The project has taken a major step forward with work being focused around General Steam Navigations trailing truck. With 35011 having the only surviving fabricated trailing truck the society has secured the matching fabricated dust covers for the spring beams. With the drawings for the cast versions not being available the society decided to go with the fabricated design which would improve the uniqueness of the locomotive rather than going down the extremely costly route of borrowing an existing cover, getting that made into a pattern, cast and then machined. The drawings for the fabricated dust covers were converted into a CAD file which enabled the pieces to be laser cut and then welded together. The two dust covers were completed in time to be taken down to the working party over the May bank holiday and were successfully test fitted to the locomotive.
The Society has also ordered of a pair of spring beams for the trailing truck. The spring beams are traditionally created by forging the steel into the correct shape and then machining the piece to the required specification however with the introduction of water jet cutting GSNs spring beams will be cut out of a block of steel using and then machined to completion. What this allows us to do is created spring beams that will have the same strength as the forged versions but for around half the price. One of our volunteers, James Pearce, converted the drawings into a CAD file which was sent directly to the water jet company. Water cut beams is a common practice used on recent locomotive restorations although GSN will be the first Bulleid locomotive to feature one and should be delivered during the summer.
Once the spring beams are completed we will have all the components required to successfully overhaul the trailing truck once it’s been released during the strip down stage. The only major remaining component will be the hangers for the springs which one of our volunteers has offered to machine and features in the machine shop section. We plan to get all the components together and test fitted on the trailing truck at Sellindge by the end of the year.
Issue 7 of the Packet was posted to our members in earlyJune which featured all the latest news from our AGM and updates on the engineering, crank and machine shop fronts. If you’d like to join the society this could be the perfect chance with GSN making excellent progress each and every month. More info on our membership can be found on our website.
The beginning of May saw our first working party of the year on the locomotive at Sellindge. The aim of the working party was to get another coat of protective paint on the boiler, trail fit a couple of the new components and carry out some more conservation work to ensure the locomotive is kept in good condition. On the Monday one of the newly complete nameplates was on display with the locomotive and quite a few of our members turned up to get some photos of the two together. A lot was achieved and members will be able to find out more in the Packet which is due to land on their doorsteps in the next couple of weeks.
Issue 7 of the Packet went to the printers on the 30th and it is another bumper issue. The magazine has 5 pages of engineering news, our HRA application, Cranking up the pressure, our AGM and much more.
This month also saw us switch web host which has enabled the society to set up an online emailing system for GSN. The new system will allow us to contact our members about all the exciting developments with the project as they happen rather than waiting every 4 months for the next issue of the Packet. Members can find out how to join the new emailing list in the Packet.
Lots of exciting progress is being made with the project and today is the perfect time for people who are considering about signning up to do so. The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society Membership costs £10 for the year with members being kept up to date with the latest goings on with the locomotive, receive our members magazine ‘The Packet’ 3 times a year with progress reports on GSN and articles about Merchant Navy’s and the light pacific’s, access to the locomotive when possible and the ability to get involved with the society. You can sign up by visiting our membership page here.
The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society are delighted to report that they have been accepted as members of the Heritage Railway Association. The Heritage Railway Association or HRA is a voluntary run trade association representing Heritage & Tourist railways, related Museums, Tramways, Cliff Lifts, Railway Preservation Groups and related organisations.
Our volunteers will be working on the locomotive at the Sellindge over the bank holiday weekend 4th – 7th May. After our first working party was cancelled due to snow this will be our first working weekend of the year at Sellindge. All our members are invited to attend even if its not to get there hands dirty and come for a chat and take some photos. On the Monday one of our nameplates and its display stand will be on site so will be a unique opportunity to get a photo of the two together.
Work continues on GSN with efforts focused on the fabricated of the dust cover for the trailing truck and the machining of the Klinger valves. The Bulleid Society on the Bluebell have kindly loaned some valves to replicate, which has enabled work to be re-started on the Klinger valves. The new fabricated dust covers will be test fitted to the locomotive at Sellindge on the 7th during our working weekend. Issue 7 of the Packet is due for release at the end of May and will feature an in depth report on our engineering efforts over the last couple of months.