It is planned to have it back in steam for the Gala Weekend
at the end of May when it is hoped it will haul a special train of Great
Western carriages as well as demonstrating what it was originally built
for by hauling a train composed of as many of the South Devon Railway's
wagon fleet as can be mustered for the occasion!
Whilst it may be a rather large locomotive for what was
a branch line the South Devon Railway now rarely runs any of its trains
with less than five carriages whereas in days of old it was usual to see
just one small engine pottering around with one carriage, and that nearly
empty as well. The railway's crews are looking forward to the challenge
of driving and firing an engine that was quite at home with a train of
70 wagons. Summer Saturday's in the 1950's did though often see these freight
locomotives pressed in to action of passenger trains when they managed
to keep up with the timetable quite happily.
A visit to the works today ( 11th May) revealed the smokebox
being equipped with the main steam pipes that have been manufactured in
house, the locomotive in the process of being weighed using the Railway's
own set of weighing gear that can measure the weigh on each of the wheels
at the same time to facilitate adjustment and the first coat of topcoat
green being applied. A test steaming is planned for some time next week.
That will leave a spare week for shakedown trials, always necessary for
a rebuild of this magnitude. A further update will be issued next week
Below are some pictures to show how things are progressing
© South Devon Railway Trust 2006