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.............

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.

6 February 2022

Firebox doors, Firebox damage and Sandbox forming!

 Work has continued on various parts of No 9. Alan French has completed the firebox doors, a trial fitting was done - successfully -  and they have been gritblasted and given a protective coat of red oxide - although this will quickly burn off once the fire is lit!

Some rivets have been burnt out on the firebox jacket and once this has been completed, the top will be cut and removed to examine the crown sheet and stays. The chalk line indicates where this might be done.

We also did some bending on the right-hand trailing sandbox replacement and this will allow us to get on with the assembly.

Firebox doors trial assembly before blasting and painting.

Firebox door top guide and levers ready to be painted.

Firebox doors blasted. Doors, bottom guide and handle. 

Firebox door parts all protected with red oxide.

Dip in top of firebox above crown sheet visible.

First rivets burnt out on firebox jacket or wrapper. Chalk line where cut might be made to remove it.

Rivets along firebox outer jacket or wrapper behind backhead getting burnt out. Dip easily seen.

Top of RH trailing sandbox formed in press.

RH trailing sandbox trial assembly.

4 December 2021

A lull in the restoration!

Since the last post in August No 9 has not been forgotten, but due to other duties that the team have been called on to do, she has been returned to the great outdoors. Work continues on parts of the engine and the firebox doors are being constructed, along with the guide runners. As you can see from the photos Alan is getting on with with this.
 The right hand trailing sandbox has still to be formed although the parts have been measured and cut out using the plasma cutter. They await the welder! See photos on 18th July in Clean, build & Protect!
One of the next tasks is to examine the firebox, crown stays, and general state of these. It had been damaged and a dip is obvious in the top of the firebox. This will require the removal of the top of the firebox.
One of the other reasons No 9 has been left out in the cold is the Shed is rather full at the moment, as can be seen from the photos! Apart from the usual stock of locomotives, various lathes, boring machines etc. have been aquired from York and now take up a lot of space. The working areas will be re-arranged to accommodate these. 
Work in cleaning the many parts we have already removed from No 9 will continue throughout the winter and she will be brought back into the Shed when space is allocated to her.
No 9 still out in the cold!
Firebox doors bottom guide rail. As will appear on engine.

Firebox doors guide track.

1 & 2 roads full with engines and machinery.

3 & 4 roads full. 46512 to fill gap in 3 road! New arrival - Class 37 drying out!


21 August 2021

Removing the motion.

In June and July we removed all the parts of the motion including 8 oil pots still in their NCB blue! All parts are in storage ready to be cleaned, repaired or replaced - probably a winter job.


Oil pots from motion, still in NCB blue. Injector still has some NCB blue as well!


Valve rods disconnected and slide bars where oil pots are located.

LH piston about to be removed.

LH piston removed. Very dry and with some rust on rings.

Before removing the LH piston we slackened the 4" nut on the RH piston. This was achieved by welding a tube to the box spanner.

Eccentric rods.

4 eccentric rods to be removed.

Eccentric rods disconnected.

Eccentric straps for removal.

4 eccentric straps and 1 rod on trolly! Hard work!

The 2 valve connecting rods (centre) and the RH & LH con rods with crossheads on either side.

Both con rods in pit!

 RH & LH big ends and slide bars.

All removed.

Piston valve rods gone along with all other motion.