SR ‘Schools’ No. 925 Cheltenham overhaul Update

The 4-4-0 Maunsell designed ‘Schools’ Class V s once again inside Eastleigh Works being overhauled.

The Restoration

The boiler is likely to return to Eastleigh in October, just 12 months after the whole engine arrived at Eastleigh. The boiler will therefore have been overhauled in only nine months, a remarkably short period of time for the work to be completed. In addition to the boiler work, all other component repairs have been carried out at Ropley rather than at Eastleigh.

A crack in the frame was found following a Magnetic Particle Inspection by the fireman’s side centre driving wheel horn guide in July and was repaired before final painting was carried out.

The restoration team have given themselves a target of six months to fit the boiler and have the engine in steam under test in Eastleigh Works next Spring. Once tested, it will relocate to the Mid Hants Railway and join the operating fleet there and will be making visits to various parts of the country as an NRM exhibit.

What Can I Do?

Readers can help with the project by volunteering with the Mid Hants team, or by subscribing to the ‘Tenner For Cheltenham’ fund. This has been set up with the aim of raising £35,000 for the overhaul.

Donations should be sent to The Mid Hants Railway, Alresford Railway Station, Hampshire SO24 9JG or by visiting www.watercressline.co.uk. or by calling 01962 733810.

The Overhaul Team and KRS

The overhaul team work in close partnership with KRS who removed the asbestos from the engine on site, further speeding up the overhaul and without incurring transport costs for either the engine or contractors. The removal was made easier by the volunteers removing the myriad of parts preventing access to the asbestos so that KRS could play their part as cheaply as possible in the process.

Group of 20 Volunteers

A group of 20 Mid Hants Railway volunteers are working on the LSWR express passenger locomotive which last steamed over 30 years ago at the Rainhill Cavalcade and then at the now long gone Dinting Railway centre near Manchester.

The engine is, by courtesy of Knights Rail Services, (KRS) in covered accommodation in the former iron foundry, later the Van Shop inside Eastleigh Works. The boiler was removed on January 22 just 12 weeks after overhaul work commenced, and taken to the Mid Hants workshops at Ropley for overhaul.

Dismantling the wheels, motion and frames took just another six weeks and the Project Manager, Chris Smith, gratefully acknowledged that this fast progress would not have been possible without the use of KRS’ cranes or the hard working regular team of volunteers of all ages.

Class V

The National Railway Museum (NRM) owned 4-4-0 Maunsell designed ‘Schools’ Class V built in 1932 at Eastleigh is once again inside Eastleigh Works being overhauled.

The class was introduced in 1930 as the Class V, a new express locomotive for use with a 4000 gallon tender and were named after famous schools. The class quickly became known as ‘Schools’ for obvious reasons. They had three cylinders, a working pressure of 220psi and a grate area of 28 square feet.

Training for People to Take Increased Responsibility for Museum Artefacts

The team of volunteers is led by a funded post of Project Manager, made possible by funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund, under the auspices of Gary Wragg of Hampshire County Council’s Industrial, Maritime, Aviation and Transport Technologies Training Scheme. One of the skills training areas is Locomotive engineering, restoration, conservation, specialised fitting, machining processes and boiler repair and maintenance. To see full details of this scheme, please visit: www3.hants.gov.uk/museum/imatt.htm

This offers training for people to take increased responsibility for museum artefacts in various areas such as supervision, sign writing and sheet metal working. In fact, the scheme covers any trade which covers heritage technology for a period of two years.

An announcement is imminent regarding the Mid Hants owned Merchant navy, No. 35005 Canadian Pacific which could lead to the remarkable sight of two former Southern express engines under overhaul back at Eastleigh Works.

For the latest progress on the overhaul readers can visit www.watercressline.co.uk/The-Works/Locos/27

Now, who would have thought all this could be possible five years ago when the Works was closed by Alstom?

 
 

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