Chiltern Shuttle Progress: January 2019

Chiltern Shuttle’s owner Dave Horton reports on restoration progress this month:

The boiler has now been removed from the frames and thickness testing carried out on all of the platework. This reveals things to be in remarkably good condition considering the loco has been stood unused in the damp and cold for ten years still wearing its cladding. The exception is the smokebox which, as expected, is totally shot (though the chimney and door are salvageable), and the two bosses (washout plugs) on the bottom of the barrel which are rusted through will have to be replaced.

Though the news is generally good so far, a hydraulic test will need to be undertaken once the bosses are replaced to determine whether there are any hidden gremlins such as cracks in the front tubeplate. All being well, and subject to independent boiler assurance, we may be able to leave the copper tubes undisturbed.

Readers may be interested to note that the boiler, a ‘Goodhand’ design, is round-topped – this was a surprise to me as the cladding has been designed to imitate the Belpaire fireboxes (square-topped) of the Pennsylvania switchers on which the model is apparently quite faithfully based (when I find out exactly what class of loco it was based on, I will let you know!).

On the chassis side, strip-down of the cylinders and valve chests has revealed that slide valves are worn and need replacing, and new pistons and rings are required, but hopefully reboring can be avoided.

Since these photos were taken everything has been utterly blasted with a pressure hose or so I’m told!

Finally some pictures of what she looked like when built as a 9.5″ gauge engine by Mr R. Morse of Hendon (1947). This is turning out to be quite a fascinating little journey of engineering archaeology!