Sunday, 31 January 2021

Middle Engine Lane

The Stephenson Steam Railway stands on Middle Engine Lane, a road that looks very different today!

Here we see Middle Engine Lane on the 27th August 1964, with J27 65878 heading south towards the Tyne. The loco was built by the NER in 1922, one of the workhorses of the North East coalfields, at this time she was based at North Blyth (52F) from 1963 until withdrawn in October 1964.

Photo by David Idle.

Same location, 57 years on


Friday, 29 January 2021

Recent work on No.69

Some work on NCB No.69.

Earlier in the week the final bolt holding in one of the slide bars was removed allowing the removal of the RHS crosshead, connecting rod and slide bars. The LHS was removed prior to the engine being shunted at Embsay. The opportunity was taken to remove the protecting grease and muck from the items before being stored.

Two of four slide bars successfully removed

The view of the gudgeon pin before being withdrawn following the removal of the slidebars

The RHS connecting rod being extracted between the frames

Michael steam cleaning the connecting rod


Thursday, 28 January 2021

History Lesson - Killingworth Billy

For today's History lesson, we look at Billy.

The oldest locomotive in the collection at the Stephenson steam railway is Billy. A loco with a long and much-debated history. What we do know is that Billy was working at Killingworth Colliery in 1867, where it was overhauled in the colliery workshop. It is a George Stephenson type engine, with two vertical cylinders set into the top of the boiler. It was retired in 1881 and steamed for the last time that June, to celebrate George Stephensons 100th birthday. It was then placed on display on the high-level bridge, where it remained till moved to a plinth in Central Station in 1896. It moved again in 1945 to Exhibition park, before moving to the Stephenson Steam Railway.

There are two theories surrounding Billy’s early life.
The first was that she is Robert Stephenson & co number 2, delivered in 1826 to Springwell colliery. Working on the colliery railway between Springwell & Jarrow (it acquired the name billy here too) until transferred to Killingworth in 1863.
The second theory, states that the surviving Billy was an early George Stephenson machine, built at Killingworth in 1816. And spent its whole working life on the Killingworth Waggonway til preserved in 1881. Modern archaeology of the locomotive by Dr Michael Bailey, suggests the later theory is most likely. Making it the third-oldest steam railway loco and oldest standard gauge loco in existence. An amazing survivor from the early days of railways.

Photo credits:
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
NTSRA Archive

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Coaling 401

Whilst 08915 was out the shed the opportunity was taken to haul 401 out and fill the locos bunker


08915 A-Exam

No.08915 has undergone its 6 month A-Exam servicing today which includes a full grease/oil up, numerous brake tests and thorough examination followed by a run down to Percy Main to inspect the mainline and give the engine a run

Steve greasing the brake rigging

Draining old oil out of the engines large compressor

Emptying the waste oil reservoirs

Once started up and moved outside the radiator is filled whilst various brake tests are carried out

Down at Percy Main the groundframe is tested

08915 at Percy Main

Michael driving


Rail collecting

Trainees with the G5 Training Ltd group using the iron men to collect and drag a 60ft length of rail from down the line and bring it back to Middle Engine Lane 


Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Spine work on No.722

After finishing off constructing the second half center spine for 722, Michael takes some final measurements before welding it in place


Monday, 25 January 2021

Tool van engine work

Richard working on the generator engine that lives in the tool van


Work on the John Deere

Collecting logs from down the field


Richard working on the tractor after fitting a new battery


Monday, 18 January 2021

Carriage update

Work begins on cleaning up another new window bottom template

Clamped in place to mark out the rotten section for cutting

After cutting out the rotten piece the bodywork bulged out at the bottom of the cut, so it was lightly clamped to the metal frame stanchion and tack welded at the back to hold it in place

New piece tack welded in

Welded in

Jean carrying on with varnishing wood pieces from the carriage's compartments

More rotten framework discovered in the guard's compartment

Michael cutting out the end piece

Cut out

The bottom brackets that the frame stanchions are welded too are rotten and require replacing

Starting to clean up after more grinding and cutting 

Four new brackets cut to size on the donkey saw being cleaned up

Cleaned up, ready for having a corner cut out and welding in place


Sunday, 17 January 2021

New spine for 722

Michael welding one half of No.722's center spine

Using the mag drill to drill holes on the spines side panel

Welding the new spine in place on the wagon


Saturday, 16 January 2021

Monday, 11 January 2021

New metal for ACC5

Recently we took delivery of new metal to construct Ashington No.5's new ashpan

New angle iron for sections of the new ashpan being cut down


Floor painting

Through in the woodshop, John has been busy repainting the floor and marking out walkways