LOCOMOTIVES IN FOCUS
6695: This year, the bottom half of the ‘56XX’ 0‑6‑2T is expected to be virtually completed at West Somerset Restorations of Williton. The locomotive’s ‘ten‑ yearly’ overhaul has been in progress there since 2015, when it was damaged in the collapse of the low‑loader carrying it to the West Somerset Railway’s steam gala that March. The resulting repairs to the dragboxes, bufferbeams, springs and brake gear are all complete, and tests have given the wheelsets and crank axle a clean bill of health. The radial truck wheels have received new tyres at the South Devon Railway, where the tyres of the driving wheels were also turned, and one driving crankpin replaced. New cylinder liners and piston heads have been fitted, and specialist welding repairs made to cracks in the cast motion bracket. During the refurbishment of the bunker and tanks, the opportunity is being taken to fit a working water gauge to the latter ‑ a detail missed out during its initial restoration from Barry scrapyard condition. As reported in SR463, the owning 6695 Locomotive Group is in discussions regarding the future hire of the engine with both the WSR and the Swanage Railway, the latter having been its base during its previous ten‑year ticket. A return to steam in 2018 or 2019 is expected, depending upon finances being available to overhaul the boiler. 7754: A £15,000 appeal has been launched to return the Llangollen Railway Trust’s ‘57XX’ 0‑6‑0PT to steam in 2018. (See separate story, page 17). 9351: A rewheeling during the spring is in prospect for the West Somerset Railway’s ‘Mogul’, with the machining of its axleboxes completed. Converted from ex‑Barry ‘Large Prairie’ No. 5193, to represent a lightweight 2‑6‑0 design proposed but never built by the GWR, the locomotive last steamed in 2013 on the expiry of its boiler certificate. It is expected to return to service in 2018. 30828 (828): A new smokebox is to be made for the Eastleigh Railway Preservation Society’s ‘S15’ 4‑6‑0 at the Mid‑Hants Railway. 30928 (928): Stowe’s boiler has received its new firebox throatplate, and the replacement backhead is in the process of being fitted. Repairs to the corroded lower section of the driver’s cabside have been completed. 31027: In addition to having a new cylinder block cast this year, the SECR ‘P’ 0‑6‑0T at the Bluebell Railway could also become one of the few steam locomotives in preservation to receive a new set of frame plates, due to corrosion and cracking of the original items. Quotes are being obtained for a new set, and will be compared to the estimated costs of repairing the original frames before a decision is made. 34010 and 34028: South Devon Railway Engineering has fitted new tyres to the leading and trailing driving wheelsets of Southern Locomotives Ltd’s rebuilt ‘West Country’ Sidmouth, and made a new front tubeplate for the boiler of Eddystone. The latter is also having new sections welded into its thermic syphons and foundation ring. 35011: A ‘Crank Axle Appeal’ is being launched to pay for this vital component to return the ex‑Barry ‘Merchant Navy’ to steam. The crank axle has been missing since April 1966, when it was taken from the already‑withdrawn ‘Packet’ to repair No. 35026 Lamport & Holt Line. A plain driving wheelset from a ‘Light Pacific’ was then substituted to allow No. 35011 to be towed to Dai Woodham’s scrapyard by rail ‑ and was itself swapped with a set from ‘West Country’ No. 34046 Braunton in 2007, after the latter’s axle was found to be flawed. A quote is being sought from the South Devon Railway to fit a crank axle to the former Braunton wheelset, with the cost estimated at around £25,000. To purchase shares in the locomotive or make donations, visit www.35011gsn.co.uk No. 35011 is currently at Sellindge in Kent, with a long‑ term home being sought for the project. Parts are being collected for its restoration, the latest being a steam combine ‑ the Southern Railway’s term for the steam manifold. 45212 and 45407: These two ‘Black Fives’ swapped places in Ian Riley’s Heywood workshop in early February. The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway’s No. 45212 has been outshopped for use on the East Lancashire Railway
this spring, while Mr Riley’s own No. 45407 is in for overhaul. 45305: This ‘Black Five’s’ boiler has been lifted at the Great Central Railway for repairs to the ashpan and weeping firebox stays that were inaccessible behind the frames. The 1968 Lostock Hall survivor is to receive a new coat of BR lined black. 53809: Currently visiting the West Somerset Railway, this SDJR ‘7F’ 2‑8‑0 is stopped for repairs to its main internal steam pipe. ‘Small Prairie’ No. 5542 remained on hire to the line during the festive period to help fill the gap in the roster. 60007: Sir Nigel Gresley’s boiler has had sections of its outer firebox wrapper and doorplate removed at Llangollen, with the firebox tubeplate to follow and the replacement tubeplate being produced by LNWR Crewe. The ‘A4’s’ frames are being overhauled at the National Railway Museum in York, with repairs being made to the footplating, horn stays and buffers, while the valve liners have been removed for replacement. No. 60007’s support coach, Mk 1 Brake Composite Corridor No. E21096, is to undergo a contract overhaul at Cranmore Traincare & Maintenance on the East Somerset Railway. It will receive bodywork attention and a larger kitchen area, while the roller‑bearing BR1 bogies will be sent to Rampart Engineering at Barrow Hill. The vehicle is to be officially named the ‘Roger Barker Coach’ in honour of No. 60007’s long‑serving engineer, who died in 2015. It is expected to return to traffic in summer 2018, to ensure it is available when Sir Nigel Gresley is back in steam. Donations to the ‘Roger Barker Coach Fund’ can be made at www.sirnigelgresley.org.uk/ rogerbarker 60532: New inner and outer firebox doorplates have been pressed for Blue Peter at the South Devon Railway. 62712: Mechanical inspection of ‘D49’ 4‑4‑0 Morayshire at Llangollen has revealed the locomotive’s condition to be “much as anticipated, with no unexpected issues,” reports Scottish Railway Preservation Society director Mark Ashmole. The locomotive’s crossheads are being re‑ metalled, and the motion pins and bushes renewed, while the bogie wheels are having their tyres turned. Non‑destructive testing of the boiler has also shown it to be in better condition than expected, although the inspector’s report is still awaited. The firebox foundation ring has been removed for all its rivets to be replaced, while repairs to the ‘shoulders’ of the firebox backhead, new copper rivets in the firebox, and a new smokebox will also be required. 69023: Having returned to Darlington Hopetown works for winter maintenance after its season on the Wensleydale Railway, the North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group’s ‘J72’ was lifted off its wheels on January 17 for inspection, and to find the cause of an axlebox knock. 73082: Camelot’s tender wheelsets have been sent away to the South Devon Railway for new tyres. The ‘Standard 5’ will be back in service for the Bluebell Railway’s main season. 80105: A plan to send all the wheelsets of the Bo’ness‑based ‘4MT’ 2‑6‑4T across the Irish Sea, to have their tyres turned by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland, was changed due to transport issues. The wheels have instead gone to Riley & Son (E) Ltd. Lubrication pipework is being refitted to the frames, while platework is being replaced in the bunker, and the boiler prepared for inspection and non‑destructive testing.
During a previous visit to the West Somerset Railway, ‘56XX’ 0‑6‑2T No. 6695 climbs past the site of Leigh loop on March 22 2009.