Restoration Progress Reports

The team at Haworth are making great strides to have Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2T 41241 ready in time to take a leading role at the 50th re-opening celebrations in June 2018. Here we present progress reports on the work being undertaken and where all the monies raised by sponsorship and purchase of Ivatt merchandise is going.

May & June 2017

Since the copy of Push & Pull was written the  Ivatt team have been hard at work and the locomotive is looking more complete by the day

Every year at the NEC model railway exhibition in late November, a new build locomotive is often displayed to raise the appeal profile and so this year it has been agreed that 41241 will appear at our own model railway exhibition in July. With a minimum of £35,000 still to raise, we are taking the opportunity to raise the appeal’s profile for supporters and public to see what peter Turner and the team have achieved so far. With this deadline in mind no effort has been spared to get the locomotive ready.

As the photographs show, much elbow grease has been used sanding 41241 so that the final maroon undercoats could be applied ready. In order for it to be towed to Oxenhope the new springs that had been ordered and delivered had to be refitted which was achieved on the 17th June in sweltering heat with the engine moved over the wheeldrop for ease of access. In the bright sun of the day, the undercoated and sanded sides look somewhat orange but the first fresh coats of top-coat will have this ready for exhibiting.

By the 20th June, the boys had driver’s side tank has seen its first coat of gloss maroon. The back bufferbeam saw its first of many coats of gloss red, the piano front has seen a good clean and first coat of undercoat applied and the cylinder cover prepared for glossing.

Finally down in Bridgenorth the firebox is coming together with all the new stays manufactured and the assembly all ready to receive them.

April 2017 (2017 Summer Push and Pull)

We have made a start with painting the tanks and bunker in March and hope to have all the paintwork, crests and lining out complete on the tanks and bunker before the boiler comes back, as fitting this will then be our main focus.

We know there is a risk of damage to the finish doing it now, but if we wait until the boiler is fitted it will push the painting into the damp cold weather of Autumn which is not ideal, especially with the shed roof giving as much weather protection as a string vest! The photograph below shows the sample colour scheme for the engine with its lining out and crest.


On the engineering side, Derek from No. 85’s loco gang, finished machining all the motion bushes. These have been pressed in and include new felt oil pads. After a new design and drawing process, the driving wheel springs have been ordered, although there is a lead time. The reason for the new design of springs is that the old ones, unfortunately, had mixed leaf thicknesses across the six springs, giving differing stiffness, which could give rise to poor torsional twist. We have been putting together all the items which the boiler contractor requires to steam test the boiler, regulator, J-pipe, regulator stuffing box, top feed, safety valves .and gauge frames etc.

31st January 2017

During January the Ivatt team have made quite visible strides forward in the rebuilding of the 41241.

Since the last report focus moved to readying the locomotive’s tanks for going back on with patch work being done on one tank and some small repair jobs, including the repair and replacement of some internal baffles. The photographs show that the access ‘hatch’ to the tanks limits the size of individual that can squeeze inside. Thankfully the department does possess one such individual and he has had the onerous task of scrabbling around inside with a grinder cutting the old parts out and replacing them.

Both tanks received a good wash out to remove years of built up scale from the inside. The washing out was done using a high pressure hose and some metal rods to help clear the accumulated scale out of the tanks. The rear of the LH tank was flatted off and undercoated and will be glossed before the tank is really fitted as the reverser stand sits in the way of it.

Other work has included the overhaul of the Sieve boxes, including cleaning, stripping and painting. The shut off faces were found to be quite pitted and beyond use so the opportunity was taken to skim them up to make the shutoffs useable. Both Sieve boxes are now finished and glossed!

The front drawbar has been returned from Keighley Laboratories after straightening, normalising and testing. This was then painted and refitted.

As so all was ready for the refitting of the tanks during the last weekend in January. An early start and a couple of hours later the tanks are back on 41241. Moved back inside the shed, a start has been made on the pipe work and other jobs can now proceed. The cab side bolts have been fitted and the injector feed pipework started.

9th January 2017

The loco went up into the rafters on the 25th of November for a routine axle box check. This was expected to show the boxes in a good condition as the locomotive’s mileage was very low. Unfortunately the boxes were found to have some minor damage to the white metal faces on the crowns. The leading and trailing axel box sets were restored with a little white metal ‘puddling’ session, and scraped in to suit the journals. These two wheels sets were replaced under the engine on the Saturday (26th)! A top team effort.

Since then the work on the driving axle boxes has been completed and the driving wheels set replaced in place on the 17th of December. Work has continued on the bottom end, including refitting of the sanding gear, brake rigging, steam heat pipework, buffers and axle box dust shields and covers.

