The Task in hand!

Work on the overhaul of Austerity No9 started in June 2019. The blog was started in June 2021 so photos and text will be added as the work progressed through that period. Because of the Covid pandemic work was interupted during that time but the intention is to restore Austerity No9 to working condition as an N.C.B locomotive in blue. Work continues.............

4 October 2022

Separation can be painful - not in No 9's case!

Separation looks painful but in No 9's case she will feel the benefit in the long run. After a huge amount of work by Benny and Adam the smokebox, boiler barrel and firebox have been prized apart using the plasma cutter and other devices (i.e. wedges and hammer!)  to lay bare damage to at least two of these parts. In particular the throat plate has many weakness's around some stays and this will be replaced. This may have been caused by expansion and contraction when it was briefly in steam prior to being mothballed. The copper firebox will need attention to the top as the dip is now clearly seen. The barrel is in good condition and seems to need no serious work.

Now a three piece - firebox, barrel & smokebox!

Smokebox minus door. This is ready to be hung when the time comes.

Front tube plate now fully accessible with smokebox removed.

Support for the barrel now it has been separated fron the firebox.

Barrel with throat plate. Throat plate,
which has been NDT'd, is to be replaced.

Inside of barrel with steam dome opening.

Throat plate damage with metal failure around stays.

Close-up of damage on throat plate.

Firebox tube plate. Side wrapper sheets will be replace.

Firebox with stays that connected the backhead still in place.

Top of copper firebox damage. This will be replaced from a line just below the shackle.Visible dip along length.

Some extra photos taken on Thursday 6th Oct with more work in progress.

Front tube plate removed and turned. 
Will be cleaned to see for damage.

Front tube plate damage. Cleaning will identify more. Top row, 2nd from right shows damage already.

Benny burning out stays with plasma cutter on outer wrapper to remove it.

Wrapper with some stays burnt out.

30 August 2022

Backhead, firebox & driving wheel assessment

 Work has continued with the assessment of the firebox condition and the removal of the worn tyres on the driving wheels for measuring. The firebox and boiler were NDT tested and the backhead, and possibly the throatplate, need replacing.The tyres will be replaced, and the hope is that some spare ones we have will fit. 

Backhead ready for NDT test. 

Benny cleaning the heads off the backhead rivets with the plasma cutter.

Backhead rivets nearly all burnt out. Split between it and sides visible.

Backhead removed.

Backhead removed and stays now visible. These will be burnt out.

Firebox throat plate will probably need replacing.

RH side with driving wheels removed. Gleaming 5025 stands guard!

Looking down through frames - driving wheel axle removed.

Driving wheel axle stabled on new road to new running shed.

John Hunt cutting the tyre of the one side of the wheel.

The other tyre has already been cut. The tyres will be replaced.

Tyre cut on both sides. Gap appearing between tyre and wheel.

Tyre cut through and loose on wheel.

James (Jim) McPherson, a valued volunteer at The Strathspey Railway, who passed away on the 3rd August, worked on Austerity No 9. His family very generously donated some of the collection at his funeral to the restoration of this locomotive. Thank you.

14 June 2022

The boiler and firebox lift.

 Further progress was made on Monday 13th June when the boiler was lifted from the chassis and placed on wagons. This will facilitate work being done on both the boiler/firebox and chassis. The next task is to remove the centre driving wheels to measure for new tyres.

Ready for the lift.

Chains being positioned for the lift.

Boiler and firebox lifted clear of the chassis. Benny steadying, Nathan in crane and Adam looking on.

Boiler being lowered onto wagons. Benny steadying, Adam motioning to lower and Nathan in control in crane!

Boiler placed on wagons.

Boiler-less chassis being pushed back into Shed.

Chassis without motion. Next step to remove the centre driving wheels to measure for new tyres.

27 April 2022

Firebox wrapper lift-off!

 The work to examine the damage to the firebox wrapper, the stays and possibly the copper firebox itself, started mid April when rivets were burnt out of the sheet that was to be removed, by Benny McInnes. All the stays between the wrapper and the firebox had to be cut, allowing the wrapper to be lifted. But, once this was completed, Benny used the Plasma cutter, along with Seonagh Macdonald using the gas torch, to release the wrapper. No 9 was taken into the fresh air and slowly, and with some gentle persuasion from Adam Dalgleish, the wrapper lifted off. The copper firebox has sustained damage and will need attention and the work continued with the removal of side sheets. Good progress is being made in-house thanks to the expertise we now have.

Benny using the plasma cutter on the RH side of the wrapper.

Seonagh using the cutting torch on the LH side of the wrapper.

Wrapper pinged off the backhead.

A little more persuasion from Adam.

No 9 Firebox wrapper lifted off.

Firebox wrapper removed

No 9 firebox minus wrapper

Top of copper firebox and backhead.

Top of copper firebox.

LH side stays.

LH side firebox wrapper lower sheet removed.

Top of copper firebox with damage highlighted.

Inside view of the firebox with a glimpse of daylight!

27 March 2022

Sandboxes Old & New!

 Due to the "loss or misplacement" of the right hand trailing sandbox a new one had to be fabricated. We had already started forming the 45 angle, as can be seen in the previous post. All the parts were then tack welded together, making sure an exact copy of the other 3 was achieved. The joints were then welded and ground smooth using flap disc. An alteration presented itself with the realisation that it would be impossible to attach the plate on the top of the sandbox for the lever unless a thin, long armed person could reach in through the opening to secure the bolts! New plates were made, the old sandboxes had a hole cut using the plasma cutter and the new plates welded in. The plates holding the lever were then bolted on - from the outside!!

Right trailing sandbox tack welding.

2nd side and bottom placed for fitting prior to tack weld.

Sandbox back, sides & top tack welded.

 RH trailing sand hole closed. Bottom of the lever is on the right.

 RH trailing sand hole open. The sand pipe will be fitted to this. Mechanical supply!

Sandbox lever plate. This will be welded in place.


New RH trailing sandbox complete.

3 original sandboxes and the new one - levers still to be fitted.

3 original sandboxes refurbed + levers fitted.

All 4 sandboxes, including the new on the right, refurbed + levers fitted.

And on the 24th March Austerity No 9 was back in The Shed to continue her overhaul. The next stage is to remove the firebox wrapper and inspect the damage caused by circumstances outwith The Strathspey Railways control, and to remove the middle driving wheels to measure for new tyres.


No 9 - back in The Shed on 2 road. Firebox wrapper to be cut off to examine damage.

No 9 - new ashpan resting on the footplate.