THE DRAWINGS

David Elliott operating the drawing scanner at NRM, York, 1993
David Elliott operating the drawing scanner at NRM, York, 1993

On 13th April 1993 the painstaking job of cataloguing, scanning, cleaning up and re-drawing began. The engineering team, led by David Elliott and including Gerard Hill, Bob Alderman and many others, spent several weeks at the National Railway Museum at York and in the end around 95% of the original drawings were discovered.

These were mostly Indian ink tracings on linen and about 1,100 drawings were scanned in 1993 and a further 140 in 2001. These were then electronically de-skewed and cleaned with a few being completely redrawn due to poor quality originals.

The scans of the drawings captured in electronic form, NRM York, 1993
The scans of the drawings captured in electronic form, NRM York, 1993

Many were subsequently modified or redrawn to add material specifications and tolerances. The Trust had also to make sense of such gems on the original drawings as “this bolt to be a good fit” and “this item to be made with special care” and ascertain exactly what “best Yorkshire iron” actually is. Well, we know that Best Yorkshire Iron was described in London & North Eastern Railway Specification No. 41 of August 1939, but no copy of such a specification has been found. It is a sure bet that such a material is no longer available, and the Trust would probably not want to use it if it was!

Meanwhile, Bob Meanley, a specialist in boiler design and project engineer working professionally on the design and construction of power stations,  joined the engineering team. Best known for his work in the Birmingham Railway Museum where he was responsible for the design of the Bloomer replica, Bob also designed the all-welded boiler for the Ffestiniog Railway’s new `double Fairlie’  David Lloyd George.  Bob agreed to be in charge of redesigning the boiler of No. 60163 to an all-welded design with a steel firebox, in order to comply with modern safety and manufacturing standards as well as to reduce costs, weight and maintenance.

Other valued recent recruits to the engineering team included Bob Alderman, an engineering programme manager with Westland Helicopters; Steve Bell, a safety consultant with the nuclear industry; Eric Layfield, who had recently retired as power equipment engineer with Railfreight Distribution having started his career as a premium apprentice at Doncaster works; and Ray Pettit who was a consultant in engineering information management systems