Watercress Line

Musical Tenders - CP Update Nov 2016

The last Canadian Pacific blog post marked a milestone in the overhaul of this magnificent steam locomotive and we have since passed another - the delivery of its new tender top.  The tender can now be found in the loco yard sitting behind 34007 Wadebridge.

The tender was constructed by Hill & Webster Ltd in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.  The firm are no strangers to building tenders, indeed they also built the tender for our Black 5 (45379).  As can be seen from the pictures they have done a fantastic job in creating the 5,250 gallon tender.  This tender type was used extensively by CP in its post-rebuilt condition in British Railways days.  Not only will this tender give CP an authentic appearance, but the particular type will be a unique sight in preservation.

The video above shows the lifting operations that were required in Ropley to bring in CP’s new and remove the old tender tops, and turn Wadebridge’s tender frames.  Special thanks must go to Steve’s Cranes Ltd. who used their Hiab Lorry to perform the required lifts.

The old tender top has been purchased for use behind sister Merchant Navy classmate 35010 Blue Star, based on the Colne Valley Railway.  Although the new tender is currently resting on the correct frames, it is a temporary home for now.  Once Wadebridge’s tender frames are overhauled, the new tender top will be moved onto them to allow Canadian Pacific’s tender frames to be overhauled.  After which, the top will be returned to CP’s tender frames.

Meanwhile in Ropley, work has been progressing on re-skinning Canadian Pacific’s cab.  The frames were in poor condition and most of the sheet metal needed replacing.  Much of the work is now complete and Ollie has started painting.  The cab frames remain in the works behind 34105 Swanage, whilst the cab panels are on Mezzanine in the boiler workshop.

In Eastleigh, Canadian Pacific’s alignment checks have been started, using newly developed optical alignment gear.  It is fair to say that using this equipment has been a steep learning curve, but progress is being made.  More details will follow in a future blog post.

Last but by no means least, the volunteers in Eastleigh have been working as hard as ever.  The lubrication network and pipework remains a focus for the team.  The pipe’s all require annealing and re-fitting to the frames, which is not as simple as it sounds.  The drawings do not match completely with what is found on the loco, which has added a significant complication.  Volunteers have been busy in other areas too, with returned re-bushed brake rigging from Ropley and being painted, whilst the ashpan gear has been refurbished.

That’s about all for now folks – except for the really important bit below – please help us return Canadian Pacific to working order!

Until next time,



As can be seen, the work to bring the oldest and fastest surviving Merchant Navy class locomotive is in full swing.  We have already made very good progress and with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the prospect of seeing 35005 Canadian Pacific is much more than just a pipe dream.  However, we do need your support to help pay for the locomotive’s new Inner Firebox. 

Our “Sponsor A Stay” campaign ends at the end of December, so be quick to take advantage of the incentives!  A model of Canadian Pacific is up for grabs, and just 8 Stays will get you a ticket on the inaugural train when Canadian Pacific returns to service.  As this blog post goes to press, around 600 Stays have been sponsored.  To find out more and track progress, please go to and bookmark www.watercressline.co.uk/canpac/donate.  Alternatively, you can download and print the form at the bottom of this page.  We are also still accepting other donations for the project, so please click here to do so.  To keep up to date with project progress, please sign up to our newsletter by clicking here.

Finally, to find out more about the Canadian Pacific project, check out our new website at www.watercressline.co.uk/canpac.

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