Firstly, we wish all our members and supporters a very happy 2024, it promises to be a very busy and important one for 35011 General Steam Navigation, as we prepare, finalise and submit our National Lottery Heritage Fund application, we are working extremely hard behind the scenes with strategic application partners to meet the rapidly deadline of June 2024!
Winter Engineering Report
Our Engineering update that follows is a extract from the main Engineering report that is published in our Members magazine The Packet, if you are not already a member, if not why not? To further support the project and receive your own copy of The Packet, Why make it a new years resolution to join us by clicking here, it’s simple and can be one resolution you keep!
Boiler & Firebox
This has now been cleaned and inspected, The news is not all bad, but as we intend to run on the main line we have to juggle repairing verses replace. The front tube plate will need replacing, and some, if not all, of the rear tube plate will need replacing. Crucially, the boiler barrel itself is fine, though it may require some small bits of work. The firebox will need a replacement bottom edge as the metal is too thin, all the repair welds will need checking as they are indicative of cracking. So we probably look to replace the box entirely.
As part of the process of preparing the frames for unrebuilding, we are slowly removing, cleaning up and replacing the “nuts and bolts”
retaining the cylinders to the chassis where possible.
It is a slow process, many of the bolts have not been moved since 1959, but it will save money and time later when we are ready to install the new middle cylinder.
Similarly, our volunteers have been cleaning up the frame stretchers, so we can better assess their condition and suitability for
retention or replacement.
Our volunteers have been prepping the leading bogie for restoration and preparation for mainline running. The general condition of the
bogie is good, we are working on releasing the side control unit,
and the rest of the bogie is ready for restoration. As discussions and thoughts around installing European Train Control System (ETCS) coalesce (more information in The Packet) we may need to add some bracketry to the bogie to mount the forward Balise Transmission Module.
Behind the scenes
As well as just the visible physical engineering our Engineering sub committee have of course also been very heavily involved in producing the over 17 work packages, to date that detail the specifications and costs to support our National Lottery Heritage Fund application
Also included in the latest issue of our members magazine The Packet is our full Engineering Strategy, join us by clicking here, to receive your full copy of The Packet
If you are also interested in getting involved more directly with the Engineering side of the project in any way, especially if you have any experience with Bulleid pacifics (but not essential) Contact Us here.