More recently the tanks have been receiving some attention with regard to a couple of broken baffles inside the tanks. We are hoping that by the end of January the tanks will be complete and back on the loco.

October 2016 (2016/17 Winter Push and Pull)

We had hoped to inspect the axle boxes immediately on the locos return from tyre turning over twelve months ago, but with repairs to a fault, along with the extensive flood damage sustained to the wheel drop, we will be using the Loco Departments newly purchased Matterson Jacks to lift the lvatt off its wheels. I did say in my last notes that the tanks should be fitted by now. Although they are ready to go on we will wait until after the loco lift, this allowing better access to the wheel sets.

ln the mean time we have been busy painting the frames, wheels and various loco parts. The regular evening team worked through annealing pipework. The thinner, younger and more supple jointed, worked inside the tanks scraping away the scale. For the bigger lads we acquired a pair of needle guns for cleaning the tank tops, which came up very nice showing all the riveted detail. However, a couple of patches are needed following my enthusiasm for a scale free result causing some holes where the plate work is thin.

The boiler progress continues steadily with the assembly of the copper firebox. The re-opening train red paint is next on the list to order. I have been amazed that one full sized original loco crest was still available and in the Archive. It will be scanned or photographed and made into a digital copy.

The Ivatt Merchandise looks good and is selling well. We also received valued donations from the ‘help me steam again’ money box over the Steam Gala weekend. Did you also sample the ‘Ivatt’ ale at the Beer & Music Festival? The whole team thank you for your continuing support. As regard to the regular team, we are a young group ranging from 18 upwards, I’m referred to as the old codger at 36! Our skills vary, but we are developing our collective knowledge and skills between each other. If you are keen to get involved financially or physically in the yard, please contact the Railway offices. We’d be more than happy to have you on the team either way.

9th August 2016

The rear pony truck was disassembled a few months ago and in the intervening time every component has been stripped, checked and painted. The truck was then re-assembled by the team, finished off, painted and stored ready for fitting. On the 16th July the locomotive was jacked up and the rear truck placed under and lowered back down so returning it to its rightful place.

More recently work has turned towards cleaning up the bottom end of the loco (frames, wheels etc.) ready for painting. Once the bottom end painting is complete the tanks can be refitted which, hopefully will be end August / September.

Behind the scenes all the new and old bushes for the motion have been re-white metalled and are awaiting machining them to finish size before they can be pressed into the rods and re fitted.
Once the side tanks will go back, there is some work on the cab to be completed, tanks painting and applying some finishing touches on them both. A start has been made on the new motion brasses so, with a fair wind, the motion will be back together before November.

The result of all this work, it is hoped, is that by the end of Autumn, 41241 will have the side tanks on, motion re-assembled and in red undercoat. June 2018 gets ever closer.

July 2016 (Autumn Push and Pull)

The front truck is back in and our rear truck was taken out. It is in good condition, no dramas been found on this one, it has had some minor attention to the diagonal braces, a few fitted bolts and chased threads. It was cleaned up, painted and replaced in mid-July. The loco frames behind, and motion brackets-under the tanks have been cleaned and painted while we had good access.

The tanks have been repaired and they should have been refitted by the beginning of 2017. The oil lubrication pipework to the axleboxes will then be replaced as the next job. The front draw bar is slightly bent and will be professionally straightened by a local firm.

The copper pipework for the boiler back head, injectors and steam heat have been annealed in readiness of the return of the boiler. There is a white metaling project on the go too, the side rods and connecting rod bushes, some of which are new, will then be machined to size.

The driving springs require overhaul, though unfortunately there is a missing drawing for the early Ivatt Tank type, so we-have a drawing being made and this should allow us to proceed with their refurbishment to a more correct specification. We have some smaller jobs to attend to but the majority of work is now complete, so we will be turning our attention to the paintwork by the end of this 2016 before the boiler comes back in Summer 1017.

20th April 2016

Boiler tube appeal fully subscribed.

April 2016 (Summer Push and Pull)

Since our last report we have completed the works on the front truck, which needed much more work than initially thought. Some machining of an axle box was required and several more grease points have been added to improve lubrication of the new pins and bushes, the condition of the pins and bushes removed suggested that lubrication was lacking. It has now been reunited with the loco.

Attention turned to the re-fitting of the tanks, making sure the various outrigger supports are shimmed to stop the stress fractures experienced when it ran previously. The wick fed axle box lubrication pipework needs renewal which will be tackled as soon as the tanks are back on, as the oil pots are on the tank fronts.

