Work taking place at the engineering section of the South Devon Railway (SDRE) for Bulleid Light Pacifics is making progress with building new parts for two of the Bluebell Railway's locomotives.
The first inner firebox of the production run at the workshop is for No. 34059. This is now in the final welding stage before marking-out is started for the stays. The inner firebox will be inserted into the outer wrapper, and then the foundation channel--which is already welded to the inner firebox--will be welded to the outer wrapper, with additional temporary support for the complete firebox being steel studs between the two firebox items. The drilling and reaming of the 2,000-plus stay holes will be undertaken at the Bluebell Railway.
No. 34059 "Sir Archibald Sinclair" was taken out of service back in 2011 due to a stay which was leaking badly, the surrounding platework was showing signs of star-fracturing, and a crack was evident in the uppermost part of the right thermic siphon. The work will essentially involve the complete replecement of the inner firebox and thermic syphons which required the boiler to be taken out of the frames.
Meanwhile, components for the new inner firebox for No. 21C123 have been pressed to enable work to be started on this item next. West Country Class Pacific No. 21C123 (also known as No. 34023) 'Blackmore Vale' was moved to the Bluebell Railway in 1971 but had to be withdrawn in 2008 due to a variety of firebox issues.
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