Following a lengthy bottom end overhaul by Riley Engineering, A4 No. 60009 Union of South Africa has enjoyed a good season running down south until recent weeks.
The A4, accompanied by Merchant Navy 4-6-2 No. 35018 British India Line, travelled from York to Carnforth on October 12 and on to the East Lancashire Railway for its gala weekend. However, it was afterwards found to be suffering from a cracked right-hand cylinder block.
Before attempting a repair, the A4 needed two cranes – rather like the recent lift of Flying Scotsman on the Nene Valley Railway – to release the bottom end for access.
Commenting on the situation, the A4’s owner, John Cameron, said that the crack was quickly repaired using an ‘electro-lite’ technique. This was followed by an hydraulic test and given a thumbs-up, the 4-6-2 was further tested, working ‘Santa Specials’ on the East Lancashire Railway on December 2/3.
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