Special EventsNewAccess to the Railway Timetable Tel: 01825 720825You're on the Bluebell Railway web site
Click for Golden Arrow details Vistor Info What's New Shop Search the site FAQ Links Details for the enthusiast How you can join in or help us Contacts Navigate

Bluebell Railway Atlantic Group
Background and early progress

next latest

Some few years ago a GNR Atlantic boiler came up for sale, and it was purchased with the aim of using it to build a Brighton Atlantic class locomotive at the Bluebell Railway.

boiler boiler

The LBSCR Atlantics were built to drawings modified from the GNR design, and so the boiler is entirely correct for the new locomotive.

An LBSCR C2X tender was based for some years at Guildford where it served as a water carrier No.DS 70183 until being purchased by Woodham Brothers in about 1981. It was felt that some of the locomotives in the scrap yard would have a better chance of being sold if tenders were available, but in the event the C2X type was sold on its own to Madame Tussauds for the Royalty and Empire Exhibition at Windsor station, where it was made to look Great Western behind a dummy locomotive "The Queen". The axlebox castings were machined off and new GWR-type covers were cast to make it look authentic behind the loco.

Tender wheelsets

This attraction closed some years ago and little had been heard until an article in Steam Railway indicated that the tender had been cut up as only the replica locomotive was needed in the new arrangement, believed to be a restaurant. Because it was not possible to extract the tender in one piece it had to be cut up, but at least the wheelsets were left intact and sold to scrap merchant in Uxbridge where they were traced by Roger Cruse of the Bulleid Society. We are grateful to Roger for his help in identifying where these items had gone. Following negotiations between the workshop staff at Sheffield Park and the scrap merchant, including a visit to Uxbridge by Ray Bellingham and Paul Thorp, our offer of £400 was accepted and the items are now on the railway.

Left: The tender wheelsets.

The three wheelsets together with springs and parts of the cast axleboxes from the C2X tender chassis arrived at Sheffield Park in two loads on 20 and 23 April 1999. These items were purchased by the Brighton Atlantic Project which means that the tender could be started, based on LBSCR B4 chassis No.DS 3202 bought from the Manston group in 1995. This had only two wheelsets as it lost its centre axle when converted to a van and used as a test unit at St Leonards depot.

The three C2X wheelsets are in good condition and will be used as a set on the rebuilt tender. All the axles and tyres and almost brand new, being stamped 1958 and 1959.

Tender axleboxes The axleboxes.

The main castings have been modified to look like GWR type, by machining off a portion of the front face, and the covers are made-up GWR style, but the spring sockets are original. The bronze bearings had been discarded when it was prepared for the replica locomotive.

next latest

More recent news updates

  • September 2001: Repairs to tender chassis.
  • More photos of the project.
  • March 2002: Modification of front end of tender.
  • November 2004: Loco Frames ordered.
  • December 2004: Bogie frame components arrive - also Feb.2005 news report.
  • 2005 - Loco main frames arrive - tender frames nearly completed - start of construction of the shed.
  • 2006 - Loco driving wheel castings delivered - drilling of the main frames and hornguides - building of the shed completed.
  • 2007 - Main locomotive frames erected.
  • 2008 - Components for the cylinders and valve chest delivered - frames riveted - forged billets for connecting and coupling rods delivered.
  • 2009 - First motion parts water-jet cut from forged blanks - bogie frames assembled
  • 2010 - Cylinders and valve chests fabricated, air brake cylinders completed, bogie and trailing wheelsets completed.
  • 2011 - Coupling rods and axleboxes delivered, reverser mechanism completed, crossheads cast.
  • 2012 - Valve and cylinder liners fitted - lifting and reversing arms and axlebox crowns delivered - castings for mudhole doors, regulator and whistle valves, reversing shaft clutch, blast-pipe cap, crosshead slippers, 'J' pipe and eight eccentric halves received - Bogie and trailing axle now support the frames.
  • 2013 - Cylinders, valves, slidebars and crossheads completed - driving wheels completed - valve gear components delivered - lifting frames constructed.
  • 2014 - Weigh (reversing) shaft and air-clutch fitted, axleboxes metalled, machined and fitted, wheel rotators constructed, eccentric rods, valve and reversing gear, pipework for brakes and steam heat completed, locomotive wheeled, cylinders clad and crossheads fitted.
  • 2015 - Rolling Chassis completed with all motion erected. Running plates and splashers completed, along with cab sides and front.
  • 2016 - Connecting and coupling rods fitted, valves set. Superheater header delivered. Revision of boiler internal pipework completed. Cab roof riveted together and fitted. Mud-hole patches welded into boiler. Flue tubes (with screw ends welded on) delivered.
  • Most recent news.
Return to Bluebell Home Page, to the Timetable or to Special Events
Atlantic Project - Background - Latest Progress - Donation form
Visitor Info. - Museum - Trust - Catering - Contacts - What's New - Projects - Locos - Carriages & Wagons - Signals - History - Other - Links - Search - FAQ
Locos Intro - Operational Locos - Locos Under Overhaul - Locos on Static Display - Bluebell Locos on Loan - Locos Formerly Based on the Bluebell
Loco Roster - Loco Stock List - Loco Works News - Join the Loco Dept

Why not become a BRPS Member?     -     Get more involved as a Volunteer

Your ideal Film/TV location?

Valid HTML 4.0 Transitional! Page maintained by Richard Salmon.
© Copyright, disclaimer and credits.