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Help us build the Front Bogie

Highslide JS

The front bogie of a steam locomotive is a 4 wheel, unbraked truck. It's job is to carry the weight of the front of the locomotive and control the entry into and out of curves. The building of the bogie is the next stage of building Hengist after initial frame assembly is complete. In order to build the bogie, we will need to procure the following components.

The photo above shows the front bogie from 71000 Duke of Gloucester in a partially stripped condition. The central slide can be seen - the pipes are grease feeds from the grease nipples on the left side of the bogie stretcher. The axlebox guides and their manganese steel liners can be seen. The side check gear spring is just visible.

The manufacture of the bogie will be broken into 3 phases :

  • Phase 1 - Manufacture of the bogie frame and side check gear.
  • Phase 2 - Manufacture of the axles, axle cannon boxes and fitting of tyres to wheels. Assembly of the wheels and axles.
  • Phase 3 - Manufacture of the springs and spring cradle. Installation of lubrication system.

Current Status - Updated 28 April 2020

All of the components for phase 1 have either been manufactured or manufacture is well underway. Our main appeal is for phase 2 which is for the construction of the bogie cannon boxes, axles and tyres. This will allow the assembly of a complete wheelset. This will require the use of specialist suppliers.

For phase 1 of the bogie construction we are aiming to complete the bogie frame and its associated components. We have a number of components in stock and a number of components are being manufactured.

Click on the images below for a larger pictures.

Bogie Stretcher Casting
The bogie stretcher casting is the central 'skeleton' within the bogie upon which everything else is built. The 2 round areas are where the bogie bolsters engage; these carry the weight of the front of the loco. The central area is where the centre slide is located.
The part has been cast in a foundry and then will be taken to a machining shop for machining - these are the grey areas on the drawing

Casting - £8,500 - casting sponsored
Machining - £5,000 - machining sponsored

Status - Casting Complete. Machining in progress
Highslide JS
17 February 2020 - The stretcher has been received from the foundry and is shown here going through dimensional checking at CTL Seal. The stretcher is upside down and is being checked with the use of a Faro Arm. This creates a 3D model of the stretcher which can be checked against the drawing. Highslide JS
28 April 2020 - The casting is now undergoing machining at CTL Seal. Highslide JS
Bogie Centre Slide
A pivot pin fastened to the underside of the locomotive frames engages with the central hole of the centre slide. The centre slide has the ability to move left and right on the stretcher casting but is restrained by centering springs. This ensures that when a locomotive enters a curve, the forces on the bogie wheel flanges are kept within limits. It also ensures that the loco is recentred after leaving a curve.
The slide is a casting which will require machining after casting.

Casting - £4,000 - casting sponsored
Machining - £2,200 - machining sponsored

Status - Casting Complete. Order placed for machining
Highslide JS
The centre slide has been cast by South Lincs foundry. An order has been placed for machining at CTL Seal. Highslide JS
A bush is required in the centre slide which the centre pivot engages in - Manufacture - £80
2 wearing plates are required for the central slide to operate on - £100 each
4 bolts are required for the plates - £25 each
The 2 V Strips that hold down the centre slide are on the left. These restrain the centre slide vertically but allow it to move sideways. On the right is the pivot pin bush that will need to be pressed into the centre slide. It is secured by 2 substantial set screws. Highslide JS
2 wear plates are bolted to the bogie stretcher and the centre slide sits on these wear plates. The V strips are bolted to the top of the plates Highslide JS
Spring Pads
These are the spring pads that sit between the bogie stretcher and the central buckle on the leaf springs. The "pip" on the left hand pad is welded into the arm on the bogie frame stretcher.

2 off spring pads - £264 - £132 each Sponsored by member

Status - In stock, ready for assembly
Highslide JS
Bogie Side Check gear
On the front and back of the bogie, there is the side check gear. This controls the movement of the bogie centre slide. For a full explanation of what is involved here, take a look at the bogie pages in the build section. Highslide JS
To complete the side check gear, we need :

2 off Spindles @ £57 each - Sponsored by Member - In Stock
2 off Distance Pieces @ £82 each - the orange item. The inner ends of the spring rest here
4 off Spring Guides @ £450 each - the fawn item. The outer ends of the springs rest here
4 off Stops @ £52 each - the fawn item. These locate spring guide in the yellow beam arms

At the moment the design is not finalised in this area so we are not currently seeking sponsors for these items. The issue is that the springs are rectangular section. We are having difficulties in finding a supplier who can still manufacture this size of rectangular section spring.
Beams - Centre Slide to Side Check Gear
The Centre Slide must be restrained in movement by the Side Check Gear and the springs. 2 substantial beams connect the 2 components. The beams (yellow in the drawing) are fitted in slots in the centre slide. As the centre slide tries to move, it moves the beam which compresses 2 of the springs (one fore, one aft)

2 off Beams @ £275 each

Status - Machining in Progress
Highslide JS
28 April 2020 - One of the side beams on the machining station at CTL Seal. the outstanding job is to machine the radiused surface on the top of the beam. Highslide JS
4 brackets are required to locate the side control spring spindles. The brackets are shown in purple above. These brackets have been manufactured by CTL Seal. Highslide JS
Bogie Pivot
The pivot is bolted to the underside of the main frames into the Frame Stretcher for Bogie Pivot. This pivot then engages with the centre slide on the bogie.

