By Cedric Johns
ACCLAIMED by thousands of fans worldwide, Flying Scotsman, the iconic locomotive which draws crowds wherever it goes, ran into trouble and was reduced to the ranks of also-rans when a hot axlebox stopped the A3 in its tracks.
Working the return leg of a Steam Dreams’ dining trip from York to Peterborough on Wednesday, October 18, those on the footplate became aware of a problem when smoke or ‘that smell’ indicated a loss of white metal.
On reaching Peterborough, the 4-6-2 was taken off its train and moved on to the Nene Valley Railway pending examination, a diesel taking the afternoon train onwards from Ely to Norwich. This examination revealed a hot box on the right hand side of the A3’s crank axle.
Without a wheel drop, no less than three mobile road cranes were brought onto site at Wansford on Saturday 21st to enable the wheelset to be removed for remedial treatment.
The tender was detached so that the cranes could move in close to lifting points, one at each end of cab and front bufferbeam.
The front bogie was also detached to avoid unnecessary weight being lifted.
It was quite windy when the lift took place, an eyewitness commenting that the A3 swayed when gusts hit the boiler.
Once the frames were clear of the centre driving wheels, the third crane moved in to lift the centre wheelset which was despatched to Riley Engineering’s workshops to enable a suitable repair to be carried out.
On further inspection it was, we understand, decided to renew the white metal in both axleboxes in an effort to reduce the risk of the ‘boxes not being balanced.
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