Steam locomotive update from Southern Locomotives Ltd – January 2019

Eddystone's Boiler Undergoing Hydraulic Test // Credit SLL
Eddystone's Boiler Undergoing Hydraulic Test // Credit SLL

Work on the Southern Locomotives Ltd (SSL) fleet has been ongoing both on and off-site, with two engines in service.

34028 “Eddystone”

With 34072 “257 Squadron” in traffic, more time can be spent on overhauling 34028.

Bryn Engineering has paid the Works a visit to reline the centre cylinder’s piston valve and to skim the middle cylinder and both outside piston valves.

Following the decisions to scrap the old smokebox, all usable fittings have been saved to be attached to the new smokebox which is to be purchased soon.

To ensure a tight seal, the holes for the elements on the superheater have been grounded by a volunteer. The next task is to overhaul the elements themselves. When completed these will be sent to Buckfastleigh, where the boiler is almost finished. The first hydraulic test showed only a very small leak. Further tests will be conducted and any issues resolved.

Skimmed Left-Hand Piston Valves // Credit SLL
Skimmed Left-Hand Piston Valves // Credit SLL

34053 “Sir Keith Park”

Following an issue with one of the coupled axle boxes which need repairs, the decision has been made to carry out a full bottom-end overhaul.

Currently, at Tyseley Locomotive Works, volunteers and in house staff have been busy stripping, examining and starting to carry out necessary work. Doing the bottom-end overhaul now will ensure a faster overhaul due in a few years time.

Although there’s a fair amount of work to be done, 34053 is planned to return in the 2019 seasons.

34053 having its Coupled Wheels Dropped // Credit SSL
34053 having its Coupled Wheels Dropped // Credit SSL

34072 “257 Squadron”

The last 4 months have seen 34072 busy in revenue earning service. As well as hauling normal passenger trains on the Swanage Railway, the engine has taken part in both “1948 Exchange” Gala and the S & D weekend, along with special trains where the company’s shareholder take to the regulator and shovel.

34070 “Manston”

Also undergoing work at Tyseley, the repairs to the front end are virtually complete. At the moment, its overhaul is planned to start later in the year, as work on 34028 and 34053 is prioritised. This would also allow SLL to build up funds to spend on 34070’s overhaul.

Front End Repairs to 34070 // Credit Pete Pickering
Front End Repairs to 34070 // Credit Pete Pickering

34010 “Sidmouth”

With thanks to an SLL supporter, a new smokebox door has been funded. The current one is not fit for use.

The plan is to move 34010’s frame into Herston Works when 34028 moves out, which will allow restoration of the frame to continue with cleaning down, repairing (if necessary) and then painting to protect the metal.


The Standard 4 Tank has been in service with no issues for the past few months. Like 34072, 80104 has been busy hauling normal train services on the Swanage Railway and taking part in galas on the line.


Work has been progressing on Norman, although a brief pause came in December when Bryn Engineering where working on 34028. Current work on the engine has seen the cylinders bored.

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