Monday, 28 January 2013

35006, Peninsular & Oriental S.N. Co

Everything about 35006, Peninsular & Oriental S.N. Co,  from its name onwards is big.  Stand next to it in the David Page shed at Toddington and you can't help but be impressed by the sheer size of it.  
35006 in the David Page shed at Toddington
 Rescued from Woodham's scrap yard in Barry Island in 1983, and brought to Toddington, restoration of this giant of steam has been progressing now for 30 years, which is rather longer than she was actually in the gainful employment of the Southern Railway/British Railways.  A report on how the restoration works are progressing was delivered to the Steam Loco Dept's AGM on Saturday by Andrew Marshall.  Normally such reports are a list of the things that have been done since the last report by a loco owning group, which is nice, but which gives you no real idea of exactly where it is in the grand scheme of things.  Andrew's report broke that mould by basically listing the five main tasks that need to be done before she will be ready for traffic.  No time scales were given however a reiteration was made of the fact that she will be hauled out of the shed to be publicly displayed during the Cotswold Steam Celebration gala at the end of May.  Without further ado,  here are those five tasks:

1) Fitting out the smoke box & installing the 3 main steam pipes 
2) Making up the copper water feed pipes and the clack valve feed pipes
3) Fitting the valve gear & con-rods
4) Making up the tender brake gear  (already 1/2 complete)
5) Brick Arch installation

Fixing up the electrical conduit would be a 'nice to have' too, but won't prevent her entering traffic

Some work was taking place on the water feeds on Saturday afternoon:

Steam & water feed pipes to the injectors
As for the valve gear and con-rods, apparently fitting them is regarded as being a relatively straight forward operation, although these are pretty hefty con-rods that we are talking about here.
Space where a con-rod and some of the valve gear linkages should be
The tender brake gear is apparently half done already however the remainder will require some skilled machining work to be undertaken.
Half braked tender, note some electrical conduit in place for the tender lights
Other odd jobs were on the go as well, such as modifying a section of the running plate to fit:
The brick arch is probably not such a big job, but I thought that I'd poke my camera into the firebox and take a look at the space where it is supposed to go:
Cab fittings & fire hole door
The firebox, complete with thermic syphons, but missing a bit of its rocking grate and all of its brick arch
The grate on the Merchant Navy class of locomotives is vast, 48.5 square feet, compared with the 27.1 square feet of 2807 or Foremarke Hall, or the 28.65 square feet of the 8F, 8274.  Most of this extra space is achieved by having a much wider grate.  Most of the railway's firemen are wondering how they are going to cope with keeping the back corners filled or just how much coal that they will need to shovel into the firebox just to light it up in the morning.  They're all looking forward to finding out though.


  1. Not sure this blogger comment section is working correctly

  2. Gosh.. Having to rewrite this as it won't seem to save. Anyway, awesome news about p&o. I'd been waiting for some news on this loco! I was in Essex recently and took LOADS of photos of blue star. Your thermic syphon shot reminded me as I have an identical shot from blue star. If you have a email address I can send some, it really does show just how much 30 years hard work has been done. Hats off to you guys :) !

  3. Oh, I think when it's run in you should give it a stretch on the great central where u can test it at 70mph ! ;)

  4. An element of paranoia on my part led me to set up the comments so that they have to be moderated by me before they appear on the blog. This article on 35006 has generated a great deal of interest which I am sure will please the members of the owning group. The GCR has a speed limit of 60MPH for steam (70MPH for diesel), and only then under very certain circumstances with which I can't claim to be fully conversant. Much as highly doubt that it would happen, I have to agree it would be wonderful to see.

  5. Proberbly a good idea you moderate the blogs...;)... I Just think a loco of that size needs to stretch its legs! .. Partly for my own curiosity I guess, but, I just wonder, after 30 years resto... Just how fast it'd go?... Does anyone else share this curiosity ? Lol... I mean, wouldent it be fun, to ship it to Australia, and run it on an outback line as fast as it would go/ till something breaks ?!? When I win the lottery ill be in touch :)