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Weʼre raising £25,000 to create a new crank axle to help restore 35011 General Steam Navigation.

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Doesn’t it seem like a crime that the only UK steam locomotive to bear the word ‘steam’ in its name hasn’t made steam in over 50 years? This is something the General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society plan to change. Launched in January 2016 the society has gone from strength to strength and purchased the Class 8P locomotive 35011 General Steam Navigation in July 2016.

“Cranking up the pressure” is the society’s main fundraising appeal to replace the locomotives missing crank axle. When General Steam Navigation was withdrawn from service in February 1966 she was placed in storage. In April 1966 fellow Merchant Navy 35026 Lamport & Holt Line was discovered to have a flawed central axle. To keep her in traffic, it was decided to give her to GSN. General Steam Navigation was then transferred to Eastleigh works where the task of fitting 35011s crank axle into 35026’s frames was undertaken. It was then that GSN was fitted with a new spare trailing wheelset from a West County class so she could leave for Barry by rail.

Ever since Barry it has always been known that a new crank axle would have to be made for her if she was ever to return to steam. When the previous owner agreed to swap axles with Braunton he simply exchanged a plain set for another plain set. The wheelset with this flawed axle has now been transferred to the South Devon Railway’s engineering workshop in preparation for the work to recover the wheel pans and build a new crank axle suitable for an original condition Merchant Navy.

The cost to create a crank axle for GSN is approximately £35,000 with £10,000 already been raised we need to raise another £25,000 to enable the components to be cast, machined and then pressed together to create the complete wheelset.

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  • Simon Shutt2 months ago
    Simon Shutt

    Simon Shutt

    2 months ago

    The South Devon Railway Engineering (SDRE) has safely removed the axle and the crank pins to free up the wheel pans. An examination was then undertaken of the wheel pans which we are happy to report as being in good condition. A new set of tyres will be required on the finished wheelset but these are readily available. At this stage the old tyres will remain on as Bulleid wheel pans have a tendency to warp if left without a tyre on them for a prolonged period of time.

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2 months ago

Simon Shutt started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 6/23/2018 7:17 PM

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