Wadebridge Heading
Previous News Articles

Wadebridge News 26th July 2015

The engine is currently in service on the Mid Hants Railway after appearing together with 34092 at the Gloucetsteshire Warwickshire Railway Cotswold Festival of Steam: 'Speed to the West' on the 23rd - 25th May. and is booked to go to the North Norfolk Railway in September.

Back in the January the centre piston valve rocking arm had to be reclaimed by spiral welding due it wearing below scrapping size plus all of the rocking arm's bearings were replaced and as a result the valve timing is much improved. The new smokebox door is now fitted and the main steam pipes have had new ends fitted. The electric lighting system also received attention.

GWR Speed to West Gala
Wadebridge and 34092 - City of Wells at Gloucetsteshire Warwickshire Railway

Morning Milk
Morning Milk

Wadebridge at the Mid-Hants Railway Spring Gala
Wadebridge at the Mid-Hants Railway Spring Gala

New tender

Some the vacuum and steam heat pipe work was installed on the inverted frames and we hope that more progress will be made over the summer months.

The Winners of this quarters 200 Club draw:
First Prize     Nick Milton
Second Prize Alan Chinchen
Third Prize   Colin Comber
Fourth Prize  Gareth Hawkes



Wadebridge News 27th November 2014

Wadebridge has had another successful season with visits to the Bodmin & Wenford Railway, the West Somerset Railway and the Churnet Valley Railway.

It was at home in service on the Mid Hants Railway when failed on 17th September due to one of the main steam pipes having a hole in it. When the boiler-smith carried out an inspection he found that the other main steam pipe was also thin due to corrosion. Both pipes have been removed and will require new ends. The valve gear is also in need of attention and there is the new smoke-box door to fit. The annual boiler exam is also due soon so the locomotive will be out of service until the New Year.

New Smokebox Door
The New Smokebox Door

New tender The railway has now finished machining the axle-boxes and the bearings have been white metalled at a cost of #8000.

Tender Frames
The Tender Frames

Test fitting
Test fitting one of the axleboxes

14 June 2014

Wadebridge Report

New Door For Wadebridge

Wadebridge with the old door
Wadebridge with the old door

One of the most recognizable features on Oliver Bulleid's Merchant Navy and West Country/Battle of Britain class locomotives is the elliptical smokebox door which was retained even after most of them were rebuilt to a conventional design.

We have been looking for a supplier willing to take on the challenge of manufacturing new door for  Wadebridge which is worn out and when Wadebridge was appearing at the West Somerset Railways Spring steam Gala they fitted one of the original ACE head boards on the Smokebox door and the weight of it proved too much and ripped lamp brackets out of the door. To keep the loco in service they patched the door to make it airtight.

With the need for a new door now urgent Rob Le Chevalier at South Devon Railway Engineering agreed to take on the challenge for the first time in preservation of pressing out the doors out of one piece of steel as part of a group order arranged though the Bulleid Loco Owners Association. 

Rob designed and manufactured a new press tool to fit in their 700 ton John Shaw vicing press.

Its hot work heating the door
Its hot work heating the door

The door blank is first heated with the warming torches in the press to help achieve a good pressing once the dome of the door is pressed the press is reset to form the sealing lip around the edge of the door.    

Pressing the sealing lip
Pressing the sealing lip

Removing the Door from the press
Removing the Door from the press

The New Door Cooling in front of the press
The New Door Cooling in front of the press

It takes Time to set the press right
It takes Time to set the press right

12 March 2014

Wadebridge has just completed a successful visit to the Churnet Valley Railway near Stoke on Trent. Click link to see a video of hew in action.

Wadebridge then returned home to the Mid Hants Railway in time for the Spring Gala.

Wadebridge will then be moving to the West Somerset Railway ready for her appear their gala event on Thursday 27th - Sunday 30th March 2014

Wadebridge will then depart for the Bodmin and Wenford Railway for their Spring Gala on Saturday 3rd May - Monday 5th May.

