Monday 27th November 2023

Ed Tatham jacks up the rear of 5643's frames on Wednesday, 22nd NovemberThere was some good progress on the overhaul of GWR 0-6-2T No. 5643 this week. Ed Tatham is seen here jacking up the rear of the frames on Wednesday so that the radial wheels could be released.

John Dixon with the released wheelsOnce the wheels had been released the chassis was then partially lowered.

Keith Brewer and Sam Middleton working to dismantle the radial truckKeith and Sam worked on Saturday to dismantle the radial truck so that the wheels can be sent away to be re-profiled.

5643's boiler after the NDT with dye penetrant visibleFriday saw a short notice visit from Jim Kennedy and son to undertake a non-destructive test on 5643’s boiler. The white dye penetrant that was used can clearly be seen. We are pleased to report that the initial results were positive, but we await a visit from the boiler surveyor to confirm the extent of work required on the boiler during its ten-year overhaul.

Alan Middleton with the gift wrapped replacement engine for FluffWednesday saw the arrival of a gift wrapped package that was delivered from Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Inside was a four cylinder Perkins diesel engine with twin disc torque converter for Fowler 0-4-0DM Fluff, which had become surplus to requirements at the Pleasure Beach but which should give new life to Fluff. The FRT is extremely grateful to Blackpool Pleasure Beach for helping out the Trust in this way.

FR 20's smokebox door being readied for re-paintingFinally, Tim has set about beautifying Furness Railway No. 20’s smokebox after the lower paintwork had been burnt away during the locomotive’s climbs up the steep gradients at Blaenavon’s Heritage Railway this summer.

Monday 20th November 2023

Just a very short blog this week.

There is still plenty of work going on in the FRT shed at Preston, notably the rise on jacks of 5643’s frames which will eventually allow the release of the radial wheels for re-profiling.

The first Santa Specials are being run at the Ribble Steam Railway this next Saturday for a large party of Brownies so Alan and Tim will be reprising their renditions of Jingle Bells etc this coming week.

Most importantly, we can know let everyone know that the Furness Railway Trust’s annual Christmas Dinner will be held on Friday, 15th December!


Monday 13th November 2023

Ed cleaning paint from 5643's running plateWork has continued on the frames of Great Western Railway 0-6-2T No. 5643. Ed is seen cleaning paint off the running plate.

Jon Dixon painting 5643Jon Dixon has been catching up with some painting underneath.

John Dixon warming up Sam's nutsSam has been attempting to remove the nuts that hold the rear cylinder covers in place, the bottom nuts being particularly stubborn. John Dixon has been applying some gas heat to loosen them off.

Some welcome progress on the exterior of Wootton Hall's tender tankElsewhere, Phil Bell has been working in the kitchen of Great Eastern Railway royal saloon No. 5 to replace missing drawers. Keith has been applying some more two-pack primer inside the tender of Great Western Railway ‘Hall’ class 4-6-0 No. 4979 Wootton Hall and is intending to conduct another water test shortly. Meanwhile Tim has been attending to the ‘ploughed field’ surface on the exterior of the water tank. Much of the left hand side has now received a skim of filler which has been sanded. A first coat of primer is being applied which has the added benefit of highlighting areas that need further attention.

Monday 6th November 2023

Sim and Jon Dixon with the fire pump.As predicted in last week’s blog, the wash out of 5643’s boiler took place last Wednesday. We were able to welcome Sim Dixon for his first working party who, along with twin brother Jon, coaxed the fire pump into life after some tender care. Both Sim and Jon were members of the Lakeside Railway Society fire brigade in the early days at Haverthwaite and they also owned two wartime fire tenders, one of which they still have.

The ensemble of FRT rolling stock with Alen Johnson holding the hoseAde had pulled the various rolling stock out of the FRT shed to enable to the wash out to take place, FR 20’s tender supplying the water as usual. Given the distance involved, there had to be an established signalling system between Sam, who was wielding the hose pipe, and Sim and Jon who were controlling the fire pump. Alen Johnson was on hand to hold the hose in place for Sam.

Andy Booth in 5643's somebox cutting out the first flue tubeAndy Booth came to Preston on Friday with the aim of removing the six flue tubes from 5643’s boiler. These were expected to be stubborn, being screwed into the firebox tubeplate. Andy can be seen at work in the smokebox…

Sam at work in 5643's firebox… whilst Sam gave assistance from the firebox.

The first flue on its way outAndy gets the first of the flues on its way out.

John Dixon and Keith Brewer lend a hand to haul out the flue tubeThe flue is then pulled out of the boiler by John Dixon and Keith.

The flue tube sees daylightA final view as the flue makes its way into daylight, to be followed eventually by the other five flues. A good job done.

John Davis re-painting the cab warning plate from 5643Finally, John Davis has been cleaning 5643’s cab and has repainted the cast plate which warns crews of the perils of looking or walking alongside the cab.