Steam Railway (UK) - - News | Roster -

‘ B1’ No. 61306 ‘Mayflower’ is ex­pected to re­turn to the main line in May – car­ry­ing what is de­scribed as “ef­fec­tively a brand new boiler.” It was orig­i­nally booked to make its de­but on a char­ity rail­tour in aid of Macmil­lan Can­cer Sup­port on April 15, tak­ing in Strat­ford, Liver­pool Street, Har­wich Town and in­clud­ing the first preser­va­tion­era steam on the Sizewell branch – but was de­clared out of gauge for the Down platform at Wood­bridge. In­stead, the tour is ex­pected to go ahead be­hind a ‘Black Five’. Iron­i­cally, Net­work Rail Se­nior Me­dia Re­la­tions Man­ager Grete Luxbacher told Steam Rail­way that a new sur­vey of the platform had re­moved the re­stric­tion on Fe­bru­ary 28 – but the over­haul of the ‘B1’ was not ex­pected to be com­plete in time for the charter. Owner David Buck – also the new chair­man of Steam Dreams Rail Co. – said that No. 61306, com­plete with a fresh ‘ten year’ boiler cer­tifi­cate, would take up a place in SDRCo’s ‘Cathe­drals Ex­press’ pro­gramme in May. The Thomp­son 4-6-0’s boiler has un­der­gone hy­draulic and steam tests at Carn­forth, hav­ing been ex­ten­sively re­built by North­ern Steam En­gi­neer­ing (for­merly Adam Dal­gleish En­gi­neer­ing) since the lo­co­mo­tive was with­drawn in De­cem­ber 2015. The boiler has re­ceived a new front tube­plate, front bar­rel sec­tion and fire­box throat­plate, par­tial re­place­ment of the cen­tre bar­rel sec­tion, fire­box back­plate and side sheets, re­pairs to the cop­per in­ner fire­box and foun­da­tion ring, new crown stays and safety valves, new flue tubes and su­per­heater el­e­ments, and re­fur­bish­ment of the su­per­heater header. At Carn­forth, the en­gine has been fit­ted with new cylin­der and valve lin­ers and the axle­boxes have been re-met­alled, while the ten­der has re­ceived a spare set of wheelsets with thicker tyres. When asked to re­veal how much the over­haul had cost, Mr Buck replied: “No.”


Thomp­son ‘B1’ No. 61306 ap­proaches Swin­don at High­worth Junc­tion with a St David’s Day ‘Cathe­drals Ex­press’ from Padding­ton to Cardiff on March 1 2015.

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