Watercress Line

Springing into action

With the end of the year looming we are still working hard to progress Canadian Pacific’s restoration. There was no rest for the team at Eastleigh after the re-wheeling of CP’s frames. For those of you who like facts, it has taken over two years to get the frames back onto the driving wheels. The frames were first lifted off the driving wheels on 29th June 2015 for the wheels to be sent to the South Devon Railway. What a milestone for the restoration!

Talking about milestones, we managed another not long after. A small milestone was achieved in October with the movement of the re-skinned cab to Eastleigh. The cab has been lifted onto the frames for test fitting. The cab is still waiting for the window frames to be made and these will now be fitted in Eastleigh. Test fitting the cab to the frames has allowed us to highlight some issues with the cab and frames. The first issue we had to overcome was that none of the bolt holes on the cab matched up with those on the frames. With a little bit of work from our volunteers this was fixed and it has now been fixed to the frames. The volunteers have been fitting a few items to the cab and put down a temporary floor (see photos). It is beginning to look more like a locomotive! The biggest issue that we have identified since putting the cab back on the frames is that it is not straight. We are currently trying to determine what could be causing this, although, until the boiler is finished we will not be able to do anything to straighten it.

The mechanical lubricators and atomisers have been sent to Ropley for testing. You may have noticed that they were fitted to the frames previously after being cleaned and painted. These have now been tested and two are ready to make their journey back to Eastleigh. We have identified that two of the mechanical lubricators will need some new parts and this will be completed at Ropley. We recently loaned one of our mechanical lubricators and atomisers to 35006 P & O. They were having an issue with their lubrication system and borrowing items for us allowed them to be the spare engine at the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway, while they found the issue. We were very happy to hear that this issue has been identified and they kindly tested our mechanical lubricator and atomiser. One less job for us!

Other work at Eastleigh has focused on cleaning and painting some of the tender parts that have been removed from CanPac’s tender frames, which is sat in Ropley yard. An initial assessment of the tender frames has been completed and it looks like there is a bit of work to do to the frames. Steve visited us at Eastleigh in October to look at the liner in the right-hand stuffing box. We became aware that there was a hole in the liner and this has had to be removed. Alfie in the machine shop spent 30 hours making a new liner for the stuffing box and this is now waiting to be fitted by Bryn Engineering.

The volunteers have been working on fitting the springs. This has been difficult due to the lack of space to complete this job (see photos). Springs are normally fitted before re-wheeling the frames. However, the bushes for the spring hangers were not fitted as we were waiting for them to be put in using nitrogen. With the help of Arlington Fleet Services, the bushes have been pressed into the spring hangers allowing us to fit the springs. We have no access to an inspection pit at Eastleigh and so all this is done lying under the locomotive. The lack of space means that everything takes a long time to fit into place and movements are slow.

Work in the boilershop is moving forward but at a slower pace. The new throat plate has now been ordered and will be pressed in one piece. However, the back plate which was being worked on has had to be sent back to South Devon Railway as it doesn’t fit. The replaced sections of the thermic syphons have been finished and have been NDT tested. Although, we have had a set back with the boiler, work is still continuing in order to progress its restoration.

Thank you for reading

Becky, Project Supervisor


Please help support the progress of the Canadian Pacific project to bring back our flagship steam locomotive and two Bulleid carriages back to life by clicking here.  You can do this by Sponsoring a Stay or making a donation. Don't forget that we need to raise funds to complete the overhaul, especially as a new firebox is costing an extra £120,000, so all support is very much needed and appreciated. To sign up to the newsletter, please click here.

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