Archive News


Work on the new frame sections has proceeded well with the right-hand frame welded after a great deal of effort was expended on finding a welder with the relevant experience and certification. Our thanks to Mark and Steve for arranging this and to the the railway staff for their guidance, and not least to the welder, Paul, who has gone out of his way to undertake the work.

Each frame plate has been drilled and marked off from the old plate except in the heavily corroded areas where we had to measure and mark out the centres for those holes. As some discrepancies were found between the old plate and the drawings, we have drilled holes undersize to allow for any adjustment. To speed up the drilling process, we have purchased a heavy duty magnetic drill which can cope with drilling through the 1 1/4” plate! We drilled a pilot hole first of all then used a 1/2” drill and a 7/8” before running through with the final size. With the use of the railway’s own Mag drill, we were able to drill the left-hand side in just three weeks after cutting the old frame off. This then allowed Paul to weld the new plate both sides over one weekend in early May. The whole operation worked well and involved welding on and then removing the stiffening plates from either side.


While work has been undertaken on 30506 in the main shed, over the first four months of 2015, 30499 has been dismantled as and when time and people have allowed - all of this, of course, out in the open air!

The work has involved removing the right-hand cylinder block and the motion bracket as we have cut the old frame away from a point mid-way over the axle box area on the leading driving wheel. This was to avoid the huge crack in the frame just to the front of this point where the frame folds in slightly. This area was very prone to breaking. The removal of the cylinder bolts followed the same process as with 30506.
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More sections of the running plate have been replaced with new steel plate and the areas around the cylinders are being stripped down ready for these to be lifted off. The two piston rods and crossheads were split over the New Year’s break!
With the right-hand new frame plate now in position and ready for welding to the old frame, progress has been rapid on the overhaul of 506’s cylinders. These are at Bryn Engineering in Lancashire and are now nearing completion. The work has involved boring out the main piston bore and these will then have liners fitted to bring the cylinder diameter up to its original size.
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The new right-hand side frame section for 506 is manoeuvred for positioning in the works at Ropley

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The old frame section was lifted on top of this to line up the many holes that required drilling.

These have now all been completed and the picture here shows the various holes which locate the cylinder and centre casting. It is hoped to have this frame welded into position by Christmas 2014.

Sales Department - HELP!
Having rejuvenated the fund-raising operation this year, we are now running out of items to sell. Thanks to a very small band of helpers, notably John ‘Barney’ Barrowdale, Ian Stephenson and Crawford Wright, we have managed to run the ULS stall at the Watercress Line Galas and events this year, and have raised a healthy £700 for the Society. Use of E-bay has raised a further £250 for funds. However, we are running out of second-hand books and other items to sell, both on the stall and on E-bay. We would also appreciate some help to man (or woman) the stall at events and hopefully expand to other railways’ galas and model railway exhibitions etc. So, if you could cull your libraries of any saleable railway books (no recent magazines please!) and donate them to the Society, we can turn them into cash to speed the rerun of 499 and 506. For E-bay, model railway equipment always sells well and items such as Ian Alan ABC’s command good prices. However, any saleable item would be welcomed. Offers of time to run our stall at events would be appreciated.

Please contact any members of the committee or me (Ian Coward) on 01252 613059 or email

499 Appeal Update
Following on from our last update, funds raised through the Appeal (including gift aid) have risen to £25,000. IF the cracks in the inner firebox of boiler No. 451 (506’s original boiler) now prove repairable then this becomes a ‘low cost’ project and the Appeal will stand at possibly half of the total cost for this part of the restoration. For a small group restoring a workhorse of a loco, as opposed to a big ‘namer’, this is a huge achievement.

HOWEVER, half raised means we will have halfway to go! It is our hope that the work can be contracted to the Mid Hants, so the sooner we know where we are with total funding, the sooner we can begin to discuss the level of work to be done and negotiate when it can start. If funds continue to come in beyond the level required to repair the boiler, it will enable us to outsource more mechanical work and really go for that target of a return to steam before 2020.

So PLEASE, keep spreading the word and encourage as many people as you can to sign up - don’t forget, £8 a month gets a seat on that very special commemorative train. If you do know of anyone interested in donating to the Appeal or maybe even signing up as a seat sponsor, please refer them to this website,, or they can contact us at

Thank you so much for your continuing support.
APRIL 2014

Tender 3208
Recent work on this ‘new’ tender has included the fabrication of low level water hydrant fillers and associated pipework. The front platform framing has been built just below the shovel plate and to ‘battleship’ standards. The handbrake and weigh shaft assembly are virtually complete but will have to wait for final works associated with the braking gear. Our intention is the lift the new tank onto our spare set of bogies whilst we attend to the set currently under No. 3208. A protective coat of paint has been applied to the whole tender tank in readiness for it to go outside in the elements.

After some detailed thoughts on the frame plate renewal with all interested parties, 506’s chassis has been moved into the main works under the lifting gantry for the replacement of front-end frame plates to begin. (I can report that the Society has managed to acquire a 5-ton gantry for use on 499.) Indeed, we have now added another storage container to our complement for use in storing of masses of parts etc.

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