Month: July 2019

GWR 0-6-0PT no 9466 will be a surprise operating guest exhibit for the West Somerset Railway Association’s Steam and Vintage Rally at Norton Fitzwarren on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 August 2019, As a red route engine, no 9466 is restricted to the Norton – Bishops Lydeard section of the WSR but is likely to head the empty stock of the evening Somerset Coast Express from Bishops Lydeard to Norton Fitzwarren on Friday 2 August 2019. The Somerset Coast Express is a special excursion for those folks involved in the Rally. The loco will then bank the excursion from Norton to Bishops Lydeard, then cut off and return to Norton.
Over the Rally weekend, the loco will spend some time on static display and footplate visits, plus will also share duties with Barclay 0-4-0ST no 1219 on brake van duties on the Barnstaple Branch section of the Norton Triangles helping to raise more funds for the WSR’s current £250,000 track appeal.

Download the full press release HERE

The WSRA has two pieces of good news to share with supporters.


Firstly, we are very pleased to announce that on Friday Locomotive 9351 was handed back to the WSR plc in Minehead.  After a little more gentle running-in the loco is expected to return to traffic within a few days. The overhaul of this locomotive was a truly collaborative venture.  The boiler was overhauled at LNWR Crewe and the bottom end was overhauled at Minehead. The re-assembly and refurbishment of a suitable tender were then completed at WS Restoration in Williton. The total cost of the re-assembly and tender work was just short of £30,000, which has been funded by donations from supporters and by the WSRA.

 


Our second piece of good news relates to our own locomotive, Small Prairie 4561.  On Friday we received a cheque for £20,000 towards the cost of the restoration of the loco, from Garfield Weston Foundation. This is a result of the work of our Trusts and Foundations fundraiser Kate Williams.  Kate has also sourced £5,000 from the Veronica Awdry Charitable Trust and £15,000 from the Pilgrim Trust for this project and the total now held in donations and pledges for restoring 4561 is over £120,000.  We still need more, but we are well on the way and now that 9351 has been returned to Minehead the team at Williton will be able to turn their attention to 4561.  More details on the restoration of 4561 can be found at https://www.wsra.org.uk/restoring4561/


9351 resting at Minehead after delivery ready to enter service after some more loaded test runs.


Ryan and Liam Pope with 9351 as they wait in Williton station to collect the token for the light engine return trip to Minehead, with driver Colin Henderson and fireman Liam Pope.

FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR RETURN TO MINEHEAD


Regulator rod with handle removed to allow additional gland packing to be added behind the oval flange to cure the leak shown below flange


9351 being weighed on equipment provided by the South Devon Railway. This allows the whole engine to be “floated” on hydraulic load cells that are bearing on the rail head and lifting the wheels clear of the rail head (just). At this point reading the pressure gauges on pump units provides a pressure reading that as the bore of the load cells is known, the weight of each wheel on the rail head can be calculated. Thus the engine can be weighed, the spring bolts adjusted balance the weight across the locomotive on each axle as well as bringing axle loads for each wheel set to the required weight front to back.


Application of clear coat prior to delivery

The West Somerset Steam Railway Trust are to host a railway themed Retrospective Exhibition of the work of the late Peter Barnfield,  in the Gauge Museum on platform 1 at Bishops Lydeard.  The exhibition will run from 13th to 28th July and will feature over 50 artworks as well as models, books and greeting cards.  The exhibition will launch with a private view on 13th July at 2:00pm.

For more information about Peter Barnfield and his work please visit the website

Peter Barnfield’s books will also be on sale in the WSRA station shop on platform 2 where you can also relax with a tea or coffee or if the weather is favourable why not treat yourself to an ice cream.


Fire well alight over the grate, to bring 9351 to test pressure. Welsh steam coal giving a clean, bright smokeless fire.


Pressure climbing to the red line to provide steam for the boiler inspector’s safety valve accumulation test which checks that the safety valves lift at the correct pressure and will discharge excess steam effectively.


Ryan Pope adjusts the piston rod gland while his brother Liam takes a break from tending the fire prior to the initial test runs.


9351 waiting in Williton south yard for another short run inside station limits to check that everything is correct.


9351 running onto Williton down platform as part of the early proving tests.


Inspector Henderson checking all is shipshape with the valves and motion approaching Williton down platform during the station limits test run.

 

What comes next?
The next part of the testing program will be weighting the locomotive and tender to set the springs to provide correct loadings on all wheels.
Then some light engine runs Williton to Crowcombe and return will be undertaken between the service trains to prove the bearings, valves and lubrication are all doing what is expected. The firebox and tubes will be kept under close observation for any emerging leaks or fizzes.
Once 9351 has had a couple of days running with no issues, the brick arch will be installed and some further loaded ECS test runs will be conducted. Then if all is well, 9351 will be handed over to the Minehead loco and be back into front line service as part of the WSR home fleet, just in time for the peak summer season.