The job of cleaning and painting the various bits of boiler crinoline has been completed and attention has turned to the cladding, which is generally sound. The firebox top sheets are the only sheets that require renewal. We have ordered new piston and valve rings, which will be fitted in due course. The side rod bushes have been machined for white metalling, useful exercise with the skills being passed on from the experienced engineers to the younger team members.

The boiler repairs are progressing well; the new tube plate has been formed and the doorplate is next on the list. The rolling of the top sheets of the inner firebox, and forming of the outer steel throat plate and back head is in hand. The Bridgnorth works have a target of Summer 2017 for delivery back to the Railway and are on target at Haworth for this date.

January 2016 (Spring Push and Pull)

Since Autumn, efforts have been concentrated on the front truck. On one of the coldest, iciest, days all the components were steam cleaned for inspection. Almost all of the pins and bushes have been replaced, some of these parts are ex-BR, so have lasted exceptionally well. The bolster casting was working where it attaches to the front dragbox – the original ex-BR fitted bolts were somewhat of a quick repair judging by the quality. The surfaces were checked then the bolster re-fitted.

We will be repairing a cracked weld on one of the truck horns, which, it is hoped, will not require further work to make them parallel again. Other small works have included stripping, cleaning and re-finishing of the firehole door assembly. The cleaning and painting of the boiler cladding components is progressing, along with various other bits of tin work. The tanks are beginning to be returned to useable condition.

The connecting rod bushes were worn as mentioned previously, new castings have arrived and work has started on those. Work continues with the boiler at the Severn Valley Railway. Copper plate, formers and plenty of gas will surely make for a warm day producing the new tube plate. Ultrasonic testing of the rivets is in hand, hopefully resulting in a first class job.


November 2015

The Ivatt’s firebox is basically time expired. The 101 square feet of heating surface is to be replaced with new material – the copper plate work, the rivets for the laps and all the boiler stays. Once completes the firebox will see out all of us around today so the project really is value for money and will give our grand children a locomotive to enjoy. The boiler is away at the Severn Valley Railway where their boiler shop have made good progress, so we are still on target for the return to steam in 2018.

The ash pan requires extensive but straight forward repairs to the plate work which will be done in house, therefore keeping costs down.

The motion of the engine requires several new connecting rod bushes and the remainder are all to be white metaled with the smaller motion parts well within tolerance. The cylinders are in good shape but the valves and pistons need new rings.  In house repairs to the tanks are being progressed and the draw bars are to be removed for repairs to build up the wear.

September 2015 (Winter 2015 Push and Pull)

The boiler is away at the. Severn Valley Railway, where the firebox is in the process of being removed. Meanwhile, the team at Haworth removed the side tanks, as we had the suspicion these were probably in need of replacement, after having problems with the right hand tank splitting between two lines of stiffening rivets. Immediately after the right hand tank was removed it became very clear why the tank had been splitting, as the motion bracket, which is also a support for the tank, still had shiny gloss paint on its surface. This had obviously not been doing its job of taking the weight, so allowing the tank to flex at a critical point. With the construction drawings available, the ultrasonic thickness testing show that the tanks are in fact still at the original thickness in 80% of the platework and we are now repairing them for the next ten year stint.


41241’s boiler in the Bridgenorth workshops of the Severn Valley Railway. Photo: Robin Higgins

The loco has been to Bombardier, Ilford for tyre turning on a ground lathe. This was done diligently so we have been able to retain just enough tyre thickness to give another turning. This will hopefully put off needing new tyres for possibly a further ten year boiler period.

The front and rear trucks need slight attention, so they are next on the strip down list, as is the motion which needs a few new bushes, whilst the remaining bushes need to be white metalled. The drawbars both are needing building up with weld, where they slide side to side in the drawbar opening. All the cab fittings and most of the boiler fittings have been overhauled and are ready to refit.

The locomotive is generally in good shape  so the overhaul will not involve heavy work such as axlebox repairs or cylinder machining. This should allow 41241 to be back in action as soon as the boiler is fitted and the bits put back.

July 2015

101 small and 8 large tubes have been generously sponsored which leaves just 61 and 4 respectively to be sponsored.

April 2014

So far the boiler has been removed and a thorough examination undertaken of the whole locomotive to assess the extent of the work that is needed.  The rolling chassis was sent away for tyre turning at Ilford and has returned to the Railway. The loco will now enter the next stage of mechanical overhaul at Haworth with the driving wheels being removed for inspection, the springs being removed for overhaul and the trucks removed for inspection and remediation. The drawbars will also be removed for specialist welding repair. The clock is now ticking for all the work required to be completed.

With YOUR help, 41241 will take its rightful place at the head of the 50th Anniversary Special in June 2018.

To make your donation, click HERE to view the sponsorship options and Ivatt merchandise available to purchase.