Sir Drefaldwyn Progress Report

I recently spent three days at the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway. Two of them were driving turns and the last day was in the workshops. Steady progress is being made on the rebuild of  699.01 aka Sir Drefaldwyn and it probably will not be many weeks before the major components, currently away at contractors premises, are returned and fitted.

For anyone unfamiliar with this railway locomotive it was built in France in 1944 by Societe Franco-Belge for use by the German military. After the war is was used in Austria on the Salkzkammergut Lokalbahn and then on the Steirmark lines. After it became redundant there it was acquired by the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway in 1969.

steam locomotive smokebox

Needless to say there have been a few snags, for example, an attempt was made to polish one of the coupling rod oil boxes with a virtually smooth flap wheel. The welds that held the box to the rod were so poor that is became detached !! So all the oil boxes have been removed. We now have the opportunity to fit new ones possibly with pin type oil flow restrictors rather than plug trimmings.

In the next picture Bruce Webber is seen draw filing a coupling rod to improve the surface finish. The file will later be replaced by progressively finer grades of emery cloth until a polished finish is achieved.

draw filingAxlebox machining continues and it would seem that the task is rather tedious.

shaping machineBack in the 1980s the original cast steam manifold fractured and was replaced by a fabricated one. Doubts about the provenance of the materials used mean that it will not be re-used and work has commenced on producing the components to make a new one.

After lunch on Thursday we played a game of Hunt The Gauge Frame and it was eventually found, with the glass still in tact, under a large pile of bits like cab window frames. Megan and I were asked to dismantle it and if possible recover the gauge glass so that it could be measured up.

Normally all the parts of a gauge frame are made of brass but some of this one is made of steel, including the nuts that hold the glass in place. The frame was put in a vice and an attempt was made to undo them ….. not a chance…. not even after the application of easing oil. So with a degree of reticence the oxy-propane blow torch was gently applied to them.

To our amazement the heat did not crack the glass but it did destroy the rubber seals and after several applications of heat and tapping opposite sides of the nuts with two hammers simultaneously the nuts did free up and the galss was removed a little blacker than it been before we started but otherwise OK.

In this picture the ever bashful Megan is gently warming up the bottom nut.

blow torchI bring this short report to a end with a picture the rear coupler.

You will find more pictures here

Appeal page


This entry was posted in Llanfair Caereinion, Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, Workshops and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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