Oliver Cromwell restoration project at the Great Central Railway - Part 7

19/4/08 I visited today for my eighteenth working session. Tremendous progress has been made in the past month - the boiler has been steam tested and refitted to the smokebox and frames, the cab, running boards and cladding have been fitted, and most of the cab fittings and pipework has been installed. The superheater tubes are in the process of being welded together and fitted. I saw a new chimney and petticoat pipe in another part of the shed - I assume that these belong to 70013. The smoke deflectors are not yet fitted. The tender is complete apart from lining, logo transfer and identification plates. The platework was being rubbed down in preparation for the final gloss coats today. I spent most of the day running taps and dies through the nuts and bolts of various pipe fittings to free them up for easy assembly. I also cleaned up the battery box that sits on the right-hand running board. The official launch of 70013 is scheduled for the May bank holiday weekend two weeks from now, and I think that they should just about make it. So the full-size 70013 will almost certainly steam before my model, even though I hear that Modelworks are about to ship the final bits!

the right-hand side of the firebox and cab, rubbed down for the final gloss coats - the lagged pipe is for the carriage steam heating

the left-hand side of the cab and firebox - the filler on the side of the cab is covering unused rivet holes down the front of the driver's seat

the cab seen from the rear, with most of the fittings in place - the inside of the roof will presumably be painted white

a general view of the cab looking up from ground level - I was pleased to see that the firebox doors have plain fronts like the ones on my model

the driver's controls - reverser gear and carriage vacuum brake in the foreground, and ejector valves (without handles), regulator lever and loco steam brake lever above

the driver's gauges - steam chest pressure at the top, and vacuum brake pipe and reservoir pressure below - the speedometer and AWS indicator are not yet fitted

the fireman's gauges - carriage heating pressure above, and boiler pressure below

one of the injector steam valves above, and the damper handwheel, one of the injector water valves, and the slacker valve below

the smokebox door, rubbed down for painting

some of the superheater tubes having the ends welded on - a very skilled job

the tender, fully painted and awaiting logo and lining - despite my entreaties, they are painting red stripes on the yellow axlebox covers!

the underside of the battery box, which I sanded down today

3/5/08 I visited today with my family to see Oliver Cromwell steaming - a magnificent sight after several years of hard work by many volunteers, including myself. 70013 was running 'light engine' today prior to hauling passenger services tomorrow and on bank holiday Monday. There were a lot of enthusiasts watching and taking photographs - I think that 'Steam Railway' magazine had raised donations for the restoration and publicised the event.

70013 returning to Loughborough after a run towards Leicester North

waiting at Loughborough

the orange lining has not yet been applied, and the nameplates are in black rather than red

a close-up of the valve gear,
lubricator and ejector

a good view of the injector and duplex valve pipework

the tender with logo but not yet lined

some of the driver's controls

Tom Tighe who has supervised the restoration checks for any overheated bearings

the headboard acknowledges the contribution from readers of Steam Railway magazine

the rear of the tender showing the number 773

Index < Part 6