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Bluebell Railway Atlantic Group
2008 progress

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Auxiliary reservoir for air brake in tender - Jan 2008 - Fred Bailey

13 February 2008


Fred Bailey's photos taken last month show:

Right: The auxiliary reservoir for the air brake on the tender, fitted in place

Below: Progress on the loco main frames, with some more of the steelwork bolted in place and awaiting riveting:
The boiler cradle stretcher, in the foreground, and the boiler support stretcher behind.
The front buffer beam, temporarily in place.

Boiler cradle stretcher and the boiler support stretcher - Jan 2008 - Fred Bailey The front buffer beam, temporarily in place - Jan 2008 - Fred Bailey

Below: The inside of the front buffer beam.
The outside of the frames, with the centre footstep support in place.

Inside the front buffer beam - Jan 2008 - Fred Bailey The centre footstep support - Jan 2008 - Fred Bailey

Loco frames, with buffers in place - 23 Feb 2008 - Derek Hayward

March 2008

The photo on the right, from Derek Hayward (taken on Branch Line Weekend, when the project held "open house"), shows the two original LBSCR buffer assemblies which are now attached to the locomotive buffer-beam. Two more are still required for the rear of the tender.

Fred Bailey's photos below show:

Left: The delivery on 11 February of the project's newly purchased (second hand) milling machine. It is a Dufour, with 50Int Horizontal spindle and a 50Int Universal Vertical head. The table is about 63" x 12" with a longitudinal travel of 43".
Right The mill being used for machining a 7.5 degree chamfer on the bottom of the trailing axle horns, the first job on the new machine. Its position in the building is temporary, as some remodelling of the layout is being undertaken.

The new machine is a great bonus for the project, which has an enormous amount of machining to do, since the mills in the main loco works are in very heavy use as well, so is also a useful overall increase in machining capacity.

Delivery of milling machine - 11 Feb 2008 - Fred Bailey First use of the new mill - 24 Feb 2008 - Fred Bailey

July 2008

Main horns - 3 July 2008 - Fred Bailey Various components - 3 July 2008 - Fred Bailey

Tender Springs - 30 July 2008 - Fred Bailey


Although it has been some time since we updated this page, work hasn't stopped, but it is more difficult to show the progress! This will continue to be the case now we are into the detail of the build rather than the spectacular, such as last year's frame assembly. However, the fabrication of the cylinder and valve assemblies is set to be a fairly impressive achievement in its own right.

Fred Bailey's photos show:

Above Left: The main horns are now fully machined and are seen being attached to the frames with fitted bolts.

Above Right: The new buffer stocks (to right), the spring hanger bolts for the bogie coil springs (the long hexagon headed bolts) and at the rear are the spring end caps.

Right: The tender springs have just arrived - they were ordered in February 2007!!

Below Left: Parts for the valve chests, cut for us from 30mm plate by waterjet (with a little garnet as abrasive).

Below Right: A dry run assembly of the valve chest parts. These are based on a central tube for each valve; we have the tubes but they need some complicated machining, which will probably be sub-contracted to a CNC equipped shop.

Parts for Valve Chests - 30 July 2008 - Fred Bailey Valve Chest - 30 July 2008 - Fred Bailey

Below Left: Trial assembly of the cylinder parts. Not shown is the tube around which these parts are assembled. Again, we have this in stock, but it needs some machining prior to incorporating it into this fabrication.

Below Right: Both cylinder and valve chest together. Due to the machining required on various parts it may be some time before the fabricating starts in earnest. We have purchased the raw materials now just in case prices rise further than they have already.

Cylinder assembly - 30 July 2008 - Fred Bailey Cylinder and valve chest assemblies - 30 July 2008 - Fred Bailey

8 December 2008

Billets arrived for motion - 7 Dec 2008 - Fred Bailey Billets arrived for motion - 7 Dec 2008 - Fred Bailey

Fred Bailey's photos taken yesterday show that the forged billets for the coupling and connecting rods have arrived. The shapes will be cut out by waterjet to close to finished size and then the rods machined from that point. We expect to make more parts from the offcuts. The ruler in one of the photos is 24" long.

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More recent news updates

  • 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 - Valve chest and cylinders fitted to frames, covers fitted, and pressure tested.
  • 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.
  • 2017 - Major progress on the boiler overhaul, and with the safety valves.
  • 2018 - Boiler tubes fitted, tender made mobile, complex parts of the boiler cladding made.
  • Most recent news.

Older news updates

Project Funding

A fund raising appeal for the cash required to complete the project was launched in 2000, and a combination of gifts made via the Bluebell Railway Trust, and standing orders set up to provide a steady income to the project have now made over a third of the total available. Whilst this has provided funding for the present work, more is going to be needed to complete the project, and the best way in which you can help is by setting up a small, regular, standing order to the Bluebell Railway Trust under Gift Aid, since this enables the Trust to reclaim the basic rate tax you have paid, and (if you are a higher rate tax-payer) enables you to reclaim some tax as well.

A combined Donation, GiftAid and Standing Order form is available as a pdf document.

For further details contact David Jones.

A donation is made to this project when you buy Historical Transport Film videos from Beulah.

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