16 November 2013

Wadebridge Report

The loco performed well and has clocked up over 50 steaming days so far the year. With visits to the Seven Valley Railway and Ruddington on the Great Central Railway. The only problem was the grate.

New Tender

The new tender axle boxes and the new horn guides have been partially machined at Ropley works and are being trial fitted to the tender frames. We have recently discovered that one of the new vacuum cylinders that we bought about 15 years ago has had a poor repair carried out to the centre boss for the piston rod. We suspect that the boss broke off when the casting was being machined during manufacture and was then welded back on so now it is out of line with the piston head, We now have to decide if it is repairable or we will need to source a replacement.

Drilling the Horn Guide Holes
Drilling the Horn Guide Holes

23 June 2013

Wadebridge on theSevern Valley Railway

Follow link to see Paul Gildersleve's photographs of Wadebridge on the Severn Valley Railway

26 May 2013

Wadebridge Loco News

Wadebridge has returned home to the Mid Hants Railway from a run on the Great Central Railway Northern section which was organized at short notice due to their booked loco failing with boiler problems shortly after returning from the Severn Valley Railway We are now turning our attention to the overhaul when the boiler certificate runs out in 2016, to that end we have in conjunction with 92 Squadron group and the Swanage loco group had the steel cut out to make the new ash pans as we are changing to the rebuilt type ash pans and grate thus making the loco easier to manage.

Help Required     

Has any one got any good photos of Wadebridge on the GCRn and SVR and perhaps a short article to go with it. For use in our shareholder newsletter and on the website. if  you have please email me at daveatmanadon@blueyonder.co.uk                

16 March 2013

Wadebridge Loco News

Wadebridge is being prepared for the trip to the Severn Valley Railway at moment and will move by road next week. The tender which is on loan from Canadian Pacific has now been repaired following a minor bump on the Sunday of the Mid Hants Gala when Wadebridge got stuck on greasy rails coming out of Alton and the loco sent to rescue it was unable to stop and it slid in to the tender.

Tender axle box underkeepTender Horn guidesTender Axle Box
Tender axle box underkeepTender Horn guidesTender Axle Box

We have made a big leap forward on our new tender with the decision to send the tender frame up to the Boro' Foundry's machine shop in Stourbridge to have the axle cut outs machined this will save 6 months of work doing the job by hand. click the link to take you to the MHR web site to see the photos of the machining under way. Dave the MHR machinist is making excellent progress machining the axle box components and also the new horn guides

29 January 2013

Wadebridge Loco News

Wadebridge is booked to go to the Severn Valley Railway for their Spring Gala weekend on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of March 2013.

7 September 2012

Wadebridge Loco News

Wadebridge has had a successful year in 2012 with over 50 days of running on The Mid Hants Railway.

The new tender axle boxes, together with the bearings and underkeep trays now are been machined at Ropley works.

Axle Box

We are having a new pattern for the horn guides made. This will replace the set of horn guides we had previously had cast which have now been proved to be problematic in fitting and now found not to be the correct items. We will have to incorporate in to the pattern increased size mounting faces to correct the frame cut outs which were cut oversize to fit the axle boxes on the Diesel Wheel sets but due to design difficulties were not used and have now been sold .Now that we have a set of the original type Bulleid wheels sets and axle boxes to hand and soon the replacement horn guides.

We hope that space will be be made available in the main shed at Ropley works soon to enable us to fit the wheel sets in to the tender frames to achieve a rolling chassis.

We also had cast the brake hangers, a set of brake shoes and purchased the two middle brake pull rods. We would like thank the engineering staff at Ropley for their help and assistance with the tender design and construction

7 September 2012

Wadebridge Loco News

Wadebridge is now traffic and has done over twenty days since the early part of July without serious problems. Its due to do another eight days and is then stopped for its annual boiler exam.

