Thursday, 20 June 2013

THE BOILER: An Old 'Un but a Good 'Un

At last, an update in the annals of our restoration of 'Woolwich'. And why the delay? It's because we've all been busy on the very repetitive task of stripping every last granule of dirt, grease, paint, and rust off all the locomotive's components. Rather than fill this blog with endless descriptions of grinding and scraping we'll show the whole process in one major update next time. Amazingly that next update is almost complete!

Ah, the boiler!
Meanwhile, we must say something about one job we can't do, the boiler, and everything this time is devoted to just that. In 1954 the authorities decided that the Royal Arsenal Railway deserved some investment. The result was new diesel locomotives and a very thorough overhaul for a handful of steam locos, the others being disposed of. 'Woolwich' was the lucky narrow gauge candidate and her overhaul included the provision of the boiler she has carried ever since.

Her new boiler was made in the Arsenal and demonstrates superb workmanship. Perhaps the boiler makers knew it might be their final example for the last of the photographs that come with this update shows that the Arsenal was keen to record its pride in the job. Over the years corrosion has taken a minor toll but the boiler remains very sound and given some repairs still has decades of life before it.

Boiler repair is strictly governed and is a part of Woolwich's restoration that we couldn't contemplate doing ourselves. We will need financial assistance for this specialist work and with that in mind we called in an expert inspector to assess the boilers condition. Armed with his inspection report we now have a series of quotes and will seek funding in the very near future.

Photos, emails and open days
Pictures speak a thousand words, so rather than describe our preparations for the inspection here we have some juicy captions for you to read, so please do look at the photographs! 

If you'd like to make sure of knowing about what we're doing just enter your e-mail address in the box on the upper right of this page.  Also, if you'd like to see "Woolwich', come to one of our open days:

- Sunday 23rd June
- Sunday 28th July
- Sunday 1st September
- Sunday 13th October

You'd be most welcome!


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