Following the recent arrival of our second Pannier tank, no. 9682, we are launching our first appeal for donations to help us bring her back to life!
On Sunday 14th April 2019, the Dean Forest Locomotive Group’s latest acquisition arrived at our DFR headquarters at Norchard station. Appropriately hauled by ex-GWR ‘Small Prairie’ no. 5541, BR Pannier no. 9682 was gently transported from Lydney Junction along with the Toad brake van which was purchased together with the locomotive.
Since purchase from the Great Western Railway Preservation Group in Southall last year, arranging the transport of no. 9682 has been a long, drawn-out process due to issues with land access. Thanks to our tireless volunteers who have worked hard to overcome this issue!
No. 9682 will now be stored for a short period of time until sister loco no. 9681 returns to steam, with a target date of early 2020. Once ’81 is complete, ’82 will be subject to a similar, comprehensive overhaul. In the mean time, required parts will be sourced ready for work to begin next year.
If you would like to help us on this exciting project, we always welcome new volunteers at our Norchard base in the Forest of Dean. Alternatively, donations are certainly welcome! As a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, all donations are eligible for Gift Aid (allowing us to claim an extra 25% of your donation from the tax man!)
Please enjoy a selection of images from the stock move on Sunday evening below.
After significant discussions the DFLG has purchased BR(W) Pannier Tank No. 9682 from the GWR Preservation Group Ltd. based at Southall. Also included in the deal is a Great Western Toad Brake Van which will complement our existing stock of non-passenger vehicles.
A team of members have been busy getting No.9682, which is currently dismantled, ready to move to Norchard, where it will join class mate No. 9681 whose overhaul is progressing well and will return to service in 2019.
As reported in the railway press, most of the steam fittings with a street value of £35,000 are missing leaving the DFLG the task of sourcing or even manufacturing new ones. If anyone can help with this task, please contact us.
The DFLG is initiating a fund-raising campaign and invites you to donate to this project by sending a donation to the DFLG, Norchard Station, Lydney, Glos. GL15 4ET. If you would like to help further with the project and become a member of the Group please download a membership form from the website (see below). The Group is a registered charity No.1164847 so you may gift aid your donation and membership, if you do please download one from the website (below).
The Pannier Class locomotive is ideally suited to the scenic and challenging Dean Forest Railway and the thought of twoengines consecutively numbered from the same class regularly working together in preservation is eagerly awaited.
Membership Form – download here
Gift Aid Form – download here
On Sunday 11th November, the Dean Forest Locomotive Group paid its respects to our fallen soldiers by participating in the Remembrance Parade through Lydney. Adorned with a large poppy, Small Prairie no. 5541 signalled the beginning and end of the two-minute silence, before hauling the service train for the rest of the day.
It’s been a while! We’re looking to reintroduce regular updates of our work – for starters, here’s what we’ve been working on over the summer…
The overhaul of our Pannier 9681 is progressing well. The cylinder block has been removed and the bores skimmed. The next step is for cylinder liners to be fitted and the ‘block split for work on the valve post faces. The reason for all this work is down to wear over the years. After several years of use the cylinder bores – which should be perfectly round – start to become oval. The cylinders get to a point where they no longer form a seal around the piston and start leaking steam. This reduces the amount of power available to the driver and causes even more wear and tear. The solution is to skim the bores of the cylinder – only just enough so that they clean up, and fit new liners. The liners are a little like sleeves. However, the liners are larger in diameter than the cylinder bores that they need to fit into. They are fitted by freezing them so that they shrink. Once slid into place they slowly thaw and expand into their new home, good as new and ready for several years of service.
The brake gear for the loco has been refurbished. This involved complete disassembly and replacement of many, many wear bushes, and the manufacture of replacement pins. Where possible we use CNC technology for the manufacture of “batches” of pins etc.
The frames are being painted and filled. We have learned through experience on 5541 that pits and holes caused by corrosion over the years are a trap for dirt. Oil, grease and dust fill these holes and it is a horrid and dirty job keeping it clean. This time we have gone to town on filling all these pits and making the frames – inside and out as flat as possible. The spokes on the wheels will receive the same treatment, as will anything else we can find which is a trap for dirt.
Meanwhile the air pump has also been receiving attention. GWR engines are, with a couple of exceptions, fitted with air pumps. These pumps are fitted to the frames and operate via the loco’s cross head – which in turn is attached to the piston and piston rod – while the engine is on the move. The pump sucks air out of the train’s vacuum braking system. This is more efficient than using the engine’s brake ejector which creates vacuum by blasting a jet of steam through the ejector, then out through the chimney. A waste of coal and water if it is left on for long periods. A new piston head is being made for the pump, and it will be re – bushed throughout.
Mink G No. W112857 has now been moved into the shed at Norchard for restoration to continue undercover. Previously some 430 hours of work had been carried out by our volunteers at Lydney Junction station yard. A small amount of the iron work on the vehicle will now be replaced, before a complete body re-plank will take place. More on the Mink G can be found here.
The overhaul of Pannier 9681 continues with the clearing of scale, muck and rust off the frames. The big news is ‘that the cylinder block is nearly ready to come out’ with just five bolts remaining in the frames holding the block in place.
The wheel sets have returned from the South Devon Railway where the tyres were re-profiled and the axle journals and thrust faces were turned and polished. Also arrived back from the SDR are two new bunker corner pressings.