In The Bleak Mid Winter

Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron ……..

……… And at the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway the workshops are busy.

It might be January but there is a huge amount of work to complete before the railway opens to the public again on the 28th of March.

Countess dozes in the winter sunshine.Countess stands in the shed doorway and  dozes in the winter sunshine.

If you click on any of the pictures they will open to full size. Use the “Back” button to return to this page.

Boiler washoutBoiler washout

Cleaning scale off firebox sidesChipping consolidated ash and rust from the foundation ring of Countess’ firebox.

 The Earl in the workshopsThe Earl in the workshops. The chimney might look OK from the floor but it is heavily corroded and needs to be replaced. The fixing bolts have been ground off and it is held on with three accommodation bolts. The dome cover is off in preparation for the annual visual boiler inspection. W&L firemen will also be well aware that the left hand side live steam injector requires overhauling or replacing.

 safety valveSafety valve partially dismantled to check the condition of the valve seats.

lapping valveLapping the valve and vale seat of Joan’s fireman’s side safety valve using Brasso  as the grinding paste.

Joan's ashpanJoan is being fitted with a new ashpan. The frame stretcher has been dropped out of the way and on the far side part of the new ashpan can be seen resting at a jaunty angle.

welding Joan's ashpanTack welding components of Joan’s new ashpan.

699.01 Sir Drefaldwyn Rebuild

In addition to getting the operational locos ready for the coming season work is continuing on rebuilding 699.01

ConferenceKeith and Dave (Hogey) discuss the current state of play with 699’s rebuild.

Bench workA photo taken while working on top of Earl’s boiler.
Left – dismantling 699’s handbrake column.
Right – fettling a bronze casting that will form part of 699’s steam brake.

Rust removal
Cleaning the rust from 699’s cab steps.

GrindingFor some reason 699’s new bunker had been tack welded to the cab floor. Here the welds are being ground off.

dismantlingDismantling 699’s hand brake column

Not recorded in photographs were activities taking place in the Machine Shop and Carriage Shed.

These few pictures give a flavour of what it takes to keep a heritage steam railway going. Volunteers form the key labour force and there are tasks available to suit every skill level. Training is available so it is quite feasible to start off by doing simple unskilled jobs and then over the months and years learn fitting skills, how to operate machine tools, weld and so forth.

Our hostel at Llanfair Caereinion, Keyes Cottage, has just been re-furbished. The showers have been significantly improved, there is a much better cooker in the Duty Mess Room, the washing machine is now next to the locker room and everywhere is much brighter. So, if you are visiting either on a daily basis or a few days at time there are good facilities for washing and eating.

If you are interested please get in touch.
You can phone the office on 01938 810441 or email:

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

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