Watercress Line

Aligning CanPac

We are making good progress in our short term aim of getting Canadian Pacific back on her Driving Wheels.  Not only will re-wheeling be a significant milestone that will open the opportunities for further progress, it will mean that the frames will become mobile.  Eastleigh works is becoming busier and as a result, we need the frames to be mobile sooner rather than later to create space for our landlords.

Alignment checks using optical equipment have been completed, with the aim of getting accurate results to ensure the axleboxes are set up as precisely as possible.  With the help and training from Andy Forster we have been able to use this data to machine the horn faces on the frames.  We hired machinery from the West Somerset Railway that removed corrosion and created the desired flat, clean face that is in-line with the axles.  See video above to see the machine in action.

Meanwhile in Ropley, Matt has started machining the axlebox crowns – a time-consuming task.  Matt recently did the same job for the Schools class, so the work is in good hands.  There is still several weeks of work ahead, but it’s nevertheless satisfying to see good progress being made.  The target of our plan is to see Canadian Pacific on her driving wheels by late autumn and despite having encountered some challenges, so far we’re on-track, (please excuse the pun!)

The locomotive’s valves have been bored and unfortunately we had found that the centre liners need replacing.  The new liners are being machined and as I write this and the liners were removed last week by Bryn Engineering, who also bored the valve’s ready for fitting the new liners.  We’re hoping to have the valves and cylinders all bored and replaced as necessary by the end of summer.  Removal of the valve liners required both locating dowels to be removed by the Eastleigh team beforehand, something that proved to be a very tough challenge!

The cab is almost complete, we’re just awaiting the new window frames to be made and then fitted.  The cab can then be returned to Eastleigh.  Ollie has done a great job in getting some coats of paint on it and it really looks the part.

As you have probably read elsewhere, the bogey and trailing truck have found their way from the car park and into Ropley works.  Work can now begin in their overhaul, which is another positive step forward.

Work in the boilershop is still moving forward nicely.  The backplate for the new inner firebox has been manufactured by the South Devon Railway and we’re now just awaiting the new throat plate.  Due to the complexity of the shape of the plate, it’s possible that this could be supplied in five parts, however, the South Devon Railway (who are making a number of Bulleid fireboxes) are looking into making a pressing to make it as one piece.  As we await the throat plate section/s, there has been plenty to keep the staff of the boilershop occupied, including replacing sections of the thermic syphons.  Again, this has required plate to be pressed at Buckfastleigh.

We are still looking for funds for the restoration of Canadian Pacific back to working order.  Although there is no longer a model of CanPac to give away, you can still sponsor a Stay and the other benefits of sponsorship still apply.  Those who sponsor 8 stays will get a seat on the inaugural train when Canadian Pacific returns to service and those who sponsor 40 stays will get a 20 mile round trip footplate ride on Canadian Pacific when it returns to service. Please see www.watercressline.co.uk/canpac/donate for more details and to donate.  The estimated cost of the new firebox is £120,000 so we still have more donations to find!


Thanks for reading!

Dave Deane, Canadian Pacific Project Supervisor

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