Work continues at South Devon

Even though all work has stopped at our Toddington base the contractors at South Devon Engineering have been able to make excellent progress with our wheelsets.

All wheels now have the new tyres fitted and in mid-May were being profiled - this requires a giant lathe and the overhead cranes come into their own for moving the axles around the workshop.

We were aware of some cracking in the welds around spoke infill plates. These have now been fully repaired but, unfortunately, it was found to be a far more difficult and expensive task with an eventual bill for more than £7,000.

Initial inspection of the counterbalance weights had revealed a number of loose rivets that needed attention.  As is often the case with heritage locomotives, when it came to the repair the job became bigger - as each of the loose rivets was attended to adjacent ones were found to be a problem.  In the end we need to replace over 90 of the rivets and another large bill is the result - this time approaching £5,500.

Planned work on the wheelsets included quartering the crank pins to ensure true round - but this work was dependent on there being sufficient size left in the pins to allow the machining - there is, of course, a set amount of wear that can be allowed on these vital items and once they go below the minimum size they must be replaced.  On detailed inspection 4 of our crank pins were deemed to be beyond sensible recovery - they would certainly not be suitable for a full ten-year service life and the decision was taken to replace with new.  This will ensure a very long service life in preservation for the locomotive without the need for further major work in this area.  Unfortunately, a fifth pin (which had plenty of potential service life) was found to be loose in its mounting and damaged - so an additional £2,000+.

Once finished, we will have one of the best wheelsets in preservation - but we could do with some help with the costs! As can be seen from the detail we need to find approaching £15,000.    Any donations would be most welcome - full details of how you could help contained on our Supporting Opportunities page.

We will be adding photos of the work in progress as soon as we are able - watch this space! 



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