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Canadian Pacific Frames Lifted From Driving Wheels

I will start this update with an introduction – Hello! My name is Dave Deane and I am the new Project Supervisor for the Heritage Lottery funded Canadian Pacific project. I will be posting regular updates as to progress of this project, so be sure to check regularly for updates!  

Much visible progress has been made on Canadian Pacific this week.  On Monday (29th June) a major milestone was reached when the frames were lifted from the driving wheels.  This operation on such a large machine needed to be conducted carefully and full credit must be given to the volunteers who turned up in force to make sure it was done so well.  Unfortunately the vehicle booked to take the driving wheels away after the lift was delayed and the pick-up hampered by the vehicle not having a crane to lift the wheels. We are very grateful to both our dedicated volunteers and employees of Arlington Fleet Services Limited who soldiered on late and (by using the works lifting equipment) making sure the driving wheels were taken away the same day. So a big thank you goes out to the volunteers and to Arlington Fleet Services.  The driving wheels are now in the care of South Devon Railway Engineering Ltd at Buckfastleigh and we hope to report on their progress later in July.

As this lift took place on my first day working for the railway, I did not quite make it on time to see the frames lifted, however I did see the axleboxes being lifted from the driving wheels as pictured. You may have seen this being coveredon That's Solent tv channel who visited at the same time as I did. One of the six axleboxes was found to have been contaminated with water as rust was evident in the box and some minor scoring was on the axle.  Fortunately the initial inspection of this has revealed that the damage is not significant enough to be of concern.

Later in the week, areas of CanPac’s frames that need repair were examined by welding specialists. Along two parallel sections of the rear of the frames a split is evident (as pictured.)  As we have experience of conducting a similar repair like this before on a different Bulleid Pacific, it was fairly simple to plan a repair and we have enlisted the assistance of a specialist welder that is likely to take place later in autumn this year. Similarly the frames behind the front buffer beam are bent and will need to have a welding repair, so the opportunity was taken to look at this at the same time.

The final part of this update may well be the most glamourous, but nevertheless is important progress! The volunteers have made extremely good progress in cleaning the frames. After just three days of work, one side of the outside frames is looking good already.


We still have to raise another £200,000 for the £1.5million CanPac project. The project will see not just the overhaul of 35005 Canadian Pacific but also 2 wooden Bulleid coaches. The boiler work alone is expected to exceed £100,000; so anything you can give will be gratefully appreciated, no matter how small you think it might be.

Please click here to contribute towards the fund via secure online payment.

Please click here to download the appeal form.

Photo gallery

  • Lifting the axle boxes from the driving wheels

  • View of the rear frames and the split that requires repair

  • The driving wheels

  • Examining the bent frames behind the front buffer beam

  • Good progress evident on cleaning the frames

Return to the Can Pac site