Thursday, 11 August 2011

Hidden for Years - the steam chest

 This week, we unveiled a part of the engine that possibly hasn't been seen since 1954.  The volunteers at Crossness Engines Trust were lucky enough to take the first peek at the inside of Woolwich's steam chest.

We wanted to inspect the condition of the 'slide valves' that allow admission and exhaust of steam to and from the cylinders.  The only thing to stand in our way was a thick and heavy plate covering the steam chest, secured by 14 very substantial studs.     

Don't be fooled: this job was by no means easy!  The outside of the cover was corroded and removal was risky - loose dirt and grit could damage the valve, and the joint between the cylinder and the cover can't be damaged in any way.  It is a delicate operation.  
What did we find?  All is revealed!  Take a look at the photo story online.

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