Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
J515 Updates from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre
Rare Arnott's biscuit van restored
Southern Locomotives Ltd has sent RailAdvent an update on their locomotives, both those in service and those undergoing restoration/overhaul.
No locomotives are currently in service due to the lockdown, but some were used at Christmas time.
The Swanage Railway used 257 Squadron for the Christmas services, but sadly, the Spa Valley Railway closed just before Sir Keith Park was due to enter service, losing Southern Locomotives Ltd vital income.
Credit: Nick Lloyd
Southern Locomotives Ltd has said that they haven’t furloughed any staff due to contracts and maintenance on the Swanage Railway. They say that Eddystone’s return to steam wouldn’t have gone ahead, losing more money.
Staff are also doing work on 257 Squadron which is essential to have in service for the new season.
The company also says that they need to raise £40,000 by April to make sure they can pay all bills, by which time, they will have a loco in service (fingers crossed!).
Staff and essential volunteers are working in a safe environment, which SLL says is ‘probably a lot safer than in the local supermarket’.
After a successful hydraulic test, all steam pipes can be fitted to the smokebox as well as reinstating the smokebox door and smoke deflectors.
Donations towards the restoration of Eddystone can be made via the Southern Locomotives Ltd website.
With parts completed for 34028, Ron Neal and Peter Pickering are helping to rebuild the bogie for Sidmouth, this will involve white metalling and machining of the axleboxes before swapping them with 257 Squadron’s bogie. This will then have some loose rivets repaired and overhauled before being made ready for use with Sidmouth.
The trailing trucks for 34010 will also be overhauled as the locomotive cannot be brought to Herston Works until the frames have a bogie and trailing truck.
Credit: Pete Pickering
When the weather improves, preparation work can take place on the frames for Sidmouth. They have been grit blasted and primed at Sellindge, but this was a number of years ago. The plan is to water blast them before priming again before they enter the works.
If you want to donate to 34010 Sidmouth, please visit the Southern Locomotives Ltd website.
A new brake ejector is nearly complete for Manston and work has started on the cab fittings. Tyseley have promised to crack on with the overhaul of Manston, but are suffering some staff shortages (at the time of writing the update).
Recently, the welder has been off for COVID reasons and meant the tubes could not be fitted. Some work has been completed on the boiler which was completed in its previous overhaul by contractors.
The good news from Southern Locomotives Ltd is that the centre cylinder is in a much better state than expected so will not need reboring, however, a new piston and new piston rings may be needed on all three cylinders.
New cab fittings are being manufactured for Norman. The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway has supplied some fittings when the locomotive transferred for the restoration for completion.
SLL says that the cylinder block should be reinstated and once this is done, re-wheeling can begin. A new smokebox is underway and the tubes have been ordered.
The locomotive can only have a static steam test elsewhere, so will need transferring to a railway for running in and painting, but there is a long way to go before it can enter service at the Spa Valley Railway in 2022.
34072 257 Squadron
257 Squadron was used on the Train of Lights in December, with the locomotive ‘top and tailing’ with U Class 31806. The loco only missed one service due to a small fault but was quickly fixed.
Donations for 257 Squadron can be made via the Southern Locomotives Ltd website.
With 80104 about to be withdrawn from service, Southern Locomotives Ltd have been giving a thought about how to prioritise resources. Shareholders have specifically bought shares in support of Sidmouth, so the priority is Sidmouth, and the company is thinking of ways to fund the next overhaul of 80104.
Credit: Chris Hardy
35025 Brocklebank Line
Similarly to Sidmouth, the response from shareholders regarding 35025 has been positive, with several shares purchased in support of its restoration.
Work is taking place at Sellindge, with little cost at present.
Volunteer Peter Spowage told the trust he had a trailer, so it has been used to take lumps of Merchant Navy to Canterbury, a bath of cylinder and valve covers are awaiting collection, but the lockdown has currently prevented this from taking place. The previous batch look as good as new, with the company finding it difficult to see what was new or repaired in the work.
Lots of plans and it is great to see more progress with a number of locomotives, and we cant wait to see what the future brings.
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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