Blue Peter boiler passes hydraulic test


A milestone passed as Blue Peter’s boiler passes its hydraulic test.

On August 21, the boiler for A2 Pacific No. 60532 Blue Peter passed a significant milestone in its overhaul when the boiler successfully passed a hydraulic test at Locomotive Services Group’s Crewe works. 

Test pressure was taken up to 340psi, and the successful test effectively ‘starts the clock’ on the life of the new boiler ticket. 

The next steps, which will see it progress to a steam test, were being prepared, although no timescale on completion has been set.

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The locomotive was outshopped at Doncaster by the newly-formed British Railways in March 1948, painted in the apple green of the old LNER, but numbered 60532 with British Railways on its tender sides. It was withdrawn on December 31, 1966, and stored.

Blue Peter was purchased for preservation in 1968 by Geoff Drury, and with the involvement of the children’s BBC TV programme of the same name, it was restored to working condition once more. 

Its main line certificate expired in September 2001 and after that it was based at the NYMR, where it worked until the end of the 2002 season when its boiler certificate expired.In May 2016, the boiler was lifted as part of its overhaul and early the following year its life-expired middle cylinder was removed, with a new one was cast at H Downs Foundry at Huddersfield. No. 60532 was rewheeled earlier this year.

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The A2’s pressure gauge points the way ahead to reassembly and a return to steam after more than two decades.

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