New tender Build

Whilst the new axleboxes are awaiting machining we have had cast and machined the brake hangers and purchased a spare set of middle brake pull rods from the Braunton Loco group.

19 June 2012

Wadebridge Loco News

Wadebridge is now back in service following the fitting of the new exhaust steam pipes and a piston and valve examination. There were also repairs to the rear lubricator which kept filling with water and the ratchet drive pawls and shaft needed replacing on the lubricator.

New tender Build

We now have to hand the new axleboxes together with the bearings and underkeep trays and now they are waiting machining. The tender frames have been moved to Ropley Station car park to assess the work needed on them.

Tender progress

7 May 2012

Wadebridge Loco News

Wadebridge is now running with Port Line's tender which on loan from the MHRPS and once our tender is finished will revert back to Canadian Pacific.

The Loco is stopped to fit the new exhaust steam pipes which will hopefully stop a steam leak from the old life expired ones, click on this link An Exhausting Day in the West Country which will take you to the MHR Works site to see the blog on changing the exhaust pipes

6 March 2012

Wadebridge Loco News

Wadebridge is currently in service on the Mid Hants Railway and running with Canadian Pacific's tender. A deal has been done to swap it for Port Lines tender which is a smaller tender but in better condition. It is also planned to fit new exhaust steam pipes which will hopefully stop a steam leak from the old life expired ones.

New tender Build

With the tender wheels sets now finished we have been investigating the production of axleboxes for the tender and, after much thought, we have had a new pattern made by Preservation Patterns. It was largely successful with just few modifications to the test casting needed. The rest of the boxes be will cast up soon.

Tender progress

12 January 2012

Locomotive and tender update

Wadebridge has currently been put to bed for the Winter after a successful Autumn of running on the Great Central Railway and the Mid Hants Railway.

Whilst the loco has been resting we have been pursuing our goal of finishing the building our  own tender with a major milestone being the pressing on of wheel pans on to the new axles using the South Devon Railway Engineering’s wheel press. From this point, the new axles are mounted in the wheel lathe for the next stage in the machining process. The final stage will be to machine the new tyres to the correct size for fitting and then for them to be given the correct profile.

Tender progress

With the tender wheels sets nearing completion we have been investigating the production of axleboxes for the tender and after much thought we are having a new pattern made by Preservation Patterns

26 September 2011

Locomotive and tender update

The locomotive has been out of service with various defects and not really required for service since last November. She re-entered service in August.  The most serious defect was probably that movement had been detected in some of the fitted bolts securing the cylinders to the frames. Removing the loose bolts and making new required the front bogie to be removed. Whilst this was out we replaced the bogie springs for a set of new ones we had in stock. One was found to be broken.

Whilst Wadebridge was in the workshops for this some other work was carried out; including replacement of the front buffer beam stiffening plate, changing two of the driving wheel springs, re-bushing the brake hangers, examining all bushes and crankpins and re-metalling the centre big end and reweighing the loco.

As far as the tender is concerned, we have reached an agreement with MHR for the use of Canadian Pacific's tender for the use of it till hopefully our own tender is completed, and they are now running together.

Wadebridge will be going out on hire to the Great Central Railway for their Steam Gala from Thursday 6th October to Sunday 9th October and will be staying on the GCR for it to be used for some of the railway’s driving and firing courses and photo charters and will be returning to the Mid Hants Railway in time for the Autumn Steam Gala on the 28th to the 30th October.  
D Williams, J Butcher

16 February 2011

Locomotive and tender update

The locomotive has been out of service since November, the main reason being that the tender developed a serious water leak. This was the main factor which prevented her from going to the North York Moors Railway; at the same time several other faults were identified, the most serious of which is probably that movement has been detected in some of the fitted bolts securing the cylinders to the frames. In BR days the standard treatment for these was apparently to flog up the nuts very tight, and to then weld the nuts to the bolts. This had been done on Wadebridge, and during restoration the bolts were thought to be tight and were left. Corrosion during her time in the scrapyard plus 4 years subsequent further hard work may be why some of them have worked loose. The cure involves removing the front bogie and checking all the bolts, and removing, making new and refitting those which are no longer tight.

