TENDER FRAMES RIVITED.
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.
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.
Change of web site manager:
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 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."
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