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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 66 - Winter 1989 / 90
GWR King Class 4-6-0 No. 6024 King Edward I
The Renaming of 6024 King Edward I
Much has occurred since our last report on the King and much has appeared in print about the renaming but behind the scenes the workload has been colossal.
The steam fountain and backhead fittings went on last summer and were quickly followed by the associated pipework and gauges, culminating in a steam test carried out over the 1st/2nd February 1989. The 2nd February marked a milestone in the restoration - the steam test was a success and the loco moved under her own power for the first time in 26 years.
By the end of March this year the cab was complete, boiler lagged, cladding fixed and brickarch constructed. The locomotive, as widely reported elsewhere, was renamed by His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester on 26th April who then rode in the cab, and inspected the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.
A further inspection by the BR Inspectors found a problem with the fit of the piston rods into the inside cylinder crossheads. This necessitated a pause in the number of steamings but whilst the problem was being cured the opportunity was taken to make numerous adjustments and tolerance checks following the running days. At about the same time final top coats were applied followed by lining and lettering in full 1947 GWR livery.
August Bank Holiday saw a concerted effort to re-assemble the engine in time for its public. A 2 am start on the Sunday morning saw the con rods off, pistons out, cylinder covers off and a state of chaos. But by 11 am the fire had been lit, loco reassembled and by late afternoon it was performing almost perfectly. The Monday saw the King working almost faultlessly with just a few minor adjustments to make.
Following the bank holiday ballast was spread on site to build up the area required by the road transporter for the loading of the locomotive for its trip to Tyseley. Saturday 16th September saw the 20 members of the 6024 Society commence their main line support crew training with Mr Steve McColl, Area Operations and Train Crew Manager, BR. As a result temporary certificates were issued prior to a full examination with members looking forward to the move to Birmingham and the possibility of main line running.
The locomotive left Quainton as scheduled on Monday 9th October and arrived safely at Tyseley the following day. The King and Castles event the next weekend went without a hitch. It was the first time for 27 years that a King class locomotive had been seen in steam together with two Castles, the sight and sound of 12 cylinders of power running together was truly amazing. This, in itself, would make a fitting climax to the years of toil, sweat and blood but more is yet to come.
The latest news is that final adjustments have been made to the springs to allow the King to be weighed, possibly at Derby, prior to certification.
1990 should see a series of railtours based from Tyseley for the King - a truly fitting tribute to the professionalism of the restoration team. However, we are going to have to take much of it to bits again! Within 18 months new tyres will be needed and an appeal has been launched for £9,500 to fund this work. Bankers order forms are available.
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 26 November 2017