2019 saw the General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society make great progress on the restoration of Southern Railway ‘Merchant Navy’ Class No. 21C11/35011 “General Steam Navigation” back into original condition with Air Smoothed casting and Bulleid’s chain-driven valve gear.
Review in 2019
The biggest achievement of 2019 was moving 35011 to the long-term base of Swindon and Cricklade Railway in April, where the Society could start to removing parts to assess restoration work need and preserve existing components of the engine.
On top of this many new parts were acquired, such as most of the missing bogie and trailing truck components and delivery of the new nameplates.
Aims of 2020
One of this year’s main aims is to lift the boiler from the frame. Majority of the boiler tubes have been removed, which required the top half of the smokebox to be cut off. A replacement smokebox was needed as part of the restoration for two reasons.
Firstly, the smokebox was in a poor state, and secondly the style of the boiler is not suitable for an engine in original form. Mounting points have also been oiled to make lifting easier.
As the project is restoring a rebuilt engine into as-built one, some components will not be suitable for refitting. There these parts will be sold to raise more funds towards the restoration. Work will also continue on producing new components were funds permit.
So far two working parties are scheduled for 2020, these are Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th of January and Saturday 29th of February & Sunday 1st of March.
For more information or to support the General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society, please visit their website here.
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