Casting & Machining@ £1300 - Sponsored by Member - In Stock
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Pivot Collar and Locking Ring
Once the pivot on the locomotive frames has been engaged with the centre slide of the bogie, a 2 halves of a pivot collar are fitted and then a locking ring secures the pivot collar. These are fitted underneath the centre slide to prevent the bogie from disengaging with the pivot. There are 2 components

Pivot Collar - £300 - Sponsored by Member - In Stock
Locking Ring - £75 - Sponsored by Member - In Stock
Highslide JS
Here are the components part way through manufacture. Top is the locking ring. Middle are the 2 halves of the pivot collar that engage in a slot on the bogie pivot. Bottom is the securing bolt Highslide JS
30 September 2019 - This is the complete assembly fitted to the bogie pivot pin. The 2 halves of the pivot collar fit in a groove in the pivot pin. The locking ring fits over the pivot collar to hold the 2 halves in place. The assembly is secured by a nut and bolt. Highslide JS
Bogie Frames
2 bogie frames are bolted to each side of the central stretcher. These will require final machining and drilling for the various bolt holes and fixing holes

2 off bogie frames - In Stock
Frame machining and drilling, costs £1850 each

Status - Ready for Assembly
Highslide JS
17 February 2020. The frame plates have almost completed machining. Some light chamfering of holes is required to complete the job. Highslide JS
23 February 2020. Frame plates complete and read for assembly. The top frame has the front to the right, the bottom plate has the front to the left. The difference between the 2 ends is due to the fitting of the lifeguards and the Automatic Warning System Receiver stay. Highslide JS
Bogie Frame Stays
The front and rear of the frames are braced in position by 2 frame stays, 1 forward, 1 aft. The photo shows the stays prior to machining

2 off bogie frame stays - In Stock

Status - In stock, ready for assembly.
Highslide JS
Here are the stays ready for installation. Highslide JS
Axlebox Guides

8 axlebox guides are bolted to the bogie frames. These will allow the axleboxes to move vertically within the guides. Manganese Steel liners are bolted to the face of the guides and is the rubbing face for the axleboxes. Manganese steel is very hard wearing.

8 off axlebox guides casting - £3,200 (one pattern, 8 castings @ £400 each)
8 off axlebox guides machining - £9,600 - £1,200 each
8 off manganese steel liners @ £100 each
88 off nuts and bolt - £880 - £10 each - In Stock

Status - Casting Complete. Order placed for machining

Highslide JS

The axle guides have been cast by South Lincs Foundry and are now at CTL Seal. From a casting point of view, the 8 guides are identical. Machining will produce 4 of one type, 2 of the second type and 2 of the third type. The main difference is the recessed bolt holes to make sure that the fastener head does not foul the bogie spring cradle.

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Bogie Bolster Cups

2 bogie bolsters fitted on either side of the main frames at the front of the loco transfer the weight to the bogie via these bogie bolster cups. These are free to "float" on the top of brass pads fixed to the bogie stretcher casting

2 off Bogie Bolster cups £400 @ £200 each Sponsored

Status - Complete. In stock.

Highslide JS
Here are the completed bogie bolster cups. The right hand one is upside down and and, originally, a Ferobestos pad was fitted in the recess. This will be replaced by a Tufcot pad (in stock) that has similar characteristics to Ferobestos but without the asbestos. The Ferobestos/Tufcot pad provides a degree of damping. Highslide JS

In 1959 to 1960, most of the Clans were fitted with BR Automatic Warning System. You can tell if it has been fitted by the presence of a protection plate behind the screw coupling on the front drawhook. Part of the installation was a new fabricated receiver stay as seen here between the lifeguards on 71000's front bogie (photo courtesy Michael Hughes from the BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust). We will not be procuring the central joggled plate yet. Almost certainly, we will need to mount other signalling detection systems here such a TPWS so we will leave that decision until later.

Front Bogie Frame Stay and Receiver Carrier - £660

Status - In stock, ready for assembly

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The AWS Stay ready for installation Highslide JS
To complete the AWS story, this is the AWS receiver protection plate. It is fixed to the bottom of the front buffer beam and it's job is to protect the AWS receiver from the drawgear shackle. On old photos, if you see this plate, it's a quick way of telling if a loco was fitted with AWS. Highslide JS

Phase 2 tackles the wheels and axles. The axle and cannon boxes need to be manufactured. Tyres will be fitted to the wheels. Finally, the axles will be fitted to the cannon boxes and then the wheels will be pressed onto the axles. This work will be expensive and will need be contracted to an approved rail accredited supplier.

