1st July

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.