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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 98 - October 2007

Engineering Report - Adrian Corke

The summer season is well under way, and there have been very few problems with the locomotives here at Quainton. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes, which may not be obvious to the casual observer, but will help make the Engineering Department more efficient in the longer term. The main emphasis has been on collating stock and spares in the Romney buildings and the locomotive stores.

Metropolitan No.1

The Bluebell Railway has recently completed four Metropolitan Railway coaches from the Chesham Branch. As part of the celebration, Metropolitan No. 1 visited as the most appropriate locomotive to haul the first trains. Unfortunately she ran a hot box on the second weekend and was limited to the Station limits at Sheffield Park. The wheel set was removed for inspection the following week, and the bearings were remetalled and assembled by David Horsley with help from the engineers at the Bluebell. At this time it was identified that the journals were oval and tapered, but as there was no time to resolve this problem the locomotive was re-assembled in the hope that the remetalled bearing would resolve the problem. This was not the case and the locomotive was withdrawn from service to avoid further damage to the axle. It was hoped that we could use the wheel drop at the Bluebell to remove the wheel set and have the journals turned, unfortunately their own work program has made this impossible.

Met 1 was sent to South Coast Steam, Portland, for attention to the journals and bearings on the front axle. Although Met 1 failed I believe that the amount of free publicity we will receive from the events will have made the visit worth while. On the trains that she did work the crews were full of praise for the locomotive, and its performance. We now have a valuable link with the Bluebell Railway and hopefully we may have a locomotive visit in the future. Met 1 is back with us but needs some adjustments to the brakes before it is taken back into service.

Coventry No. 1

Following the failure of the Llangollen Thomas event we have picked up some extra hires, so far the locomotive has been to the Isle of Wight on its summer holiday and gave no problems whatever. At the end of this year we plan to repaint the engine, and also have the big end bearings built up and re-machined.


Progress bas been much better over the last few weeks, with much effort expended on the completion of all the remaining jobs on the frames and motion. By the time you read this Millom will be approaching the end of a major rebuild; many of the jobs were unexpected when it was dismantled and the overhaul started. Some of the jobs not anticipated include:

  • Turning the wheels and journals
  • New axle box brasses
  • Repairs to the horn guides
  • New crosshead slippers
  • New brake blocks
  • New brake beam cross shaft
  • New foot plating

All of these extra tasks have meant inevitable delays whilst waiting for spares, and then the time required for machining and fitting. The major task remaining is the fitting of the vacuum pipes and the ejector to enable Millom to operate passenger coaches in the down yard. However once Millom is completed, it will be a useful locomotive for use on the School education visits.

No. 66

Work on repairs to the frames are now complete, the valves and pistons have been refitted along with re-machined slide bars and remetalled crosshead slippers. The locomotive has a new buffer plank at both ends, along with repaired buffers. The next stage is to recover the born guides and axle boxes. Once the wheel lathe has been commissioned at SCS the wheels will be turned and we will finally know if the tyres are serviceable. It is anticipated that the rolling chassis will return to Quainton towards the end of the year.


I do not know where we would have been without the Beattie this year. Personally I do not think we should use locomotives of this age and rarity on a daily basis, but when needs must etc. Anyway, the Beattie has worked well throughout the summer, and by the time you read this she will be in Bodmin for her autumn visit. This year the Beattie will return to Quainton in time for our Steam Gala.


Work is continuing on the repairs to the boiler and is planned to be completed by the end of the year. The rest of the locomotive will then be moved to Portland for inspection and assembly.

Churchill Coach

One side of the coach is now complete and being painted, with work yet to start on the other side. The roof has been repaired and sealed; unfortunately this has revealed extra corrosion around the toilet area. This has been assessed and it has been decided not to proceed further into this area, as this is likely to reveal major problems that will need to be addressed.

Down Yard Water Tower

The tank has now been cleaned internally and painted. All of the components have been overhauled, and will be reassembled over the coming weeks.


This locomotive has had a full service and inspection, David Matthews has volunteered to put numbers and graphics on once they have been delivered.


Bix Curtis is making really good progress on this project, and I'm sure the engine will look very smart when it ventures into the sunlight. The engine is in the final throes of being assembled, and should be fitted in late September.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 2007 and so does not reflect events in the 7+ 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.

Engineering Report - Adrian Corke - Quainton News No. 98 - October 2007

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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Page Updated: 01 December 2017