This work is dependent on the wheeldrop being available, and it is hoped that the locomotive will be taken into the workshops next month for this and other work to be carried out; including dropping driving wheels for bearing and pad examination, changing one of the driving wheel springs, re-bushing the brake hangers, dropping all the rods, examining all bushes and crankpins and re-metalling as required.

As far as the tender is concerned, we have advised Boscastle group that we no longer require their tender, the hire of which we have been very grateful for; we have reached an agreement with MHR by which Wadebridge pays for remedial work to the tender off Canadian Pacific in return for the use of it till hopefully her own tender is completed.

With regard to Wadebridge's own new tender, we decided after much discussion to have new set of original BFB wheelsets made which are now available as castings at the MHR, rather than using the class 33 wheelsets which were to hand, partly in the interests of authenticity and partly because of the difficulty of getting non-standard design approval. The wheel castings and axles are now available.

New tender axles
New tender axles

John Butcher

20 September 2010

North York Moors Railway - Autumn Steam Gala

We regret to announce that North York Moor Railway have decided not to hire wadebridge for their forthcoming Gala after all.

John Butcher

05 July 2010

North York Moors Railway - Autumn Steam Gala

We have been asked to allow Wadebridge to go to the North York Moors Railway for their "S&D" themed Autumn Steam Gala. The key dates are from Thursday 30 September to Sunday 3 October (4 days), and we are pleased to be able to say that subject to terms being agreed she will be there.

John Butcher

01 February 2010

News about the locomotive:

On 19 December 2009, the Wadebridge board agreed with MHR to carry out the completion of the partly constructed tender, hopefully within the next 2 years. The board is now researching spring suppliers and axle box designers.

On 19 January 2010 Work on the speedometer fitting started, with the 'wheelbox' bracket on the lower left of the casing just in front of the rear driving wheel which will take the junction box and adjuster for the speedometer in due course.

The engine was then out of service for the following:

  1. The injectors were removed - the outer one to get at the inner one which is still not right; with reports of wasting water (not running clean), and is to be investigated by Gambles
  2. The piston valves and gear are to be dismantled sufficiently to see if the valve timing and positioning and free play are within limits. I confirm reports that one exhaust beat is 'off'. There are no adjustments as such but if bushes in the motion are worn the effect is magnified at the valves.
  3. Atomisers to be examined and/or changed to hopefully stop once and for all the blowing back of steam which causes water to collect in the cylinder lubricator.
  4. Examination and refitting of glands to the steam reverser which has developed oil and steam leaks. The water leak lets water run into the rear left driver bearing; the oil leak lets the reverser move when it should be locked.
  5. The front left tender spring has a broken leaf.
  6. To try to check and repair the leak on the tender water tank into the coal space.


On 31 January 2010

Wadebridge was in the wheeldrop shed at Ropley, with both outside valve chests opened up and piston valves removed for examination; and today we removed the middle cylinder valve chest front cover and took off the left rocker shaft bearing to examine the bushes on the middle valve gear.

The outer piston valves and bushes look to be good but there is some wear in the middle cylinder bushes - too soon to say how bad but they are renewable. Getting to them is a pain, especially the inner cylinder, for which various dismantling is needed including under the frames behind the outside cylinders, in the smokebox where the spark arrestor, blower ring and blastpipe has to be removed, and between the frames behind the middle cylinder where it is hard to even see the rear valve cover, let alone remove it.

Work to fit the speedo is proceeding - the crank is now fitted to the rear driving wheel centre, the drive generator and wheel setting box are ready to clean up and paint, and conduit for the cable to the cab is being supplied.

