted with the regulator handle. I attach a photo of our boiler maestro, Andy Bennett with his hand on the regulator.
Now the only significant area left for Bennett’s Boilers to attend to is the superheaters. These fit inside the flue tubes and take the steam from the dome, and circulate it around the elements before going to the cylinders. The collecting point is the header, and as you can see from the photograph, the header is now all machined and ready to fit. There has been an issue with the material for the studs that bolt it to the front tube plate. When, Andy Bennett went to his normal steel stock holder, the minimum order quantity for this grade was 2 tons!! Some urgent phone calls were then made between the design team and Bennett’s to find another grade which was more available without compromising on the integral properties needed for the studs. As I write, we think that one has been found. Phew!!
Andy Bennett will then bolt the header onto the front tube plate, before making and fitting the superheader elements themselves. Nearly finished.
5. Crinoline Bands
One of the last items that a boiler needs is the welding of the crinoline bands. These are the steel bands onto which the boiler cladding is screwed. These are now all assembled and will stay on even when the boiler is transported to Ross-on-Wye. Care will be needed when the boiler is moved not to knock them, but it is great to see this final phase of the boiler coming to shape.
6. Commercial Sponsorship
I am pleased to say that we have been advised that we will receive a grant of £975 from the Jelf Group as part of their Devon Challenge program. The Jelf Group are a large independent Insurance and Financial services group who are active in the South West and who are part of the “Devon Challenge” to increase awareness of social programs to bring investment into Devon and South West. We are advised that further grants may be made next year. You will soon see a new page on the web site that will highlight commercial sponsors, and Jelf Group will be there.
7. Machining Capability
We have been fortunate to recruit one or two people who have agreed to make parts for us. I expect this trend to increase into 2014 as we have LOTS of parts to make.
Regards, Peter Best
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