Watercress Line

Flat Pack Boiler

Very little has changed on the mechanical restoration at Eastleigh as we are waiting for parts from Ropley. However, our new drawbar cushions made their way to Eastleigh to be trial fitted (see photos). This has been something that we have been trying to source for a while now and thanks to Anti-Vibration Methods we have managed to source new drawbar cushions which will work for the loco without breaking the bank. Even better they fit perfectly! To give you some idea of where these are situated on the loco - they are fitted under the frames where the bogie is situated (see photo). Not an easy place to get to once you have things in the way so the arrival of these parts was well timed. 

Work has been progressing leaps and bounds on the boiler. A significant milestone in the boiler’s restoration was achieved last month not long before the Autumn Steam Gala. In August I wrote about Andy measuring the throat plate for the inner firebox. With the throat plate welded to the tube plate and the back plate had been welded to the boiler it was time for the next step.

The next milestone in the boiler’s restoration was to test fit the throat plate, tube plate and door plate for the inner firebox. The first step was to fit the throat plate and tube plate into the boiler, a nerve-racking time but a surprise when it went in without a problem (see photos). After double checking that this was fitted correctly it was time to move onto fitting the door plate. This went in without a hitch and after some checking of measurements it became clear that the plates for the inner firebox fitted perfectly (see photos). The new firebox has been based on the old one that was removed in 2016, rather than from the plans we have for CP. The reason for this is the boiler has changed over time and what is drawn on the plans is not what we have in the boiler. Therefore, by using the old one as a template it will fit better (and it appears to have worked!).

With the throat plate, tube plate and door plate in the boiler we can now measure for the sides of the inner firebox. The throat plate and door plate will be bolted to the foundation ring but in order to do this, bolt holes need to be drilled. Once all the holes are drilled this will allow us to remove the foundation ring and parts of the inner firebox. Then construction will start on the firebox on a jig in the workshop. 

Across in the main workshop, the axleboxes for the bogie have been white metalled and are now being machined. With work now started on the trailing truck with the aim for the bogie and trailing truck to be back under CP’s frames the start of 2019. The tender frame overhaul has been progressing and more parts have been taken off, its a wonder there is much left of it! The Wednesday Gang have been working on the tender frame and rear buffer has been removed to allow access to the dragbox (see photo).

Did you manage to come along to the Autumn Steam Gala? If you managed to make your way to the Carriage Workshop you would have seen the mock-up of the seats that will be going into the Bulleid carriages (see photo). They were very comfortable and have more structural support than the seats currently in Bulleid carriage No. 4211. We have a few tweaks still to do on the carriages seats but they are a lot more comfortable than the original design. Remember you can help us to raise money for the seats here or why not sponsor a seat for £240?

Thanks for reading, 

Becky (Project Supervisor)

Photo gallery

Return to the Can Pac site