The Welsh Highland Railway Society has issued the latest update on restoring to service the former South African Railways’ NG15 class narrow-gauge locomotive No.134.
The boiler is usually the largest and most expensive part of the loco’s restoration and is being overhauled at Locomotive Maintenance Services (LMS) in Loughborough, where it has been since the end of 2018.
In early-2021, the boiler’s condition was assessed and a plan of work was agreed upon between the boiler inspector, LMS, and the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway.
Since then work on the boiler has progressed at a steady pace, and has involved:
- removal and repair of the foundation ring;
- removal of various sections of wasted platework around the firebox;
- building-up of those areas of platework that were less wasted.
The loco was withdrawn in South Africa because a problem with the boiler kept putting the fire out. During this work, the reason for that became apparent when it was found that there was quite considerable wastage to the firebox inner on one side at the foundation ring, due to leakage behind the support casting; these have now been replaced.
The following photographs show the new platework around the firebox and all but a few of the stays now fitted.
A new smokebox, tubeplate, and front section of the boiler barrel are required. These are ready and waiting, and the next stage will be to fit them.
The rest of the loco is progressing well at Dinas, and the frames are very close to being ready for when the boiler arrives.
The tender frames have progressed to the stage where various changes are needed to the front and rear drag-boxes to repair wastage and to take a standard Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland coupling at the rear and for changes needed to the cab/tender interface at the front.
The new tender body, which was built a good few years ago, currently resides on 133’s frames but will be transferred to 134 at the end of May.
2022 will be a busy year for the project, and it would welcome donations towards its progress, which can be made here.