Recent overhaul work on Mid Hants Railway steam locomotives

Re-wheeled 34105 Swanage // Credit MHR
Re-wheeled 34105 Swanage // Credit MHR

The Wednesday Gang at the Mid Hants Railway (The Watercress Line) have been busy on Wednesday 18th of March carrying out work on both locomotives and the workshops themselves.

34105 “Swanage”

One of the biggest jobs to be completed before we can see “Swanage” in steam again is to replace the centre cylinder block.

Recent work has seen the Computed Aided Design (CAD) drawings completed after some minor alterations.

The last step before the pattern for the new cylinder is produced is to measure up the current middle cylinder block to ensure the new block is machined to the correct size.

The ‘bottom-end’ overhaul has reached a major milestone, with the engine’s coupled wheels now back underneath the boiler and frame.

Leading up to this, Les from the Wednesday Gang had assisted in setting up the horn blocks, which then allowed the overhauled axleboxes to return and finally a trip to wheel drop saw the coupled wheels reunited with the rest of the locomotive.

'CanPac' Tender Frame // Credit MHR
‘CanPac’ Tender Frame // Credit MHR

35005 “Canadian Pacafic”

The Wednesday Gang have also helped on the overhaul of ‘CanPac’. Following extensive repairs to the tender’s frame, reassembly has begun on the braking system. With tender’s frame upside down all the brake hanger brackets were removed, the team set about drilling, reaming, fitting bushes and refitting the brackets. This job is almost complete. Soon the new drag box and horn blocks will be attached.

Hoist being Moved Into Place // Credit MHR
Hoist being Moved Into Place // Credit MHR

Site Maintenance

Alongside working on “Swanage” and ‘CanPac’, the Wednesday Gang have carried out general cleaning up and repairs.

This has included emptying the pits to relaying concrete floors to installing a hoist, just as important work to ensure the workshop and associated areas are in good condition to undertake work on steam locomotives.

For more information or to support the Mid Hants Railway (The Watercress Line), please visit their website here.

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