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News of the repair of No 3 Baxter

10 July 2002

View of loco Freda Marshall and Andy Wilkens needle-gunning the boiler.

Examination of the boiler has shown that an area of the throatplate has suffered wastage where the blanked-off blowdown valve had leaked. An area of platework approximately 9 inches high and 24 inches wide will be replaced.

View of loco Freda and Sylvia Marshall painting the boiler.

View of loco View of loco
The boiler tubes were removed in a few days work in March. Here Paul Russell is making cuts in their firebox ends, and Andy Wilkens is pulling them out. Baxter has 108 tubes, one more than a P class.

View of loco

The rear wooden buffer beam had been replaced two years ago, but the front one was still the original. The cracks in the wood are visible in photographs taken in 1925. A soft spot was found right beside one of the buffers, so they were removed to reveal areas of rot behind them. A new wooden buffer beam will therefore need to be fitted.

View of loco

Kevin George with the wooden buffer beam removed, revealing the iron plank behind it. Removal of this plank revealed cracks in the angle-irons attaching it, so these will also be replaced.
View of loco

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With the buffer plank removed, the simple frame construction is easily seen. The small piece between the two main parts is barely fixed in place, and seems to exist purely to hold the cylinder drain taps linkage.

View of loco

The old studs which fix the steam chest covers have all been removed, except for two at the top on the right side where at some time past the top of the casting had broken away, and has been repaired by filling with some unidentifyable material. (The third stud is a new one.) This picture also shows the false faces fitted to the valves at an earlier (pre-Bluebell) repair.

View of loco

Work has started on replacing the floors of the bunkers, which after 24 years are almost corroded through in places. (What looks like the floor in this picture is the concrete ground.) Whilst the tanks and bunkrs will do another ten-year stint, it is obvious they won't last as long as the originals.

More pictures taken during Baxter's repair, including the large-size originals of those shown here, can be found here.

There was a previous news item about this locomotive's repair on 28 March.

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