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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 43 - Spring 1981

Locomotive Department Review - Allan Vigar


The close of the 1980 season left the available stock of serviceable locomotives at an all time low. Although our stock of locomotives continues to grow, so, unfortunately, does the cost of restoring them and maintaining them in working order. This applies equally to the private owned locomotives at Quainton as to our own motive power and enthusiastic optimism has to be tempered, all too frequently, with reality. Indeed, a Locomotive Sub-Committee meeting is no place for the timid, because there is much heated argument and debate concerning the allocation of resources and manpower. However, we are confident that the situation will steadily improve, although the stumbling block will always be that rare commodity - money. As a reminder of costs, let me say that the full overhaul of complete six coupled tank locomotive to an acceptable standard is not likely to be less than £10,000, enough to make any Treasurer shudder!


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Photo:
A Lyster - 7715 - stripped to the frames


The picture above shows our Pannier tank, 7715, in the shed last August. The boiler, wheels and axleboxes have been away at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway undergoing repair and are expected back in February. The opportunity has been taken to work on the frames, tanks and on sundry fittings and we hope to carry out re-erection so that the locomotive will be in service during 1982. Following this extensive overhaul, 7715 should give us ten years of relatively trouble-free service.

Coventry No. 1 managed to limp through the 1980 season, but only just. It suffered from a plethora of steam leaks, which we anticipate will be overcome now we have found a supplier of suitable metallic packing for the piston and valve rods. During the winter the big end bearings have been remetalled, which should eliminate some of the knocks when the old faithful returns to service at Easter.

The ex-CEGB Peckett 2104 is again expected to be in service from Easter, following some attention to some boiler repairs. This Peckett has given many years of valued service to the Society and has gained something of a reputation of sorting the firemen from the fireboys. When working a train on a summer's day the heat in the cab is somewhat oppressive, but plans are in hand to carry out modifications to improve crew comfort.


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Photo:
A Lyster - Attention to Hornpipe's Leading Axle

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Photo:
J M Hutchings - 2nd November 1980 and Peckett 1900 is in steam


Peckett 1756, Hornpipe, had to remain as a static exhibit during 1980, due to a defective leading axle, but this has now been replaced by a new one - so 1981 should see the debut of Hornpipe working trains in the down yard.

The very unusual Peckett 1900 has been completed and will be in steam in 1981 and no doubt will excite much comment, because it is not as high as its owner / driver. It is not likely to be on passenger trains, because, so far, it has not been fitted with vacuum brake equipment.

In the up yard the three Sentinel locomotives are all useable and should be in action throughout the 1981 season on the demonstration line. Unfortunately, there can be no passenger service yet in this yard, so we will have to be content with seeing the Sentinels whirring up and down the yard on their own at present.

The Beattie well tank is awaiting a decision on the extensive boiler repairs which are required and similar problems beset L44, the Met. tank which is dismantled in the shed. It is hoped that one of these two locomotives will be at the Bluebell Railway Centenary celebrations in 1982 and we hope to make a further announcement during the coming months.


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Photo:
J R Fairman - Sentinel 6515 - ready for a 'whirr


This season we start with seven steamable locomotives, which, all being well, will be joined by two more in 1982. In this article it has not been possible to review the progress on all the locomotives at Quainton. More news is given in Society Notes, but I trust we are in for a successful season and I will be able to report again in a future Quainton News of more action in the Locomotive Department.


Notes:
The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 1981 and so does not reflect events in the 33+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Reference:
Locomotive Department Review - Allan Vigar - Quainton News No. 43 - Spring 1981


Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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