Last steaming before overhaul

Sunday 6th March was the last occasion that Wadebridge was in steam before she will have an extensive overhaul. She was rostered to run two afternoon trips with The Countryman train.

Wadebridge at Alresford
Wadebridge at Alresford on loop ahead of her final trip before her overhaul. 6th March 2016 14:26

On her last run she left Alresford at 14:48 and arrived at Alton at 15:23. She started the return journey at 15:51 and completed the task at 16:22. After moving the coaches to a siding she returned to Ropley.

Wadebridge at Alton
Wadebridge at Alton preparing for her last run until after her overhaul. Sunday 6th March 2016 15:38

Wadebridge is now at Ropley where she will be covered with a tarpaulin whilst she waits for her turn to be overhauled.

Wadebridge has been in service for the last 10 years but now her boiler certificate has run out.

We have sufficient funds to start the overhaul but we need your help to finish the tender and a timely return of the locomotive to steam.  Should you wish to make a donation to Wadebridge, please use the Wadebridge 34007 Overhaul and Tender Fund form. You may also consider leaving a gift to the Wadebridge Locomotive in your will. See Legacies for further information.

Wadebridge at Alresford
Wadebridge at Alresford just before her return to Ropley at the end of 10 years service. Sunday 6th March 2016 17:40

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.

 

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

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

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.