Removing Boiler Tubes from 3650 // Credit Didcot Railway Centre
Removing Boiler Tubes from 3650 // Credit Didcot Railway Centre

Great Western Railway (GWR) 57XX tank No. 3650 is undergoing an overhaul at Didcot Railway Centre, with good progress being made so far.

Work Done So Far?
Last Bolt being Removed that holds the Steam Fountain in place // Credit Didcot Railway Centre
Last bolt being removed that holds the steam fountain in place // Credit: Didcot Railway Centre

Work first started with removing the old boiler tubes from the Boiler. Even though 3650 has a shorter boiler than most Engines, at least two people are needed to remove each tube. Most of the tubes have been removed now.

Recent work has focused on removing the boiler fittings in both the cab and smokebox. In the cab, the bolts holding the steam fountain to the back of the boiler backhead have been removed.

The steam fountain contains many valves, which controls steam supply to the injectors, blower and steam heating. The Manson Valve, responsible for the amount of steam heating to the carriages, has also been removed.

Unbolting the Pipe Supplying Steam to the Blower in the Smokebox // Credit Didcot Railway Centre
Unbolting the pipe supplying steam to the blower in the smokebox // Credit Didcot Railway Centre

At the opposite end of the engine, in the smokebox, the pipe connecting the steam supply to the blower has been unbolted, to allow it to be removed.

The nuts, holding the main steam pipe to the regulator box, were heated in order to expand them, making unscrewing them easier.

The team helping to overhaul 3650 are always looking for new people to join them to help complete the range of tasks needed to be done before 3650 can steam again. The next working day on 3650 is on this Saturday, the 20th of January.

If you would like to get involved, please follow the link here, or visit the Didcot Railway Centre facebook page here

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