Wadebridge Locomotive

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