9351 blog

News and progress updates on the final reassembling of 9351 at Williton

Fundraising update

A combination of online and offline fundraising and donations, together with associated Gift Aid, has so far yielded just over £4,500 towards this project.  Thank you very much.  We are determined to have this locomotive running on the West Somerset Railway for the Summer season.  Can you help?


One Eccentric strap installed, lock nuts and split pins to complete, then install the adjacent strap, then ready for the eccentric rods. Photo:Josh Chivers









Preparations being made in the firebox to install the much-praised and appreciated by loco crews, Minehead-pattern drop grate. Photo:Josh Chivers

Rear Right hand coupling rod on crank pin with retaining collar fitted. Eccentric strap on the floor awaiting fitting


Front buffer beam. New shackle forgings closed onto trunions after threading through draw hook forging


Smoke box drilled for hand rails, oil feed pipes and the banjo cover


Rear Left hand coupling rod on crank pin, retaining collar not yet screwed on. 2 pairs of eccentric straps on floor awaiting fitting

Lovely surprise today – A cheque for £1000, plus gift aid, arrived in the office this morning, to be put towards reassembling 9351.


Another week’s progress…..

New coupling shackle ready to be closed onto threaded trunnion


Expansion link being finished on surface grinder


Smokebox bolted down onto saddle casting


Stay bars set up for drilling bolt holes in smokebox


Ground expansion link and finished die block side plates


Coupling rods with machined white metal bearings pressed in. Now waiting for felt pads.


Some folk have been asking about the 9351 appeal

West Somerset Restorations had originally quoted the WSR plc £14,000 for the work to get 9351 back into traffic. Given the difficult financial situation the WSR plc finds itself in this winter, there was a risk that the WSR plc would not be able to afford this work and so 9351 would not be back in traffic for the season. At their January Board meeting the WSRA Trustees decided to fund this work themselves, as it is important to strengthen the home fleet for the 2019 season and reduce the loco hire charges that were part of the WSR plc’s difficulties in 2018. The Trustees also decided to appeal for assistance with these funds as paying the whole cost from the limited WSRA central, unreserved funds will deplete the Charity’s reserves.

If you are enjoying these updates and would like to support 9351’s return to traffic, please donate via the link at the top of this post or for offline donations please follow the instructions HERE. Remember, if you are a UK tax payer and make a gift aid declaration, for every £1 you donate, the UK government adds 25p.

Recent progress on 9351:






A clean set of motion being prepared to receive its new bushes once they have been machined to size.







New bolts in boiler mounting plates on loco main frames.  The boiler slides on these when it expands.







Valve gear expansion links and die blocks being assessed.







Side plates for die blocks being ground flat.

The 9351 Back-to-traffic Blog

Discussion amongst WSR folk at the weekend identified that the move of GWR Mogul 9351 to Williton Works for final assembly offered a unique opportunity for supporters to follow the work to get her back into traffic. This is expected to take about 120 days and we hope you will be able to follow every step along the way.

The plan is for those doing the work to take some snaps of the work each day that work is carried out on 9351 and for them to be uploaded with a commentary to this blog later that day.

Day 1









We start with a shot of Ryan Pope, Engineering Foreman for WS Restoration plainly very happy to be looking after 9351 at Williton. The work today was the replacement of the insulation and casing around the cylinders by two BESTT trainees.  That there is a fair way to go is shown by the shot of 9351 awaiting its road trip from Minehead to Williton last Saturday.  A road move was preferred as a haulage contractor was on hand for another job and the incomplete state of the loco made that more sensible than preparing her for a 10 mile rail journey.

Finally, for anyone reading this who doesn’t know 9351 well, we attach three shots of the loco in traffic, courtesy of Tim Cowan, Ken Davidge and Steve Edge.