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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 27 - Spring 1976
Rebuilt LSWR 0298 Class 2-4-0 Well Tank No. 0314
Preparing the Beattie for her Centenary - Part 2 - Frank Boait
A year ago, in Quainton News No. 23, we reported the progress on the overhaul of the Beattie. Now we can say the job is finished and on 1st. February, 1976 she moved under her own steam, cautiously, from the yard along our steaming track. Early in 1975 we were waiting for the axleboxes which had been away for remetalling. These eventually arrived and after three hours work by a sizeable gang the Beattie was sitting on her own springs again.
The next weekend, after careful 'preparation and copious lubrication, she was towed into the Restoration Building where painting and mechanical work could continue unhampered by the weather. The most important task was to prepare the boiler for a hydraulic test as we did not know if all our work so far was to be in vain. Happily, she successfully withstood a test to 240 psi; which is one and a half times the normal maximum working pressure. A few days later the Insurance Company's boiler inspector declared he was completely satisfied. The replacement of the lagging followed quickly as this job was holding up the painting, which by this time, was well advanced on the wheels and cab. The steel sheet cladding on the boiler took three more weekends to fit and a very hard working gang toiled for several weeks scraping and cleaning components, a particularly soul destroying job.
Other members refitted the brake rigging and the only major item on the brakes was the replacement of the spring in the main cylinder. Simultaneously, external boiler fittings and 'plumbing was put on and reconnected and we learnt the importance of marking components before dismantling them! One member, single handed, built the new brick arch and the first successful steaming of the well tank took place at the beginning of October - see back page.
We were now waiting for the return from Gilberts of the eccentrics and these were delivered from Leighton Buzzard on New Year's Eve. On 1st January, two members started to re-connect the eccentric rods to the straps but, sad to relate, the right hand rods didn't line up with their respective straps! Somehow, the two eccentric rods had been transposed on the expansion link and such is the abominable design of Allan straight link motion that it was necessary to take down the entire right hand assembly to correct the fault. This was easier said than done!
When the valve gear was previously dismantled and reassembled the locomotive had been jacked up over 2 ft on packers and the well tank between the frames removed. Now the well tank was in position and the locomotive was on its springs. This meant working in a space less than 12 ins wide and less than 9 ins from the bottom of the boiler! Two stalwarts spent a whole Saturday afternoon removing six taper pins and the motion was finally removed on the Sunday.
Two weeks later it was replaced with rather less trouble than it had given during its removal. On Saturday, 31st January the motion was successfully connected to the eccentrics and, as reported at the beginning of this article, 30585, now renumbered 0314, and resplendent in Southern Railway livery of the 1930's, moved in steam under its own power for the first time for over three years.
We are confident the Beattie will be running at Easter although there are a number of minor faults to correct in the next month. It only remains to thank those members who have helped so much, especially during the long hot summer. In addition to those named in News No. 23 we are very grateful to Dave Potter and his friends from Buckingham, Ron Collins and Brian Boyes, and Brian and Kevin Matthews from Kidlington.
If you would like to join in the major overhaul of the Metropolitan 0-4-4T, L44, come along to Quainton any Sunday and see me, Frank Boait. The more the merrier; we don't want to take three years on our next loco!
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 05 November 2017