No sooner had the January news update gone live than the driving wheels arrived from South Devon Railway Engineering Ltd. on an impressive lorry fitted with all the latest gizmos. Painting of the wheels has commenced in earnest. Work continues on the axleboxes, the current task is boring out the holes to finished size for the spring hangers.
The cab is currently having a spell in position on the chassis whilst its construction continues but will be taken off again in due course for items such as convex beading around the upper edges of the entrance openings and rain water strips on the roof to be attached. The entrance doors and crew seats are amongst some of the items yet to be made. The floor is a combination of wood and steel and the material for the steel areas is on order.
The boiler barrel sections are now on one of the boiler shop wagons ready for entry into the boiler shop. The firebox sits on one of the frame stretchers via two cast T shaped feet and work has been in progress recently in preparing the bearer pads for these feet on the appropriate stretcher.
The connecting rod forgings which we have had in storage for some time have now moved to Stephenson Engineering in Manchester for machining and we have an enquiry in progress for forging and machining the coupling rods.
For a variety of reasons, work on checking the alignment of cylinders and axles did not progress as quickly as originally hoped, however in recent weeks this work has resumed.
A little more vacuum and steam heat pipework has been prepared for the front half of the chassis.
The expansion link brackets have recently been delivered from The Boro’ Foundry Ltd. along with the superheater header casting from Robinson Engineering Ltd, this and the expansion link brackets await their turn in the queue for machining.
Following on from the pictorial feature about the BR Class 3 tanks in the January issue of BackTrack (see January notes), the current issue contains a "Never Again" appeal leaflet and a letter from the Trust about the 82045 project. The inclusion of the leaflet was a bit of a nail-biter and involved a foggy, drizzly drive over the M62 from Cheshire to the magazine's printers in West Yorkshire. If you've never experienced it, the landscape over Saddleworth Moor resembles that of parts of Iceland or the Arctic Tundra and is seen at its very best on a dark winter afternoon! Fingers crossed that this latest appeal will bring in some new supporters to swell our healthy membership numbers still further.
With so much attention focused on the boiler and firebox, we must not forget that there are other major aspects of the build to be looked after, and to this end we are also raising funds for the motion and valve gear. Our second special train,The Eardington Flyer (Friday 22nd April), is being run to raise the money for the return crank rods, so we are hoping that the success of the 2015 special - it raised approx. £5,000 for the boiler appeal - will be repeated this year. Indications are that it will be a sell-out again, with just a handful of tickets still available from Bryan Clarke if you would like to join us (sae to Bryan at 10A Love Lane Bridgnorth WV16 4HD, but best be quick!). Bryan tells me that the Edmondson tickets and special leaflets have now been sent out to all passengers, so you should have received yours by the time you read this.
Don't forget: Saturday April 9th at 14.00 in the Upstairs Lecture Theatre at Kidderminster Railway Museum. All are welcome, as are positive comments and suggestions.
The driving wheels on the delivery lorry at Bridgnorth.
The first of the driving wheels being unloaded at Bridgnorth.
The driving wheels in primer paint.
The cab in situ on the chassis.
The boiler barrel sections on wagon outside boiler shop door. 42968's boiler is in background on other siding.
The connecting rod forgings prior to shipment to Stephenson Engineering in Manchester for machining.
The recently received superheater header casting from Robinson Engineering Ltd.
Photos: Tony Massau