Watercress Line

Listen, don’t mention Canadian Pacific!…I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it

I am always asked how Canadian Pacific’s restoration is going and at points it can feel as if not much has changed. It really does become the point where you hope people will not mention the name…Canadian Pacific (hence the re-wording of Basil Fawlty!).

On a positive note, things have been progressing with Canadian Pacific’s restoration. We can go weeks without much happening and then it all happens at once. At Eastleigh things are much the same with work on the frames progressing slowly. The lubrication pipework is still being worked on by the volunteers, as they try to make sense of the chaos. One small but very visual change which has occurred to the loco was the delivery of the window frames. These have now been fitted to the cab. Canadian Pacific’s window frames are made of bronze compared to West Country Swanage’s which are made of wood. This has made a striking visual change, even if it is a small achievement (see photo).

The tender has been progressing with the Eastleigh volunteers working on the tender frames one day a week. The volunteers have been cleaning and painting the frames to help us access the framework. Unfortunately, the inner framework has become deteriorated and the Wednesday Gang have been cutting out the rotten platework. On inspection of the tender frame it was noticed that the axlebox horn gliders were cracked. At the start of August, the horn gliders were non-destructive tested to determine how many were cracked. After the testing it became clear that 9 out of 12 were cracked. There was even evidence on some of previous repair work to them. So, it has been decided that we will replace all 12 axlebox horn gliders, the hope that this will ensure a longer working life for the tender.

Work is still on-going with the bogie and trailing truck at Ropley. The Eastleigh volunteers have been helping out by painting the wheels and these are looking good. We have been waiting on some new welding equipment and this arrived last week. This means that we can get on with bronze welding the axleboxes and get one step closer to moving the bogie and trailing truck back down to Eastleigh.

The boiler meanwhile has been progressing on leaps and bounds. James Kidd has been welding the back plate to the boiler and we are nearly finished on this job. It has made a huge change to see parts of the boiler being put together, rather than being cut off. One big step made on the boiler has been a start on the inner firebox. Andy Netherwood has been measuring out the throat plate. Once he was happy with all the measurements he welded the tube plate onto the throat plate (see photo). This will be positioned into the boiler to check the fit but this is a positive step in the boilers restoration. Although, lots of work has been completed on the boiler over the last few months it is nice to see visual changes.

Thank you for reading

Becky, Project Supervisor

Help us to raise money to purchase seats for our Bulleid carriages by sponsoring a seat for £240! We need to raise £23,000 to buy 96 seats for 1456 and 4367, to read more about the appeal click here. To donate to the appeal or sponsor a seat you can either visit our My Donate page or a cheque made payable to Mid Hants Railway Preservation Society. If you are a UK resident and taxpayer please accompany your cheque with a note giving us your postcode or download our gift aid form.  Please send cheques to the Mid Hants Railway, The Railway Station, Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 9JG. 

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