Update from Batt Holden Ltd on steam locomotive S160 6046 and LMS 8F 48173

Damaged Petticoat // Credit Batt Holden Ltd
Damaged Petticoat // Credit Batt Holden Ltd

Batt Holden Ltd has posted an update on the recent work carried out on some of their locomotives.

About Batt Holden Ltd

Just before we start the update, here is a quick overview of who Batt Holden Ltd is for anyone who doesn’t know.

Batt Holden Ltd owns and maintains two United States Army Transportation Corps S160s, 5197 & 6046 and London, Midland and Scottish Railway 8F 48173.

All three engines are based on the Churnet Valley Railway (CVR) but can be seen on other heritage lines when out on hire.

No.5197 at Toddington // Credit Jamie Duggan, RailAdvent
No.5197 at Toddington, Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway // Credit Jamie Duggan, RailAdvent

Currently, both S160s are operational and 48173 is undergoing restoration at Cheddleton Workshop, CVR. At Cheddleton, the company employs several staff which undertake work on their own engines but also contract work.

S160 6046

While in the quiet winter months the company is taking the opportunity to carry repairs and adjustments to 6046.

A leak was found in the base of the blast pipe, which after dissembling showed the cause of the leak. Corrosion had developed in the studs since fitting the new blast pipe a couple of years ago and the petticoat had cracked, leading to a section of it to fall off.

The new studs for the blast pipe are ready to be fitted. Various components have been overhauled, such as buffer beam steam heat cocks and several valves. New parts include air pipes and reverser nut.

New Reverser Nut being Trial Fitted // Credit Batt Holden Ltd
New Reverser Nut being Trial Fitted // Credit Batt Holden Ltd

With work already focused on the blast pipe, the company will also make some adjustments to the overall draughting of 6046. Although the engine steams well, fellow S160 5197 has always been the superior locomotive, out of the pair, when it comes to steaming.

Due to the S160s being used across the world, from America to Europe to  China, various adaptations were performed. While some of these were done to reflect practiced, others were to improve performance.

With several drawings from a number of sources, its hard to find which changes achieved better running. As well as using these drawings, the company will compare the dimensions of parts used on 5197 to hopefully improve 6046.

Buffer Beam Steam Heat Cocks // Credit Batt Holden Ltd
Buffer Beam Steam Heat Cocks // Credit Batt Holden Ltd

8F 48173

Recent work on the restoration has seen many parts of the running plate being trial fitted on the frame.

This has allowed the rivet holes to be marked up and drilled out for when the running plate is fixed permanently. An issue was found with one of the horn guides, which now has been resolved.

The team have been in the process of refitting the horn guide, including fitting the axlebox temporarily.

Frame of 48173 // Credit Batt Holden Ltd
Frame of 48173 // Credit Batt Holden Ltd

For more information about 5197, 6046 and 48173, please visit the Churnet Valley Railway’s website here or Batt Holden Ltd’s Facebook Page here.

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Jamie Duggan avatar
Since I was a child, I have been a big fan of steam locomotives. This enthusiasm has been become greater in recent years, leading to me becoming involved in a society restoring a standard gauge locomotive. Joining the RailAdvent team in 2017, I help Michael produce articles.