28th Aug 2014 in Urie Blogs
Well, we’ve been threatening for some time now that this was going to happen, but last weekend it finally did... the front fell off 506! To be more precise, the front 9’ of wasted frame section on the R/H side of the loco was removed. For the past few months the replacement frame sections have been stored at Medstead but they were brought back to Ropley 2 weeks ago and last Sunday were offloaded from their storage wagon. 24 hours earlier, after a lot of measuring, levelling and yet more measuring, the wasted right hand section was cut from the loco. We believe the frame plates to be original and, as such, have seen almost 60 years’ service in both LSWR/SR/BR days and the preservation era. All the resultant rough shunts and other mishaps will almost certainly have knocked them slightly out of line meaning any attempt to cut accurately first time was far too risky. Instead, the cut was made deliberately short of the mark by ½" – ¾"; tidying up to a more precise measure can be done at a later date.
Whilst we’ve been waiting to get on with the frames, work has been progressing on a number of other fronts on both 499 and 506. I’m currently putting together an update on progress since my last post and this will be released next month.
The first new frame section is now on trestles in the shed with the old section sat on top. Once correctly aligned it will be used as a drilling guide. We really are now in to heavy engineering; do this right and we get to do it all again on 499!! To be continued...