The dou­ble chim­ney ‘Ju­bilee’

Steam Rail­way catches up with the over­haul of unique dou­ble-chim­ney ‘Ju­bilee’ no. 45596, which is to re­turn to the main line next year - five decades af­ter it was saved for preser­va­tion.

Steam Railway (UK) - - Contents -

Nose-to-tail on the same road in­side Ty­se­ley Lo­co­mo­tive Works are two named, dou­blechim­ney, ex­press pas­sen­ger 4-6-0s un­der­go­ing over­haul. Both be­came celebri­ties to­wards the end of their work­ing lives; both their dou­ble blast­pipes rep­re­sent a last throw of the dice for steam on their re­spec­tive re­gions; and both are preser­va­tion pi­o­neers, be­ing among the few lo­co­mo­tives cho­sen by BR to haul the series of trial ‘Re­turn to Steam’ spe­cials in 1972. Next year, both will be back on the main line, to re­mem­ber sig­nif­i­cant an­niver­saries in their post-BR his­tory. One is Ty­se­ley’s own ‘Cas­tle’ No. 7029 Clun Cas­tle, which in 1967 had al­ready been a pre­served lo­co­mo­tive for over a year, but was en­joy­ing a fi­nal fling of rail­tours be­fore the in­fa­mous steam ban took ef­fect. The other is the Ba­hamas Lo­co­mo­tive So­ci­ety’s epony­mous Stanier ‘Ju­bilee’ No. 45596, whose re­turn to steam in 2017 will mark 50 years since it was saved for preser­va­tion.

Heav­i­est gen­er­als

For both en­gines, it’s the most ex­ten­sive - and ex­pen­sive - over­haul they’ve ever re­ceived, with that of Clun Cas­tle ex­pected to be near the £1 mil­lion mark by the time it is com­plete, and Ba­hamas not far be­hind at al­most £¾m. Yet de­spite all the par­al­lels be­tween them, there are some con­trasts as well, ac­cord­ing to Ty­se­ley CME Bob Mean­ley: “By the time the ‘Ju­bilees’ were with­drawn, the Lon­don Mid­land Re­gion had had its money’s worth out of them just like the ‘Scots’ that they flogged on the West Coast Main Line and then sent to An­nes­ley. “Kol­ha­pur was cho­sen be­cause it had the best fire­box and tyres, while Al­berta’s tyres were quite weary - but they’d all been worked pretty hard, and the LMR wasn’t do­ing the sort of repairs that Swin­don did to­wards the end of steam, like new fire­boxes. “Clun Cas­tle’s last BR over­haul was in July 1962, yet we found that the clear­ances on four of the axle­box horn guides were still within tol­er­ance.” The much-loved Al­berta was con­demned to be cut up be­cause fit­ting new tyres to a lo­co­mo­tive was con­sid­ered an im­pos­si­ble task in those early preser­va­tion years but to­day, it’s a rou­tine part of many over­hauls, al­beit not a cheap one. Cour­tesy of the South Devon Rail­way, Ba­hamas has re­ceived a full new set on the driv­ing and bo­gie wheels, which were then re­pro­filed at Ty­se­ley. The ex­ist­ing ten­der tyres were also re­pro­filed there, al­though one ten­der axle was sub­se­quently sent to Ian Riley for

You can guar­an­tee that the throat­plate has never been dis­turbed BOB MEAN­LEY, TY­SE­LEY CME

at­ten­tion as one of the Gib­son rings (which se­cures the tyre) was found to be cor­roded. A new tyre has been fit­ted as a re­sult. The ten­der it­self re­mains at the BLS’ In­grow West base on the Keigh­ley & Worth Val­ley Rail­way, where a new tank has been de­liv­ered and the group’s vol­un­teers are over­haul­ing the chas­sis. The lat­est progress has been the re­fit­ting of the over­hauled brake valve, and once the ten­der has been re­assem­bled it will go to Ty­se­ley to be reunited with the lo­co­mo­tive.

