Oliver Cromwell restoration project at the Great Central Railway, Loughborough

25/3/06 I visited the GCR workshops to see 70013 being restored. I didn't get a chance to talk to anyone who was familiar with the schedule for the rebuild, but the photographs below give some indication of the current state. I couldn't get close enough to the main frames to take a photograph of them, but they appeared to be close to completion. There was no sign of the pistons, motion gear or boiler cladding.

the boiler, off the frames

the inside of the firebox seen through the coal hole, with signs of recent activity - the boiler tubes have been removed

the smokebox

the left-hand cylinder, attached to the frames

the bogie, painted and ready to refit

the pony truck, awaiting painting

the cab, awaiting painting

the tender front, awaiting painting and without the handbrake and water pickup cover plates

a tender axlebox and spring

the rear tender steps

the rear of the tender, with identification mark

the rear buffer beam

6/5/06 I visited again and took the following pictures. Since my last visit further work has been done on the boiler and the painting of the main frames. I was told that the restoration is scheduled for completion by the end of 2007 at the latest.

the inside of the smokebox with a large section of the roof removed, showing the front boiler plate with the tubes removed, and the manifold for the superheater tubes

the right-hand frames in a rather dimly-lit workshop, freshly painted and seemingly nearly ready for the axles and springs to be refitted

the inside of the left-hand valve, showing the ring of ports that connect to the cylinders

the left-hand slidebar bracket

27/5/06 I visited today for my first working session as a volunteer on the Oliver Cromwell restoration. As a new boy I was given the unenviable task of scraping years of accumulated paint and grease from the wheels, armed only with a piece of industrial-size hacksaw blade! The first photo below shows the results of my day's work - 12 out of 20 spokes on the right leading wheel scraped to bare metal, and just needing finishing with paraffin and wire brush. The frames look pretty much ready to receive the wheels once thay have been cleaned and painted.

the right leading wheel showing my day's work

the left rear hornblocks, horn stays and stretchers

the frames seen from the rear, showing the trailing axle hornblocks and the rearward extensions of the main frames

the left hand motion bracket, with lifting crank and reversing screw

also seen at GCR today - Thomas the Tank Engine, through a haze of smoke as he raises steam ...

... and the magnificent Green Arrow, being cleaned after the day's run

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