The group overhauling Sentinel No. 7232 ‘Ann’ has been releasing updates on progress to overhaul the locomotive to working condition once again.
Back on the 27th July 2020, Ann arrived with her new owners to Bury Baron Street Works on the East Lancashire Railway, where the overhaul will be completed.
The first week of the overhaul saw the cab disassembled and the boiler was removed from the frames and was split ready for an overhaul.
Week two of the overhaul saw more parts removed from the locomotive, including the weir pump, feed water heater, bunker and rear sandbox.
The bunker was cleaned up and has been repainted into the black livery.
The firebox has been removed from the outer shell. This particular firebox was a modification that was made in the 1990s but was proven to be unsuccessful.
The weir pump was a major job to overhaul. Sentinel opted for a weir pump often on their locomotives instead of two injectors and water pump. Ann has one live steam injector and the weir pump, which will feed water through the feed water heater and will deliver warm water to the boiler.
More recently, the weir pump has been completed and has been fitted into place. The below video shows it running in position.
The lubricator has been moved so that it is easier to oil the weir pump without leaning round the boiler.
Modifications have been made to the weir pump stand and drains. The stand previously was open-ended, which allowed coal and dust to gather in the pump and was then impossible to cleanout. The new drain taps are piped but may be modified again to allow easier access.
The feed water heater has now been disassembled and cleaned. The inner part of the water heater was checked over, and the heating coil was hydraulically tested to 300psi which it passed.
The cladding for this was not in good shape, so a replacement has been made and this has now been reassembled.
Boiler work has been progressing. The inspector has been to check the boiler and has told the group that a new standing bracket needs to be made as well as some rivets needing replacement. A small area of external build-up was also found.
The rivets were all removed, and a new bracket has been made in house at Bury. All that is now needed now is that a boiler welder needs to come and finish off the work, and then the boiler can be riveted and put back into the frames.
As well as boiler work, external paintwork has been progressing. The old LMS livery has now been removed and rubbed off, with the cab interior mainly completed.
The outside has been undercoated and is now not far off the glossing stage.
More painting has taken place, with the front buffer beam and the left-hand side frames and wheels being painted, which replaces the outgoing red wheels.
Moving over to the rake, plenty of parts have been painted and are waiting to be dried.
The driver’s control unit has now been stripped, which found that the valve bodies for the steam brake and injector were not in good shape. New bodies have now been machined, and both now require lapping and reassembly.
A pattern has been made to replace the red handles with bronze variants.
Also, in the cab, work has been completed on the cab floor. One half was replaced at some point in history with a modern plate. However, a diamond plate was sourced, and now the floor matches the rest of the cab.
The sheets have now been fastened down with flush countersink screws to make it less prone to falling over.
A big project and addition that the group wanted to add was the fitment of a vacuum system to allow the locomotive to work passenger trains with vacuum brakes.
The locomotive has never had vacuum brakes before, so a copy of the steam heat piping has been used, with fitting and painting of the pipework taking place.
All piping has been temporarily fitted to check everything fits in place.
The boiler ID plate has been cast using the original from a 12-ton Sentinel at the Ribble Steam Railway in Preston. The stamping will be polished out gently before being re-stamped with the correct details.
The left-hand sandbox has now been refitted in the cab. The next job inside the cab are the linkages, which will be made more sympathetically than the set previously made.
An upcoming job will be to make a new wooden bunker top. This will replace the old one that looked like it was made from pallet wood.
The very latest news is that the left-hand side frames and wheels have now been glossed, and with work progressing the top half will be painted in green soon.
The next job will be to paint the bottom of the crank-case, which in the above photo is red and sticks out a bit.
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Sentinel 7232 ‘Ann’
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