Work completed at The  South Devon


Once our wheel sets arrived at South Devon Engineering, the work soon started to remove the old tyres - this involves moving the complete axles around the workshop and a large overhead crane  certainly helps.  

The wheels are each turned on end and surrounded by gas burners - this heats the tyre and allows removal with a few sharp taps with a sledgehammer.


A short video shows how the tyres were removed prior to fitting the new ones:



With the old tyre removed, the wheel and axle can be checked using modern non-destructive tests to establish if there are any hidden flaws - fortunately we have been assured that all is well with all our axles and wheels.  However, we have found that some old welding repair work is not as good as it should be and this needs grinding out and re-welding - this was  done before the new tyres were fitted.


All wheels now have the new tyres fitted and, (in mid-May 2020), have been re profiled - this requires a giant lathe and the overhead cranes come into their own for moving the axles around the workshop.





We were aware of some cracking in the welds around spoke infill plates. These have now been fully repaired but, unfortunately, it was found to be a far more difficult and expensive task with an eventual bill for more than £7,000.

Initial inspection of the counterbalance weights had revealed a number of loose rivets that needed attention.  As is often the case with heritage locomotives, when it came to the repair the job became a bigger one than first thought- as each of the loose rivets was attended to adjacent rivets were found to be a problem.  In the end we need to replace over 90 of the rivets and another large bill is the result - this time approaching £5,500.

Planned work on the wheelsets included quartering the crank pins to ensure true round - but this work was dependent on there being sufficient size left in the pins to allow the machining - there is, of course, a set amount of wear that can be allowed on these vital items and once they go below the minimum size they must be replaced.  On detailed inspection 4 of our crank pins were deemed to be beyond sensible recovery - they would certainly not be suitable for a full ten-year service life and the decision was taken to replace with new.  This will ensure a very long service life in preservation for the locomotive without the need for further major work in this area.  Unfortunately, a fifth pin (which had plenty of potential service life) was found to be loose in its mounting and damaged - so an additional £2,000+.

We now have will have one of the best wheelsets in preservation - but we could do with some help with the costs!

As can be seen from the detail we need to find approaching £15,000.   

Any donations would be most welcome - full details of how you could help contained on our Supporting Opportunities page. Thank You in advance for your help.

The Wheel Sets were returned to Toddington courtesy of Vic Haines Transport 

Here the seriously heravy duty hydraulic lift carefully places the axles on the unloading road.  

To ensure they look their best when we eventually get to the re-wheeling stage we started the painting - the day after arrival our team were at work cleaning off any oil and grease and coating in anti-corrosive primer.




A few days later they were moved into the shed and the process continued - we managed to  get two coats of anti-corrosive primer, four of undercoat and three coats of gloss on over the next few weeks.  

All the cvrank pins, thrust faces and journals have been treated with Waxoyl and covered with Denzo tape to ensure no rust can get at these newly treated surfaces.

Next job is to sort out the axle boxes, new keep plates and have the horns ground so we can start to think about re wheeling 2874 . Keep up to dat eiwth progress on our update page 







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