Update from the Urie Locomotive Society – March 2019

506 Nearing the End of Overhaul // Credit ULS
506 Nearing the End of Overhaul // Credit ULS

Since the last update from the society 6 months ago, work on overhauling No.506 has progressed greatly, with 2019 hopefully being the year the engine returns to steam on the Mid Hants Railway (The Watercress Line).

About the Urie Locomotive Society (ULS)

Before we get into the update, here is a quick overview of the ULS for anyone who doesn’t know who they are.

The ULS are the owners of two London & South Western Railway S15 Class engines, No.499 and No.506, built to the original design by Urie.

At the time of writing, both engines are based at the Mid Hants Railway, where 499 is being restored and 506 nears the end of an overhaul.



Following the successful hydraulic and steam tests back in December 2018, the boiler is now bolted into the frames. All boiler lagging and cladding has been fitted, along with the Right-Hand side steam pipe.

Various boiler fittings, from the cab to smokebox, have been fixed in place, such as the safety and blowers valves to name a couple.

The biggest challenge the team faced in overhauling the boiler has been building and fitting a new ashpan. With very limited drawings and the old ashpan in poor condition, the task wouldn’t be easy.

Once a new one had been made, the next difficult task was to fit the new ashpan, which was made quite hard with the boiler in the frame. Nevertheless, the team have managed to fit the ashpan, along with the spray valves and brick arch.

New Ashpan for 506 // Credit ULS
New Ashpan for 506 // Credit ULS


Components that make up the lubrication, brake systems and motion are almost fully reassembled ready for use.

The buffers need a little more work before they are refitted. With many parts now back in their correct place, cleaning and painting can be carried out.


Starting from the bottom up, both bogies have been overhauled, from cutting out wasted steel to overhauling the axleboxes. Both the running and brake gear have been stripped down and repaired where necessary. Rivets replace bolts in fixing the footsteps to the frame and a new drawbar pin has been constructed and set up in place. With the majority of the work on the tender complete, it has been moved behind the locomotive and painted has started to be applied.

Undercoat Applied to 506's Tender // Credit ULS
Undercoat Applied to 506’s Tender Credit ULS


Although most of the team focused on finishing the overhaul of 506, a group of four/five individuals have carried out some work on 449.

The good weather combined with the determined effort of the group has seen the centre casting riveted into place. Next on the list is to reattach the outside cylinder blocks, which is planned to happen this month.

Centre Casting Riveted in 499's Frame // Credit ULS
Centre Casting Riveted in 499’s Frame // Credit ULS

Open Day

On Saturday 29th of June, the Urie Locomotive Society is holding an Open Day at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway. Anyone who attends should hear the exciting news the society plans to announce regarding 499.

For more information or to support the Urie Locomotive Society, please visit their website here.

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