Recent work has focused on continuing to finish Dorothea for her entry into passenger service this summer. A new two-cylinder compressor has been fitted under her footplate – though Dorothea could have been fitted with an air pump similar to that mounted next to Lilian’s smokebox, it was felt this would spoil her ‘original’ looks. As can be seen from the photograph though, it is a tight fit getting the compressor under the footplate floor!
Lilian has also had some remidial work undertaken to her safety valves with some new parts manufactured and fitted. Some of the original parts which still remain, such as the safety valve arms, were tested for cracks with penetrative dye in order to satisfy our boiler inspector that they were still safe for use. Happily no problems were encountered and Lilian’s boiler has been passed for another year of use.
Following a longer than expected wait, Velinheli’s new boiler tubes will be arriving shortly and will be fitted. Hopefully she will return to steam before the end of this season.
The majority of the machinery used in our workshops is over sixty years old, but although old is maintained in good working order and all regularly used, although perhaps used a little less often than when they were supplied new to industry six or more decades ago! The video below shows one of our notable machines, a 1940s Hendey lathe, in action boring some wheels for local company Southern Miniature Railways.