The Bahamas Locomotive Society have released a short update on LMS Jubilee No. 45596 Bahamas after a busy 2021.
2021 included a visit to the Nene Valley Railway, and once all trains were hauled on the popular heritage railway, the locomotive headed on the mainline hauling The Welsh Dragon tour, which was the first test of the louder TPWS annunciator – this proved to be much improved so should be no future problems in missing warning sounds.
The rest of the tour schedule was completed with the locomotive performing faultlessly. Frequent water changes had to be completed to keep the solids in the boiler down to prevent the risk of priming.
During a trip to Plymouth, Bahamas was laid over at Laira Depot, which meant coming face to face with modern H&S rules, including no working at height. This meant the support crew could not walk along the running frame to tend to the lubricators.
Finally, in October, Bahamas celebrated its finished tour diary by travelling light engine back to Oxenhope, with the locomotive celebrating with a jammed open cylinder drain cock.
After a busy tour period, there were three final days of steaming on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway during their Beer and Music Festival. Sadly, the locomotive was rather in need of a rest, with the brick arch partially collapsing, piston rod glands blowing, middle cylinder snifting valve refusing to seat, and the engine to tender steam supply pipe bursting.
Early November saw the BLS have a working weekend and saw the removal of the self-cleaning plates, brick arch demolished, grate removed, firebox cleaned along with the smokebox and tubes, and finally a washout was completed on the boiler.
Also during the working weekend, the firebox crownsheet was tapped out to take the next size of fusible plugs, and a crown stay nut in the firebox was removed. This was to caulk the stay before fitting a new nut. A section of the doorplate cladding was removed to allow a stay nut to be removed. This was also caulked and the nut, cladding and pipework was refitted.
A fair amount of the side stays in the firebox were also caulked that were weeping.
The BLS team have been aware of a steam leak under the cladding on the outer firebox. Generally, small leaks from seams and stays within the water space tend to fix themselves as the weeps draw salt into the gaps. However, anything up in the steam space can get worse for the escaping steam can erode the point of leakage. A thermal camera was used to try and find the leak, this was found and the rear two sections of cladding were removed. A stay under the whistle had been blowed, this was caulked but the team couldn’t identify the other stays so the cladding has been left off until the boiler is next steamed.
The locomotive is now ready for the boiler inspector, bricks for a new arch are being sourced, as are new brake hoses.
Bahamas managed to complete 4,802 miles in 2021 – will you be seeing her in 2022? Let us know in the comments below.
If you would like to donate to the upkeep of 45596 Bahamas, please see the society’s JustGiving Page.