Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Orion, Nov 14, 2011.
I suppose its another one for the Bluebell museum.
I'd like to think it will come back, though for the first time in its Bluebell history it may be out of traffic for a while. (It has run in 43 of the previous 60 seasons, including a short period this year - far more active than any other Bluebell loco).
For small locos, No. 178 needs new cylinders, but a process to make them has been proven with No. 27, and the rest of the loco is in good condition, in particular it has a boiler in good condition. No. 27 is being rebuilt from the ground up, but will be in excellent condition when finished (new cylinders, substantially new frame structure, substantially new boiler etc). No. 72 is wanted for 2022, though I'm beginning to wonder if time might be getting tight. That leaves 55 and 323 as probably in the worst condition, but also being the marquee locos. So we shall see. Having two of those five available at any one time is always useful, but that probably means 27 and 72 through much of the 2020s, rather than 323 and 55.
Personal opinion as always.
I wonder whether there’s much economy of scale in having two new P class boilers made? I know 27 is likely to need one - even if a second boiler stays in store for a while it could be sensible... I may be wrong, but I thought the rest of 323 is fairly decent, so maybe not as tough a task as 55...
Is there much to do on 672 do you know?
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I believe the main issue with 72 is that it will possibly need a new inner firebox; a steel one was put in at (I think) the last but one overhaul and it is now worn.
My supposition about 323 is less about the condition, and more about the overall loco requirement: if 72 and 27 come into service in the early 2020s (as would be quite likely) then it won't be until around 2030 before there is a need for another small loco, based on a general desire to have two of them running at any time. Perhaps 323 and 55 will be the stars of the 75th anniversary year...
And presumably, once 178 has been given new cylinders, not a lot else will need doing to it as it has been treated very gently due to the cylinder problem?
I wouldn't underestimate replacing the cylinders though; there's not much that remains "mantled" by time you have removed everything to get the old cylinders out!
From the e-Newsletter:
Locomotive Report: Much Maintenance in the Works
February has been unseasonably warm. In fact, this time last year we were suffering the effects of the "Beast from the East" but fortunately there has been no snow this year, which has meant 2019, and in particular our half-term service, has got off to a great start. The S15 has been the loco taking care of our core passenger trains while the H class has been in charge of our other services, such as the Wealden Rambler.
Since services finished at the very beginning of January to enable the infrastructure works to take place, the Locomotive Works has focused on maintenance activities to the running fleet, plus preparing BR Standard 4 Tank No. 80151 for its boiler exams.
The key focus in the Works has been the completion of mechanical maintenance to Q class No. 30541. Work has centred around re-metalling and machining the 6 no. axleboxes and 12 no. horn guide faces on the driving wheels, machining new spring hangers, machining the journals on the driving axle, and re-metalling the eccentrics. The cross-head slippers have been re-metaled, the leading axle has had new springs fitted, and all the spring buckle hangers have had new bushes fitted.
In addition to this work, the opportunity was taken to complete a piston and valve exam (P&V), where a new set of rings were fitted. Unusually for a piston-valved locomotive, the Q class has “outside admission”. That is, the high pressure live steam is admitted at either end of the valve chest and exhausted at lower pressure between the valve faces (the more usual arrangement is the other way round). This system makes the glands subject to full steam pressure and therefore especially prone to leakage, so the opportunity was taken to also machine the valve rod spindles and re-pack the glands.
Many other smaller items also have been renewed or replaced, including fitting new brass drain cocks under the cylinders, a new brake adjuster, fitting additional drains and new oil pads in the oil trays under each locomotive axle, and inspection of the oil pads in the tender and maintenance to the steam reverser. The locomotive is now out of the works and successfully passed part two of its annual boiler exam on the 7 March, 2019, so she is now released back to traffic.
No sooner had the Q class been shunted into the loco yard, than BR Standard class 5MT No. 73082 "Camelot" entered the Works. The BR Standard 5 has a loose manganese horn guide liner on the trailing wheelset, which has now been removed from the frames using our wheel drop. While out of traffic, the opportunity will be taken to re- metal some of the bushes on the motion and undertake the annual boiler exam which is due in May.
Alongside all the maintenance work to the running fleet, excellent progress has been made on the two loco overhauls, on nos. 80151 and 34059 "Sir Archibald Sinclair". Work on No. 80151 has focused on the boiler, and I’m pleased to say the boiler has passed part 1 (hydraulic exam) and part 2 (Steam Test). Work will now proceed on completing the locomotive prior to final painting and testing. There are at least two months’ work before final painting, and this includes fitting all the auxiliary boiler equipment such as injectors, delivery pipes, gauges, etc., and then connecting the boiler to the chassis elements.
No. 34059's boiler has moved inside the Works to a permanent position, and measuring for the stays has been completed. An order for the first 600 stays has been placed, and we’re in discussions with suppliers for flue and smoke tubes. Once No. 80151 is complete, our attention will turn to No. 34059, and work will begin on completing the boiler and attending to some items on the chassis.
