9351 blog

News and images about the restoration of 9351

An unusual view of the smoke box main steam pipe connected to the super heater header castings with the super heater elements attached.  The regulation housing would be fitted between the upper most flanges.

All of this is normally hidden in the smoke box and boiler flue tubes. It is assembled ready for hydraulic (water Pressure) test.

Items of note are the very convoluted main steam pipes, welded steel pipe fittings in this case however Swindon would form these from copper (somehow!)

The upper most ends have captive 3 bolt flanges and spherical olives that allow the joints to be accurately made against spherical seat rings on the regulator housing. The loose 3 bolt flanges have the same effect as a 3 legged stool.

The super heater header is a complex casting where “wet” steam from the boiler is kept separate from the superheated steam after passing through the super heating elements (the smaller tubes to the rear)

This is a single row, 6 element arrangement

Just waiting the chimney, regulator, main steam pipes and the superheating arrangement to be installed to complete.

Piston valves now all installed and clad. Shown here is the outer end of the valve spindle, the nut holds a replaceable ground sleeve on the valve rod on the exhaust (low pressure) side of the piston valve. There is one at both ends of the piston rod either side of the valve heads. The high pressure steam is between the 2 valve heads on the valve spindle within the piston valve assy.

The jumper ring on the blast pipe cleaned up ready for further service.
The jumper ring allows a sharp exhaust by the ring lifting under load to increasing the blast orifice but as the exhaust rate decreases, the ring drops back thus reducing the blast. This is a standard GWR fitting.

New Crank pin retaining washer being fitted, It is screwed onto the crank pin and “fitted” by machining the back face off until the tapered cotter pin (not shown) screws in correctly to lock the main washer onto the crank pin.

Right hand side injector with delivery pipe (black) and overflow pipe installed

Left Hand side coupling rods installed awaiting Cross Head and connection rod to be fitted

Right Hand side coupling rods installed, connecting big end brass on middle crank pin to establish fit of Top hat washer that retains rods on the middle crank pin. The front crank pin shows special coupling rod retaining washer with recessed drive, the forerunner of a Hexagon socket drive. This is required on the leading crank pins due to restricted clearance behind the crosshead, yet to be installed

Valve gear connecting link on Left Hand side between the rocking arm (on left) the transmits the valve gear motion from inside the frame to outside the frames to the valve spindle (on right). The special castellated nuts (also called castle nuts) allow a split pin to lock the nut once tightened . These GWR special nuts have 4 slots unlike the normal propriety castle nuts that have 3 slots. Thus the GWR nut can have 8 positions per revolution rather than 6 for the standard nut. Split pins yet to be fitted.

All images on today’s update are © Liam Pope  and  licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
Any re-use of the above images must conform to the requirements of the Creative Commons Licence

Smokebox door now hung on door ring.

Internal baffle plate has been installed and riveted in as shown by bright patches on the door where the riveted areas have been ground back flush.

Left hand coupling rods installed, they have been fitted with new felt pads that wipe the journal to keep a film of oil spread across the bearing faces but ensure control of oil used


Both injectors have been inspected and cleaned up. The LHS injector is shown mounted on footstep bracket with the overflow valve fitted.  Awaiting the feed pipes (steam and water), delivery pipe and overflow pipe (shown lying on the floor) to be fitted.


Both piston rods have been reground and polished ready to install. The dull areas are the wear limit indicators, the rods are scrap once this diameter is reached.


Connecting rod little ends (fits inside the crosshead) have side thrust plates  – 4 new ones have been fitted, 2 on each rod,  these are drilled with shallow holes to aid oil retention


Right hand coupling rods installed







Chimney casting showing the part located in the smoke box. The blower/ejector ring casting and the petticoat pipe are hung off the bolting holes shown additionally some of these are missing.

The casting is very thin and  requires repair.  Cast iron can be welded however building up  to restore the original thickness is a specialist process.  The security of the blower/ejector ring casting is very important as any derangement within the smoke box could  cause a blow back on the footplate from the firebox. A quote for this repair is expected in a few days time. This additional work may require an increase of the funding appeal

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.