June 2021 Update
Progress continues with removing the castings on the frames that were used to support the Walschaerts valve gear. A number of bolts from the larger frame castings were cleaned up and removed, unfortunately all the remaining bolts have been tack welded by BR and will required to be ground or burnt off.
The brake cylinders between the frames were freed and removed, and the front brake cross arm and brake support were dropped onto the floor under the loco. This has to be removed as it gets in the way of removing the two large front brackets which also need to come off. The two front brake arms and blocks on the frames were also freed up, but three nuts on one side require the split pins removing before we can get them off.
Also removed was the front left hand side bogie splasher, which has been marked up and stored. The plan with the frames is to get all the larger castings ready for removal, then at a working weekend later in the year draw the chassis forward and use a small crane to lift them off safely.
Work continues with converting the BPLA drawings of the frames & valve gear into CAD to allow us to have replacement parts manufactured. This is a lengthy process, but one that is vital for our goal of re-engineering the existing frames to a condition where they can accommodate the original chain-driven valve gear and replacing the middle cylinder. In time we will also have the drawings of the smokebox and air-smoothed casing transferred to CAD for the same reason. At this point the CAD of the replacement frame stretchers has been completed, a significant milestone for this project, as it allows us to look towards costing and manufacturing these vital new parts. Whilst 35011’s frames have the existing stretchers, these would need detaching to replace the middle cylinder, and they were heavily altered during the rebuilding process and would need significant alteration to accommodate the Bulleid chain-driven valve gear and oil-bath, so the decision has been taken to replace them. You can donate to our work on the frames by contributing to our ‘Putting funds into the frames’ appeal.
Following the boiler lift last October, the remains of the tubes have nearly all been removed. At the working weekend on the 10/11th April the mud door was removed to enable the removal of all the built up debris and rust, whilst 50 of the remaining small tube ends were also removed, leaving just a few to clear now. The focus in the forthcoming working weekends will be to complete the small tube end removal, removing rust from inside the firebox and general cleaning of the boiler and firebox prior to a planned inspection later this year.
The Trailing Truck Transformers funding group continues to be our primary fundraising campaign with its objective of funding the restoration of GSNs trailing truck. The Society is pleased with the initial number of members who have signed up for ‘Lots’ but are under no illusions that its still along way from being funded. We are offering a maximum of 30 members the opportunity to purchase a ‘Lot’ for £500. Members are welcome to purchase as many ‘Lots’ as they wish up to the maximum target amount.
Members of the Fund Group would receive a number of benefits including:
- Certificate of membership of the ‘Trailing Truck Transformers’
- Name engraved on a suitable brass plaque attached to the refurbished Trailing Truck
- Regular updates on the refurbishment of the Trailing Truck
- An invitation to a VIP day at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway to see the completed Trailing Truck once it is returned to the railway.
We understand that £500 is a lot of money and for people who wish to support the trailing truck but are unable to join the Trailing Truck Transformers club you can help us by donating to our Wheel Set appeal on our JustGiving page here.
Earlier in the year Bossman Games kindly sponsored the cost of a new regulator handle for General Steam Navigation. Now Bossman Games, purveyors of quality add-ons for Train Simulator, have released a new addition to enable you to get behind the regulator of an Original condition Merchant Navy locomotive. The pack which feature all 30 members of the class, authentic liveries with 3 build variations, 3 different tender types and much much more will keep players entertained for hours. You can purchase the add on from their website here.
Smoke & Steam.
Looking for something new to read?
Have a look at this brand new publication Smoke & Steam. Join us across some of the most famous – and not so famous –routes, featuring locomotive legends. with in-depth articles, explaining some of the most important moments of Britain’s railway history from a variety of eras and regions, accompanied by rare or never-before printed photography. 35011 General Steam Navigation is the topic of an article written by one of our Trustees. Order you paper copy here or to download the digital copy click here .
The 35011 Twenty Twenty Club winners have been drawn for May.
Congratulations go to:
May 2021- 1st Prize – Andrew Collett,
2nd Prize – Chris Mileman,
3rd Prize – David Oborn
The Twenty Twenty Club is a great way to help raise funds for the locomotive and at the same time have a little bit of fun. We still have the last few places remaining find out how to join here.
As always thank you for your continued support.