‘hall’ gets closer to saint­hood with new inside steaM PiPes

Steam Railway (UK) - - News -

An im­por­tant tech­ni­cal mile­stone has been reached on ‘Saint’ No. 2999 Lady of Leg­end at Did­cot, with the pro­duc­tion of the inside steam pipes. These fit­tings are one of the mod­i­fi­ca­tions needed to ‘back­con­vert’ donor ‘Hall’ No. 4942 Maindy Hall into its pre­de­ces­sor de­sign, the inside steam pipes of the Church­ward ‘Saints’ hav­ing been re­placed by out­side pipes on the Col­lett ‘Halls’ and other later GWR en­gines. Newly man­u­fac­tured pipes have been trial-fit­ted in the boiler from Church­ward ‘28XX’ 2-8-0 No. 2861, which is cur­rently in No. 2999’s frames as a tem­plate for such work. An­other more vis­i­ble job to en­sure au­then­tic­ity has been the re­place­ment of the snap-head riv­ets on the ‘Hall’s’ smoke­box with the coun­ter­sunk type used on the Church­ward lo­co­mo­tives. Boiler cladding sheets are on site and the boiler lag­ging ma­te­rial is on or­der, while the lo­co­mo­tive it­self is to be lifted and the bo­gie run out, al­low­ing ac­cess for the fit­ting of the ex­haust steam in­jec­tor pipes and newly man­u­fac­tured cylin­der cock op­er­at­ing mech­a­nism. Regarding re­cent reports that the ‘Saint’ is ‘un­likely to run on the main line’, Project En­gi­neer Peter Chat­man said: “Through­out the re­build, con­struc­tion of No. 2999 has been to main line stan­dard, but no de­ci­sion on main line run­ning has been made, nor is it likely to be for the time be­ing, un­til two con­di­tions can be sat­is­fied. “Firstly, that we are confident that the lo­co­mo­tive is in a fit con­di­tion - ob­vi­ously we would need to get a good amount of run­ning-in over an ad­e­quate pe­riod - and se­condly that we have the fi­nance, labour and ex­per­tise to sup­port it. “Be­ing a vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion, there are lim­i­ta­tions to what can be achieved and we are pretty busy with No. 6023, both this and No. 4079 be­ing in the frame for main line run­ning.”

a view inside the smoke­box of ‘28XX’ no. 2861’s boiler on March 6, show­ing the inside steam pipes to con­vert Maindy Hall to ‘saint’ spec­i­fi­ca­tion. ALASDAIR MATTHEWS

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