Our Wainwright P class No. 323 “Bluebell” has been in regular use throughout January and early February as the locomotive used for Footplate Taster courses that ran every Saturday and Sunday during the close-down period. While preparing the locomotive for its annual boiler exam, areas of deterioration in the firebox outer wrapper plates and around the backhead corners were noted, and although a repair is possible, it could not be completed without substantial disassembly of the locomotive. So, given the length of time No. 323 has already spent in traffic (eight years), it is not considered economical to carry out repairs for a relatively short further period in use. Therefore, I’m sad to say the locomotive has been withdrawn from traffic for a well-earned rest and will now join the queue for overhaul.
Outside in the yard, work has progressed well on the ASH Maintenance Shed, with the steel frame now erected, both east and west walls clad, and work proceeding on cladding the roof. Once complete, the maintenance shed will provide much needed additional cover for our locomotives and allow maintenance tasks, such as boiler washouts, spring changes, gland packing, etc. to be carried out in dry and warm conditions.
Our Branch Line Weekend is now less than a week away, and I’m pleased to say we have the NRM’s LSWR Beattie Well Tank and the Isle of Wight’s LSWR O2 "Calbourne" visiting. The gala line up is looking very positive, and I hope to see as many of you as possible at our first event of 2019, which will see the largest gathering of ex-LSWR locomotives in preservation.
By Christopher Hunford, Locomotive Director
More Project 27 updates, including the return of the machines cylinders from Statfold Barn (and very nice they looked too, last weekend).
A couple of updates:
Project 27 - more progress riveting the frames back together:
And (from Facebook), progress with 80151:
(I'm starting to feel old: when I started in the loco, 80151 and 65 were seemingly the backbone of the loco fleet; and now both have gone out of traffic and are on the point again of once more fulfilling that role for the next few years!)
Another Project 27 update - more work assembling the frames, and working on various parts of the motion.
Meanwhile, for those waiting, progress on 80151 continues; last time I checked (a couple of weeks ago) the main oustanding task was fabricating the steam pipes from superheater to cylinder (something I need to get around to writing up my notes for the next BN!) The aim is for the loco to be in traffic before the peak season.
From the e-Newsletter:
Loco Update: Keeping Up with Daily Running
It’s been a few months since I last wrote an update for the eNewsletter, partly because there’s been so much other important news and partly because we’ve been very busy in the Locomotive Works!
As we move out of spring and into the summer, the daily running season has started, and on average between now and October two steam engines a day are required. This roster is usually one large locomotive ("Camelot", S15, etc.) and one medium locomotive (O1, H class, etc.) and on weekends, a third locomotive is required for the Wealden Rambler and Golden Arrow dining trains.
Over the last few months we have only had three or four locomotives available for traffic as we’ve undertaken repairs to both Q class No. 30541 and BR Standard Class 5 No. 73082 "Camelot". That means S15 No. 847 has borne the brunt of our heavier trains, and the O1 and H class have almost been in continuous service. Despite a quick change of valve head rings on the S15 early one morning, all three engines have performed faultlessly.
I’m pleased to say repairs to the left hand side trailing driving wheelset manganese axle box liner on "Camelot" are complete and the wheelset was reunited with the frames in early May. While the loco was in the Loco Works, a number of other maintenance items were attended to, including replacing some brass bushes on the valve gear and attending to the blowdown valve, before the locomotive officially became the first to use the new maintenance shed. More about this later. Whilst out of traffic "Camelot’s" annual boiler exam was completed and after successfully passing parts one and two, the locomotive returned to traffic on 1 June, 2019.
I mentioned a moment ago the new maintenance shed. This facility, part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), was completed and handed over to the Railway on 17 May, and it was quickly put to use, housing "Camelot" for a boiler washout and for final preparations for its annual boiler exam. I can vouch personally for the new undercover facilities after spending a day working on "Camelot" in the dry while it rained heavily outside! The facility is now fully operational, and it also will provide additional undercover storage for our locomotives.
If you’ve visited Sheffield Park recently, you’ll have noted Q class No. 30541 is back in the Works. This is to complete some minor work to the vacuum brake system and brake adjusters that we didn’t get time to do before the loco was required for our Branch Line Gala. Most of the work is now complete, and the locomotive is being reassembled.
Alongside No. 30541 in the Works, BR Standard Class 4 tank No. 80151 is on the cusp of being out-shopped. Now fully painted and lined, the final boiler fittings such as the main steam manifold assembly and smokebox pipework are complete, and the locomotive passed part one of its boiler exam at the end of May. Over the course of June the last details will be completed and part two of the boiler exam undertaken, with a view to out-shopping and entry into traffic at the end of June. This addition will be a significant boost to the locomotive fleet and provide the Railway with a much-needed economical engine and the Locomotive Department with a much-needed spare engine.
