The Bluebell Railway has issued its latest on the progress with overhauling Stroudley Terrier No. 72, Fenchurch.
Progress on the boiler is now at the front end of the barrel.
With the new front ring in place, the replacement front tube plate can be seen adjacent to the firebox.
The tubeplate will be rivetted in place, but will be carefully aligned to ensure that the tube plates in both the firebox and smokebox tubeplates are aligned.
Inside the barrel the longitudinal stays on view will locate with the appropriate apertures in the new tube plate, providing appropriate strength to resist the boiler pressure.
Fenchurch was bought by the Bluebell Railway in the Spring of 1964 as a working engine, at 91 years the oldest engine to have worked on British Railways. On the Bluebell it worked most years until 1970, and was then overhauled for its centenary in 1972. In 1975 its inner firebox was condemned, and after replacement with a steel box it returned to work in 1980.
The aim is to have Fenchurch, probably the first Terrier to enter service in 1872, running for its 150th anniversary in 2022.
Work started in early December 2019 when ‘Fenchurch’ entered the Locomotive works, was dismantled to remove the boiler for assessment, and the remainder of the locomotive reassembled for a return to public display in the locomotive shed.
The firebox (an all-steel one made by Luggs of Billingshurst in the late 1970s) has been removed. The outer boiler shell also requires a new foundation ring; new lower throatplate; new outer firebox wrapper; 3/4 new backhead; new front tubeplate and barrel extension. With the metal for this delivered, the inner firebox is being assembled by Israel Newton & Sons in Derbyshire.
To expedite the overhaul, following the loss of workshop time due to COVID-19, the locomotive’s frames left the Bluebell on 14 April 2021 for Statfold Engineering in Staffordshire for its bottom-end overhaul.