swanage Bulleid’s Boiler Back in frames
‘Battle of Britain’ class No. 34072 257 Squadron has finally been reunited with its boiler, as the protracted overhaul of the Bulleid ‘Light Pacific’ enters its final stages. The Swanage Railway stalwart received its freshly overhauled boiler on Thursday October 20 at the line’s Herston Works where, after the fitting of the ashpan, the whole assembly was lifted onto the 4‑6‑2’s frames before being joined to the new smokebox. The boiler had passed its hydraulic test at Adam Dalgleish Engineering in Stockton‑on‑Tees on October 7, and passed its steam test on October 14. 257 Squadron has spent the same time out of action as it did in steam during its last ticket. It was restored to running condition in 1990 and withdrawn in January 2003. It has spent the last 13 years on the sidelines at Swanage, its long‑awaited overhaul beginning in 2012 after SLL completed No. 34053 Sir Keith Park. It had been hoped to have No. 34072 back in steam this year, but due to unforeseen delays in the overhaul of the boiler at ADE, the locomotive is now expected to return to traffic by Easter next year.
Standing outside the Swanage Railway’s Herston Works, ‘Battle of Britain’ No. 34072 257 Squadron has its boiler and smokebox back in place on October 20.