Re­build or re­boiler?

With the lo­co­mo­tive’s frames back on the wheels, the new set of pis­tons in place, and the valves ready to set, the key fo­cus now is the boiler - which has also re­ceived the heav­i­est over­haul since the early 1960s. As well as a new front bar­rel ring and front tube­plate, patch repairs to the bot­tom of the sec­ond bar­rel ring and around the whis­tle mount­ing, and a com­plete new set of fire­box crown stays, Ty­se­ley has formed re­place­ment plate­work for the outer fire­box back and throat­plates - the lat­ter al­most a pi­o­neer­ing re­pair for a ‘Ju­bilee’ boiler. “You can guar­an­tee that the throat­plate has never been dis­turbed,” says Bob. “The only ‘5XP’ ever to have its fire­box sep­a­rated from the boiler bar­rel was No. 5694 Bellerophon, be­fore the war, when it threw a con­nect­ing rod through the bar­rel.” So this is work of a mag­ni­tude that was al­most never con­sid­ered in steam days, let alone by early preser­va­tion­ists - and even now that the move­ment has the ca­pa­bil­ity to do it, Bob reck­ons that it might not be long be­fore it be­comes more eco­nom­i­cal to sim­ply re­place tired boil­ers, just as BR would have done: “Ba­hamas was at

the tip­ping point where it would al­most have been cheaper to build new - once you fac­tor in all the costs and time in­volved in tak­ing it apart.”

A date with Ais Gill

His point is un­der­lined by the fact that the ‘Ju­bilee’s’ last over­haul, us­ing vol­un­teer labour, was done for a re­mark­ably cheap £15,000 - mere peanuts when set against the to­tal pro­ject cost of £906,000 this time round. It’s been cov­ered by a grant of £706,000 from the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund plus £130,000 from BLS re­serves, which in­cludes a sig­nif­i­cant sum from the ‘Steam’s Last Blast’ ap­peal, launched in Steam Rail­way in Jan­uary 2011 (SR384). Most of the money is for the lo­co­mo­tive, with the re­main­der for the Learn­ing Coach, a new ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­ity on the KWVR (see pages 52-57). Says BLS press spokesman John Hil­lier: “We’re in the very for­tu­nate po­si­tion of be­ing one of the few groups that has the money in place for the over­haul.” But that’s not to say that dona­tions to ‘Steam’s Last Blast’ (see panel) aren’t still wel­come, he adds: “The sad thing is that when you get a Lot­tery grant, peo­ple stop giv­ing - but we’ve bought a new sup­port coach [BR Mk 2 Brake First Cor­ri­dor No. 14060] and the grant doesn’t cover this, or its over­haul to main line con­di­tion”. The re­ward will be the re­turn of this much-missed stal­wart to the main line, with the over­haul on tar­get for com­ple­tion by the mid­dle of next year: “The plan is to run it in from Ty­se­ley for a spell, and then it will grad­u­ally work its way back north to the KWVR - and then the Set­tle & Carlisle beck­ons!” Satur­day Oc­to­ber 14 2017 will be 45 years to the day since Ba­hamas (then in LMS red liv­ery) hauled its very first trains af­ter preser­va­tion - and with 2017 also mark­ing 50 years since the swan­song of the ‘Ju­bilees’ in BR ser­vice, over the North­ern Fells, there couldn’t be a bet­ter tribute.


No. 45596 was last seen in one piece dur­ing the Ba­hamas Lo­co­mo­tive So­ci­ety’s AGM at In­grow on May 18 2013.


No. 45596’s boiler be­ing stripped for repairs at Ty­se­ley on Jan­uary 29 2015, with the front bar­rel ring and outer fire­box door­plate re­moved for re­place­ment. Ba­hamas be­hind Clun Cas­tle in­side the work­shop at Ty­se­ley.


The new door­plate be­ing ham­mered into shape at Ty­se­ley on June 18 2015.

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