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Final CanPac update of 2015

This is our final update of 2015 for the Canadian Pacific project.  You’d be forgiven for thinking that the boiler move was the only news for December, but you’d be wrong!  As ever, Eastleigh’s volunteer team have been working hard to progress the overhaul of our Merchant Navy class locomotive.

The moving of the boiler from Eastleigh to Ropley provided the ideal opportunity for the cab to be moved indoors, where it has since been stripped.  It will be shot blasted in the New Year and given a coat of primer, before being moved to Ropley where the remainder of the work will take place.  With the workscope needing panels to be replaced, it will be best placed in Ropley for access to required tools and machinery.

The Blacksmith has been working on straightening the frame extensions and bufferbeam support.  With this complete, we can now conduct the final preparations ahead of the welding repairs required.

The piston and valve heads have been removed – yet another tough job.  The valves and pistons themselves require re-boring and the frame stands needed to complete the task are nearly complete in Ropley.

The manganese steel lining from the driving wheels axle boxes have been removed and are now ready for machining.   The driving wheels themselves are progressing in South Devon where they require Ultrasonic Axle Testing (UAT,) that is planned to take place in January.  The testing is being carried out alongside another project in Buckfastleigh to help keep the costs down.  UAT testing is required so that Canadian Pacific can be hauled on Network Rail back to our railway once the overhaul is complete.

If John Aplin ever asks whether you like jigsaw puzzles, always say no!  After I said yes he showed me a very complex puzzle – the locomotive’s lubrication system! This is a complex network of piping through which oil is transferred.  Although the piping was labelled as it was removed, it’s nevertheless a big task to put back together, after the pipes are cleaned.

Finally, thank you to all our supporters for helping us progress this project in 2015.  Special thanks has to go out to the volunteers, staff, our friends in Arlington Fleet Services Ltd, the Heritage Lottery Fund and all of those who have donated to the project, without whom this project would be impossible to deliver.  We gratefully look forward to your continued support in 2016 and wish you all a happy new year.

If after reading this you have been inspired to support our project, please click here to find out how you can help!

Thanks for reading!


Photo gallery

  • Canadian Pacific’s axle boxes and running boards.

  • The cab back inside Eastleigh works

  • The frames

  • The puzzle! The lubrication oil pipes

  • A view inside the frames –note the oil pipes

  • Another view inside the frames

  • The straightened frame extensions

  • Re-straightening the buffer beam support

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