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May update on GWR steam locomotive 3850 at Toddington

The ongoing 10-year overhaul of GWR heavy freight, 2-8-0, No. 3850 at Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, has, like many restoration projects been affected by the Coronavirus restrictions, which have meant that much of the work set to be completed in 2020 and early 2021 has been postponed, but work has continued as and when access is allowed.

The majority of the pipework, cladding and other smaller items have been cleaned and repainted and are now ready to go back on to the frames. However, two major cracks in the cylinders were found when the strip-down of the locomotive took place, so it was deemed that a new pair needed to be cast rather than having one new one and one old one. A lot of work has been needed to complete the underside of the cylinders before they can be attached to the frames.

The group overhauling 3850 has followed the GWR Swindon Works practice of working to complete the assembly of the cylinders when they are upside down. This work has now been completed, and in May, the frames were turned over using 2 road cranes to complete the manoeuvre.

Currently, the cylinders are being lined up with the frames, and work to attach them is underway. Once this is complete, staff can then look to replacing the front end, including a heavy piece of metal that is used to act as a front stretcher and counterweight.

After this, work can then focus on re-wheeling 3850 with her Collett wheels, which were originally under 2874 so a wheel swap with 2874 is needed. 2874 will receive Churchward pattern wheels as originally built.

Work is continuing on 3850 and we look forward to seeing her in steam soon.

To follow progress on 3850, or 7820 Dinmore Manor, please visit the Dinmore Manor Locomotive Ltd website.

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