2 axles are required. The axle is a safety critical component and must be supplied by accredited suppliers. The axle has its smallest diameter in the centre and is not parallel throughout.

2 off axles @ £9,000 each
Highslide JS
The bogie has 4 wheels and these are now in stock. Each wheel will require a tyre, another safety critical component.

4 off wheels - Sponsored by Member - In Stock
4 off Tyres - £8,000 - £2,000 each - All 4 Sponsored

The wheels will require machining and the tyres will need fitting to the wheels

Machining Wheels - £1,600 - £400 each
Final Assembly - £3,400 - £1,700 each
Highslide JS
After casting and the processes that go after it, the wheels have been heat treated. This consists of Heating and Soaking at a suitable temperature followed by cooling under conditions such that, after return to ambient temperature, the metal will be in a structural state closer to that of equilibrium.
The heat treatment was provided by Thermofax in Dudley, West Midlands who provided the treatment as a donation to the project. We are very grateful for their assistance.
Highslide JS
Axle Cannon Boxes
The cannon box is a single piece casting which comprises of 2 axle boxes at each end of the cannon box and a tube fixed to the axleboxes which rigidly holds the axleboxes in position. On earlier designs, the cannon box was split horizontally to allow it to be assembled, on our loco it is a single piece casting. The cannon box bearing was introduced by George Stephenson on the Locomotion. Because the driving axle was now enclosed, this provided the necessity for coupling rods to be developed. A set of taper roller bearings is fitted to each axlebox and the cannon box fixes the alignment of these bearings to each other. These will be expensive to produce as they are a critical component. The drawing shows half of a cannon box.


£5,000 for pattern making - 1 required
£4,000 for casting - 2 off @ £2,000 each - 1 sponsored
£10,000 for machining - 2 off @ £5,000 each
Highslide JS
This image is taken from the CAD model of the cannon box which our design team are working on. The part in the image is a steel casting. The ends of the cannon box where the axle ends emerge was sealed by a leather seal in the original design. We aim to update this design with modern seals and will be submitting our design to Timken for approval. Highslide JS
This is an exploded view of the cannon box. Click the image to see a larger image. This shows the items we need to procure. Note that the roller bearings have to be installed by a Timken specialist Highslide JS

Cannon Box Parts required

Item Cost - Each No required Total Cost Sponsored
End Cover £600 4 £2,400  
Enclosure Sleeve £300 4 £1,200 1 sponsored
Abutment Ring £425 4 £1,700  
Adjustment Washer £340 4 £1,360  
Cover Bolts £11 32 £352 2 Sponsored
Lip Seal (2 in each end) £20 8 £160  
Face Liner (manganese steel) £550 8 £4,400  
Side Liner (manganese steel) £TBD 8 £TBD  
Timken Taper Roller Bearing £600 4 £2,400 1 Sponsored
Fitting of Bearing £300 4 £1,200  
Condensing Vent £50 2 £100 2 Sponsored
Frame Keeps £500 4 £2000 4 Sponsored

Phase 3 is the final phase and will involve the manufacture of the spring cradle and procurement of the leaf springs. The final task will be the installation of the bogie lubrication system. Oil for the centre slide and grease for the axle box guide liners.

Spring Cradle Plate
Under each of the "arms" of the bogie stretcher sits a laminated spring of 21 leaves. This is upside down and the ends rest in a spring cradle. The ends of the spring cradle have pins which sit in a cup on top of the axleboxes. The cradle acts a compensation or equalising beam and helps to ensure that a wheel does not become unloaded. We need to purchase 4 arms to make up 2 pairs.

Cost - £2,000 per plate - 4 required
Highslide JS
We are grateful to Michael Hughes from the BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust for the reproduction of this photo which shows the bogie from 71000 Duke of Gloucester with the spring cradle fitted. The design is very similar to the Class 6.
In BR Days this component would have been forged using die blocks. We will probably manufacture this by machining from a solid block of metal. Heat treatment will be required between rough machining and final machining.
Highslide JS
To complete the cradle, we need :

4 off Spring Brackets @ £220 each - these are the 2 inner brackets you can see on the drawing. The ends of the spring rest here
4 off Distance Pieces @ £200 each - these are the 2 outer brackets supporting the dome headed pin
4 off Pivot Pins @ £91 each - this is the dome headed pin facing downwards that will rest in a cup on the top of the axle box
4 off Set Screws to secure pivot @ £10 each
Here are the 4 Pivot Pins Highslide JS
The bogie has 2 leaf springs, 1 per side. The top of the spring (as in the drawing) engages with a bearing spring pad which is fixed to the bogie stretcher casting

2 off springs - £3,200 @ £1,600 each
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Spring Links
4 spring links connect the ends of the leaf springs to the bogie cradle. The 4 on the left are for the bogie. At the same time we had the links for the driving wheels manufactured - these are on the right.

Status - In Stock
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Spring End Shoes allow the spring links to engage with the springs and the bogie cradle.

8 off Spring End Shoe - £1,900