Many readers might be reading the title and thinking “Has Lyd really been in service for 10 years?!”, and you’d be right in questioning yourself.
However, Lyd was withdrawn from service in May 2020 after being used regularly over the last ten years on the Ffestiniog Railway, as well as stints on the Welsh Highland Railway.
The overhaul, due to COVID, didn’t start until October 2020 and work started at pace, with teams divided into two to work on the chassis and boiler.
Only a retube was needed on the boiler as it had only been in service for 10 years.
Chassis work for Lyd meant removing the cylinders as the port faces were reconditioned due to problems with lubrication.
The rear pony truck was modified to allow a side discharging ash pan to be fitted instead of the originally fitted end discharging pan.
At the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, the loco ash was discharged into an ash pit, but at the Ffestiniog Railway, these pits do not exist and ash is discharged into a wheelbarrow.
The brake gear has been modified to run down the centre of the chassis to give clearance for the new ash pan, and a new loco brake control has been fitted to allow Lyd’s loco vacuum brake to be operated while the rest of the train has full vacuum. This removes the need for crews to have to wind the handbrake on at every station stop.
Overhaul work was completed and Lyd was tested in May 2021. After a shakedown process, the locomotive has been in service on both the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways.
The locomotive will keep its Southern Railway livery for the foreseeable future.
Festiniog Railway General Manager Paul Lewin said: “I am particularly pleased with the Boston Lodge staff completing the overhaul so quickly considering that it involved the removal and re-installation of the boiler and cylinders”.
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