The defective injector has been sent for examination to Gamble's.

John Prosser


18 December 2009

News about the locomotive:

The tender frame has now been riveted together by the West Somerset Railway, and was moved to the Mid-Hants on 9th November 2009. The tender tank is already at the MHR as are the three class 33 wheelsets.

The engine has been working hard the year at the Mid Hants Railway. Sadly, one of their engines had a catastrophic failure putting her out of action for months. The gap was filled by Wadebridge and boosted her earnings for this year. However, the greater the use, the more wear and tear takes its toll on the engine and more faults occur. To date Wadebridge has steamed over 20,000 miles since returning to traffic. We offer our thanks to Bob Allen and his engineers for maintaining the engine to such a high standard.

Wadebridge had only one booking this year from another heritage railway and that was for the Bluebell in early November.

John Prosser


21 August 2009

News about the locomotive:

On the 12th September 2009, Wadebridge is scheduled to be running during the Autumn Gala with the Atlantic Coast Express headboard. If you take any decent photographs, then please submit them for inclusion on the web site.

Bodmin and Wenford Heritage Railway celebrations.

On 19/20th September a celebration weekend is being held in Wadebridge to celebrate 175 years of the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway. The Wadebridge Group would like to include a small display to represent the part played by 34007 in the Wadebridge and B&W railway story. We would be grateful for help by a few shareholders or supporters living in the area. Please contact initially Colin Coomber, 01726 882396, colinjcoomber@btinternet.com.

John Butcher


10 August 2009

The West Somerset Railway have now completed riveting together the various parts to form the tender frame.  Thanks to Gareth Winter and his engineering team. It is planned to move this tender frame to The Mid Hants Railway at the earliest opportunity. The tender tank is complete and is also at the MHR along with many other parts for the tender.
In the very near future there will be a meeting with the technical engineers of the MHR and Directors of the Wadebridge Company to decide on the way ahead concerning wheelsets and axleboxes and to plan a construction schedule.
The pricee of the wheelsets and axleboxes will be considerable and any readers who wish to become financially involved in helping with these costs are asked to get in touch with the Company Secretary at 22 The Knoll, Plympton, Plymouth PL7 4SJ.

John Prosser


06 August 2009

News about the locomotive:

1. A steam leak from a crack in the right side exhaust bellows (above the cylinder) had become bad enough to obscure the driver's view and so had to be dealt with. The engine was out of service for a few day while this was dealt with.

2. A gasket on the steam reverser blew out last Sunday evening and had to be replaced, which was done on Monday. She is back in service.


29 June 2009

Change of web site manager:
We are pleased to welcome Gareth Hawkes as the new manager of our Wadebridge web site. He will be pleased to get news and pictures etc for publication on the web-site. He may be contacted at webmaster@wadebridge34007.co.uk.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Richards who has helped the board and the locomotive in numerous ways over the years. Peter set up the website, and ran it in his own time and at his own expense until recently and we are very grateful to him for such a well-presented site.

News about the locomotive:
Wadebridge is currently in daily use at the Mid Hants, working the range of service and special trains including the Real Ale Train and the Watercress Belle; she has also recently been one of the locomotives in use for Footplate Experince courses and I know from some of the participants what a thrill that has been for them. Refer to thier web site or phone them for day-to-day information of what locomotives are in service.

Most of you will know we are currently running with the tender from Boscastle and we are grateful to them for the continued hire which enabled us to save up for our own tender. Donations and or share purchases are still welcome to enable us to complete our own tender which is of the high-sided type.

West Somerset restoration have the go-ahead to rivet together the frames for our tender frames at Williton. We hope this work will be completed in a few week and that will enable us to bring all the main tender parts together at the MHR when we will be able to make important decisions about wheelsets, obtaining or making the remaining missing items and the programme for assembly of the frames wheels and tank, which are already on the Mid Hants.

