THE last few stays and rivets went into the refurbished boiler that will operate with new-build GWR 4-6-0 No. 6880 Betton Grange, at Tyseley Locomotive Works in November.
All three sections of the boiler were assembled in time for trial-fitting in the locomotive’s frames on December 3.
It had originally been hoped that a fire could be lit in the grate of No. 6880 by the end of 2018, but discovery of worse-than-anticipated corrosion in the front taper section of the Swindon No. 1 boiler, which came from former ‘Barry 10’ Modified Hall No. 7927 Willington Hall, resulted in a new section having to be made which set completion back by around three months.
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The owning group has decided to keep the part-assembled locomotive at Tyseley over the winter to complete several outstanding jobs on the chassis and boiler, with a view to completing hydraulic boiler and steam tests before it returns to the Llangollen Railway, where it is hoped to steam the locomotive by May.
While work on the boiler has been drawing to a conclusion at Tyseley, regular working parties have been busy at the locomotive’s Llangollen base, preparing the bodywork of the Collett 4000-gallon tender paired with Peter Robinson’s GWR 2884 class 2-8-0 No. 3814, for which a hire agreement has been agreed so that No. 6880 can start revenue-earning work as soon as it has been run-in and any initial snags are sorted out.
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