Work continues on the repair of BR Standard class 4 tank engine No 80151 with the aim of running it
later this year.
The Dukedog's engine frames have been lifted off the wheels, and the bogie has been dismantled.
Work continues on the boiler with the longitudinal stays fitted, and construction of the new smokebox.
Other news items:
U class No 1638's tender has the tank and bunker assembly fitted to the frames. More details
Work continues on P class No 1178. More details
Tesco opens for business. More details
Fenchurch is being used for the Footplate Days and Ways courses for the next few weeks whilst Stepney
undergoes a mechanical repair.
Some adjustments to the blastpipe size and alignment are to be made to tune up its performance.
During the week following Easter Fenchurch will be running extra trains as crew-training exercise for
firemen to get familiarised with Terriers on trains.
Sharpthorn has been moved from its previous home at the back of the top car park to a new home
outside the Bessemer Arms alongside the beer garden.
Steps are to be made to enable children to climb into its cab in safety.
There is no plan to start any repair work,
but having it displayed in a prominent position will keep it in the eye of visitors and members alike.
The Villa Team plan to start Baxter's repair shortly.
The boiler needs little work other than retubing,
but the frames need to come off the wheels to attend to poor axlebox oil flow,
and the steam chest cover studs all require replacement.
Fitment of vacuum brake control and train heating is being considered in order to make more use of
Plans are being made to swap the life-expired boiler in C class No 592 with the spare one obtained
some years ago from a stationary installation at Ashford.
Three large locomotives reach the end of their boiler tickets in the next few years: C1, 73082, and 92240. When the repairs of 80151 and 3217 have been completed, the next main job to be tackled in the works will be either S15 class No 847 or U class No 1638, followed by the Schools class No 928. Other than these two jobs and reboilering No 592 that is as far as plans currently go.
The Villa Team's next project after Baxter is most likely to be P class No 27.
A certain amount of conservation work has been done to this engine over the last 2 years,
but its long spell partly dismantled in the open has not helped it much,
and the job is expected to take about 8 years.
However, in many ways it is the best of the 3 P class, with sturdy cylinders and frames,
and almost new tyres.
The Fenchurch Fund is to continue its fund-raising operations under the same name, supporting a number of related projects, but substantially aimed at engine No 27 when this job reaches the later stages and needs lots of money spent on it. A new range of merchandise will soon be announced, and if we get our act together in time may be available at the AGM.