The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) has released a film showing the four-ton wheelsets for steam locomotive No. 4 being lowered into its new tyres.
This footage has not been made public, until now, and shows the major work that took place over six months in 2019.
The video is courtesy of Bob Skingle and features Brian Hill, Mervyn Fleming, Jeff Spencer and Stephen Peacocke.
Peter Scott of the RPSI locomotive department said: “The 6ft diameter tyres are made of medium carbon steel, which is hard enough to give good wear but not so hard that they could easily fracture. One of the problems with railway wheels is that they can easily skid on the rails (“leaves on the line” for example) and this can overheat the wheel tread and cause a hard spot or “wheel flat”. Just as in a motor car the tyres do eventually wear out, in spite of the durable material that we use. However, at our greatly reduced annual mileage compared to normal company service, the fitting of new tyres should be a once in a lifetime job!”
No. 4 was built by the LMS in Derby in 1947 and was one of the locomotives retired in 1970 by Northern Ireland Railways.
The RPSI was able to scrape together the £1,275 needed to save the locomotive from scrap.
Once the Whitehead Railway Museum reopens after COVID-19, visitors will be able to see No. 4 alongside other Railway Preservation Society of Ireland locomotives, the steam locomotive was undergoing boiler tube replacement when the museum was shut in March, and this work will continue once the museum reopens.
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