PETER progress

At the end of the 2003 season, Peter, our Bagnall saddle tank locomotive, had to be taken out of service
as its 10-year boiler certificate had expired. Well, now our patience has been rewarded.

(The above photograph shows Peter being prepared for service shortly before withdrawal from service)

Work on Peter's boiler was completed by Alex Hume in early February and was followed by a favourable
report by our boiler inspectors. The rebuilt boiler arrived back at Amberley in February.

Here the boiler is carried carefully through the museum by the museum crane (a museum piece in its own right!) to its temporary resting place outside the locomotive shed. The boiler is being steadied by Alex Hume, whose firm was entrusted with the work.

The boiler is lowered carefully onto some sleepers.

The boiler from the front.

The boiler from the back. As can be seen, it is of traditional rivetted construction.

The new backplate.

After a period when nothing seemed to be happening - although I can assure you it was - with essential items like new axle box bearings, and turning of the axle journals to name but two, visible signs of progress were apparent in early June when John Stanton and Robert Mitchell fitted the wooden boiler lagging strips to the boiler (well where else?).

Because we are using thicker insulation on the boiler, the saddle tank will not not fit! John Stanton uses an angle grinder to take an inch off the flange at the back of the tank to enable it to sit over the boiler.

At the same time the old paintwork was being sanded down .....

..... and a coat of red oxide primer applied.

The wagon has been brought under cover and undercoat applied to the tank.
Other body parts - bunkers, boiler cladding etc are also in the process of being painted as you will see below.

Final colour? That is, at the moment a secret - but here's a clue - it isn't green!

Photo by Peter Trinder.

The wheels have been away for some lathe work on the journals. Initially the Bluebell Railway were to do the work
and the first set was collected from Sheffield Park on 16 September and delivered to the engineering
workshops of Naiad Plastics Ltd in Littlehampton - with thanks to Mick Sayers and Mark Kingston, who just happen
to be two of our volunteers! - for the axle boxes to be matched and machined.

Unfortunately, because of their own workload, the Bluebell were unable to programme in our second wheelset
and so this was collected from them and it then went to Paul Bedford in Lower Beeding for the work to be done.
However, the assistance from the Bluebell Railway workshops is much appreciated - many thanks.

Latterly, one of the axle boxes was found to have split (this wasn't discovered until it was cleaned up for fitting)
and this went to Blakers in Dial Post for repair. This has now also returned.

The leading axle has been fitted.

The rear wheelset is back and is seen here awaiting its axleboxes.

Repaired and machined axle box.

John Stanton and Rod Devaney offer up the axle box .....

.... and with a bit on gentle persuasion the box fits almost first time.

The wheelset were then fitted into the frames.

After the Christmas and New Year break we set to work again. The first job was to fit the boiler cladding .....

and the cladding around the fire box.

Then with a bit of shunting of other locos, the complete rolling frame was lowered onto the track.

Wednesday 7 January
(Thanks to Peter Trinder for thes next 6 photos)

The chassis was extracted from the shed again to await the arrival of the Museum crane.

The straps were soon attached and the lift began

The boiler was gently offered up to the chassis .....

..... and gently lowered onto the frames.

Then with a bit of heaving and grunting the chassis was pushed back into the shed .....

..... but this needed a bit of assistance from the battery loco.

Caution - Plumber at work

Now we have the plumbers in. John Stanton makes a start on the backhead.

I hope he can remember which bit goes where.

The saddle tank was lifted on at the beginning of May. It was then discovered that some of the paint we had applied
earlier on in the year - in cold weather - had sagged and so it was decided to give Peter a good rub down
and start again with a flat surface. Some very bright undercoat was applied! Pretty heh?!

First steaming

The first steaming on 3 May 2009 wasn't the success we had hoped.

Steam pressure was brought up slowly.

Peter - with Wendy undergoing repairs.

A tell-tale wisp of steam from the safety valve is the harbinger of problems about to manifest themselves!

Cloister passes on the passenger train.

We did manage to coax a few revolutions of the wheels out of the low pressure.

As you can see the safety valve has lifted at just under 50 p.s.i. Not good.
Both valves were sent away for repair by Seetru Engineering in Bristol - disuse over a long period obviously caused the problem.

But with the added magic touch of Terry Smith with his lining brush Peter stood proud in its new coat of Midland Maroon paint.
Job Done!

The Museum's Official Website is here.
Gerry Cork & Amberley Museum - January 2009
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