You might think we can then sit back, enjoy a cup of tea, and take breath for a moment? As soon as the Q class and No. 80151 have left the Works, the S15 will enter for a piston and valve exam (P&V), as well as some maintenance work, having completed around 15,000 miles since the last P&V. The O1 will then enter the Works for a P&V exam and attention to some minor matters.
Next in the overhaul queue is No. 34059 "Sir Archibald Sinclair", and work has been progressing in the background on measuring the 2,000-plus boiler stays holes, ordering the stays, taps, and reamers, and discussing with suppliers the specification for the flue and smoke tubes. The first batch of stays has arrived, and they are sitting on the shelf ready to go! The chassis also will enter the Works over the summer so we can review the axle boxes, pistons, and valves, as well as other mechanical items, so the locomotive is in the best condition when it returns to traffic.
Having had a very successful Branch Line Gala, our attention has now turned to our Giants of Steam event in October, and I’m very pleased to announce we have BR Standard Class 7 No. 70000 "Britannia" and LMS Princess Coronation class 4-6-2 Pacific No. 6233 "Duchess of Sutherland" as our visiting guest locomotives. These two "giants" will run alongside our own locomotives on the 11-13 October, and I’m grateful to the Royal Scot & Locomotive General Trust and the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust for the loan of their locomotives.
Having finished on a high, I hope to see you at the Railway over the summer; otherwise I will definitely see you at our Giants of Steam event in October! Remember, book early to avoid disappointment!
By Chris Hunford, Locomotive Director
Looks like 80151 has been out on test this week, so hopefully not too long before it is out on traffic.
Relaunch into traffic of 80151 looks like it will be Saturday 27 July
Presumably on the “B” service, i.e. 10:45 / 1:15 / 4:00 departures from Sheffield Park; one hour later from East Grinstead.
The loco faces south.
Taking this from the Atlantic thread ...
I wondered about this, so thought I'd look at the locos in traffic in 2014, 2018 and think what might be in traffic in 2023.
In 2014, ignoring gala visitors, the fleet was:
Large: 847, 1638, 5643,
Medium: 263, 473, 592, L150
Small: 178, 323, 3, 55
Of those, 5643 and L150 were hired in to cover a loco shortage; and 3 and 55 collectively ran only a hundred miles (55 was restricted to light duties). So realistically, the "home" fleet was two large locos, three medium, two small; with a requirement to hire in external motive power.
In 2018, again ignoring gala visitors:
Large: 847, 73082, 30541
Medium: 263, 65
Small: 178, 323, 3
Of those, 178 ran only small mileage and primarily away at the NRM. So three large, two medium, two small, but no hired in locos.
So seven home fleet locos in 2014 (ignoring 3 and 55); and seven in 2018 (ignoring 178); but with the balance moving slightly to larger locos and no need to hire in. That is I'd suggest a marginally healthier position over five years from the point of view of being able to deliver the service in resilient fashion. Not paying for external hire means investing the entire loco budget in our own locos.
Predictions always come with caveats, but conceivably the fleet in 2023 might be:
Large: 928, 32424, 34059, 80151, 73082, 30541?
Medium: 9o17, 65, A.N. Other?
Small: 72, 178? or 27??
So 5 - 6 large locos (depending whether 30541 lasts that long); 2 - 3 medium locos (depending what follows 9017 through the works); but maybe only one small loco unless either 27 is finished or - more likely - 178 is turned round quickly (new cylinders will be needed). The growth of footplate courses is giving business case for class 0 locos.
I'd suggest that the trajectory is therefore probably in the right direction. Interestingly, annual mileage fell by about 10% between 2014 and 2018: having looked in quite a lot of detail at loco mileages over the last few months (as we built up to the 1.5million mark), I'm convinced that the key to efficient working is how to deliver the service from the smallest possible loco mileage (and days of operation).
Personal view as always.
Please forgive me if this is an old hat question, but is it likely that Blackmoor Vale will run again? She doesn't seem to get much mention, but surely too pretty to be forgotten.
My understanding is that she's owned by the Bulleid Society, not the Bluebell Railway. According to their news page https://www.bulleidsociety.org/News/Latest_News.html a new inner firebox is now under construction, so it seems they have every intention of running the locomotive again.
Last I saw was that the loco may go in for overhaul at some point with the hope of it being complete for the locos 80th birthday in 2026, but not sure when a start is due to be made, though this may have changed. I think the new inner firebox is being made now as part of a bulk order for other preserved Bulleid's (this includes the one that's been made for 34059).
I see the Bluebell website is reporting that 80151 will not be running this weekend. Apparently there is some further fettling to be done before it can enter service.
Is it? The news article yesterday says launch into traffic today and running at the weekend... Unless something’s changed since then?
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This morning the website was saying it's planned relaunch was postponed whilst further fettling took place, and a relaunch date now awaits confirmation. However noticed myself that the site has now changed it's wording to say it is being launched today. So whatever the issue was, looks like they have resolved it and happy for it to enter revenue earning service.
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