The locomotive is currently running without a speedometer fitted. It isn't easy to run uphill, downhill, with different sets and numbers of coaches, day and night and in different rail conditions, without infringing the strict 25 mph speed limit at MHR, and this is an improvement we hope we can make soon for the benefit of the drivers. We are hoping MHR can make the equipment available - currently we have only a broken instrument. It is a very worthwhile project; but again it isn't free of cost!

Mechanically the loco is in excellent condition but there are always a few items needing attention; none of these is currently urgent. There is a leak in the right hand cylinder exhaust steam pipe; water is getting into the rear left driving axle box, apparently from a leaking gland on the steam reverser which is above it. The injectors are starting to give concern again, not picking up water cleanly as they should, and the injector feed pipes to the boiler clacks have begun to leak a bit again. As even Bullied fans will realise, fittings and pipework joints under the cladding are hard to access, and this explains why sometimes she will be seen running with various access panels missing. One or more atomiser non-return valves is leaking, allowing some water back into a cylinder lubricator. However all of these items have been noted, she is checked daily by the driver and such things will be dealt with if they become serious or when she is next routinely out of service.

She should shortly be appearing with an "Atlantic Coast Express" headboard which will look good in your photographs.

It had been planned, in response to a request from the Great Central Railway, for Wadebridge to visit there in October for their Gala, and she had been made available by Mid Hants and the group . However they have recently told us that as the subject of the Gala has changed (no longer the Somerset and Dorset) they will not require her, which is a disappointment for us. Hopefully arrangements can be made another time.

John Butcher

25 November 2008
John Butcher issued the following statement:
"On the 6th December 2008 there will be a formal meeting between Mr. C. Chambers (Director of MHRPS and Managing Director of the MHR) Mrs. S. Crowther (Chair of the The MHRPS) and Mr. T. Russell (Also of MHRPS) and the Company Chairman of Wadebridge (34007) Locomotive Limited Mr.J. Butcher. Mr. J. Prosser (34007 Company Secretary) and Mr. J. Barrett (34007 Company Treasurer) will also be present as will the other Directors of Wadebridge (34007) Company Limited. This is the first meeting of the two groups and has been arranged to formalise the position of the Wadebridge Company with the MHRPS especially with regard to the locomotive Wadebridge In due course I will inform the Shareholders within Wadebridge (34007) Locomotive Limited of the result of these talks. Until such time as these talks have reached a satisfactory completion and our shareholders have been informed we recommend that all tales, gossip and rumours that have been circulating of late are ignored."

8 October 2008
WADEBRIDGE returned to the Mid-Hants Railway.
WADEBRIDGE and tender arrived back at Arlesford on 7th October.

12 September 2008
WADEBRIDGE to feature in the West Somerset Railway's Autumn Steam Gala from 2nd to 5th October. It now seems pretty certain that the planned visit to Bodmin is not going to happen.

4 September 2008
The Wadebridge shares of the Bodmin and Wenford Trust and a cheque from MHRPS were exchanged in a short ceremony on the platform at Alresford on 29th August at about 11.40 a.m., in front of the locomotive, and MHRPS is now the majority shareholder.
Present were Alan Moore, Keith Searle (who made a short speech), Steve Crowther the MHRPS Chairman and Jim Russell the Vice chairman, Colin Chambers, John Butcher (chairman of Wadebridge 34007, as driver of the loco), Dave Williams, one of the directors, a photographer from Railway Magazine and a group of onlookers.

21 August 2008
Majority interest in WADEBRIDGE sold! With the Mid-Hants Railway now in charge, where does this leave the minority shareholders?

Leaving Sheffield Park

Right: WADEBRIDGE leaving Sheffield Park on 21st October 2007 whilst taking part in the Bluebell Railway's "Giants of Steam" weekend.
Photo © Derek Hayward

updated 26 September 2011
If you came directly to this page, please follow this link to the main site.