Watercress Line

Canadian Pacific Removals

I am a few months off needing to set myself resolutions but I have decided to set myself the task of writing a blog every month. I won’t be out done by the carriage shop any longer! Whether this is achievable I will wait and see…

The volunteers at Eastleigh have been carrying on with the puzzle that is the lubrication system, I’m not quite sure if they are winning but they are persevering with the task. Malcolm has been working on rebuilding the casing for the valves and this was finished this month with the help of one of the welders at Eastleigh (see photo). Things have quietened down as we wait for parts from Ropley to be finished but that does not mean that CP’s restoration has halted.

This month saw the movement of a number of items from Eastleigh to Ropley. Eastleigh became a hive of activity with the volunteers taking part in their own strong man competition. We were faced with loading the company van of items like the coupling rods without a fork lift truck. I was very impressed when they loaded them in 20 minutes! Canadian Pacific Removals was then on its way to Ropley where myself and the Wednesday Gang had to find space for everything. Luckily, the guys had the use of the fork lift truck which made unloading the van far easier. It was interesting to see that some of the parts were from other loco's, we even have a bit from 35009 Shaw Savill (see photo). Two trips from Eastleigh to Ropley and we had run out of space for anything else. Alfie and our new apprentice Robin along with Roy from the Machine Shop made a special trip to Eastleigh to measure the motion. Unfortunately, except for two bits all of this will need to go to Ropley for work…when I can find the space to store it.

The bogie frame has now been finished and some of the Eastleigh volunteers have been painting it, along with the wheels for the bogie and trailing truck. Mark Drinkwater has kindly been bronze welding the axleboxes and these are now waiting for white metalling. The team that worked on the bogie have now moved onto the trailing truck and this will start to progress in the next coming weeks. The hope is that we can get the trailing truck and bogie back down to Eastleigh as soon as possible to put under the frames. This will be a very visual change for the loco and a milestone in its restoration.

The boiler shop kindly allowed us to borrow the injectors (minus all the expensive bits) to test fit to the loco. The boiler has been progressing well with sections of the sides of the firebox being removed and new plate being cut and put in place. Some holes have started to be drilled in the back plate but we are a long way off drilling 2,200 holes for the inner firebox. However, the practice will be good. Exciting things will be happening with the boiler this month, so keep an eye out for the next blog!

Having been brought into the project after the loco had been taken apart I am always surprised about what was originally fitted to it. This notice that I found gave me a little chuckle (see photo), to the surprise of Malcolm and Jason, our new General Manager, who saw nothing odd about a loco smelling of garlic. I can definitely say you learn something new everyday in this job.

Remember to come down and visit us for our Autumn Steam Gala where we will have a stand in the Station Master’s sitting room at Ropley. Why not come on a tour of the workshops? See the progress we have been making on the carriages and boiler for yourself.

Thanks for reading, 

Becky (Project Supervisor)

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