Manor in the Cotswolds!

One of our engines breaks new ground but which? At the invitation of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, one of our two Manors is expected to attend their week long Festival of Steam between Saturday 29th May and Sunday 6th June. 7812 has been advertised in the rail press but due to problems with springs on Erlestoke, 7802 Bradley Manor has become the more likely prospect. However, if you wish to know which engine gets to the event, you had better go along yourself to find out (or visit SVR to see which is still back there!).

Spring Problems!

The derailment at Hampton Loade of the “Flying Pig” no 43106 LMS mogul’s tender just after the autumn gala last September and the subsequent ORR Rail Accident enquiry exposed problem’s with the SVR’s maintenance regime and particularly in relation to locomotive springs. In that instance a wrong spring component had been used on the mogul’s tender. Just to emphasise the point, during 7802’s visit to Buckfastleigh for axle box maintenance, removal of the rear coupled axle revealed broken springs both sides which were immediately condemned. Replacements were provided by Bridgnorth and Bradley duly returned to service on the SVR in March.

Subsequently with a more robust maintenance regime put in place by the SVR board, 7812 has also been found similarly afflicted with a broken tender spring hanger bracket. Without a spare available and needing a new part to be manufactured, Erlestoke was sidelined with the prospect of being out of service for several weeks. The Llangollen Railway then came to the rescue with the loan of the tender from 7822 Foxcote Manor which is currently undergoing major overhaul. This tender is now behind Erlestoke which returned to service in early May.

Fortunately, both locomotives were in service to doublehead a photo charter on 26th March.

Although the morning trip is almost fully booked, the afternoon trip departing Kidderminster 3.35
pm for Kidderminster behind one of our two Manor locos still has quite a few places available. One
of the magnificent GWR design observation saloons, attached at the front of a service train,
accommodates our guests and a cream tea is served during the 3 hour round trip – price £18 for the afternoon trip (£28 for morning trip with full buffet).

A raffle usually takes place en route to help bolster EMF funds. One of our locomotives should be hauling the train and hopefully the other will also be seen in service. Contact David Kilner on 0771 365 6363, by post to him at 3 Woodbury Park, Holt Heath, Worcester WR6 6NT or by email at to make a reservation

Bradley’s Winter Overhaul. – by Terry Jenkins

Bradley is back on the SVR and the work envisaged for this winter to improve its mechanical condition has been completed. In the end the work undertaken at the South Devon Railway’s workshops at Buckfastleigh was:

  • Remetal all 6 driving/coupled axleboxes.
  • Polish axle journals and service front bogie axlebox pads.
  • Reduce the hornway/axlebox clearance on 2 axleboxes.
  • Fit 6 new driving/coupled wheel springs.
  • Remetal 2 coupling rod & 1 big end bearings (2 new bearings used)

On return to the SVR this work was completed by weighing the loco & adjusting the springs to suit. All this was only achieved with plenty of dismantling, cleaning & reassembly by the funds workforce both at Buckfastleigh & Kidderminster. Under the agreement the SVR have funded the contract repair work
on the various components listed together with some basic reassembly work.(a five figure sum).

For the record 36 man days of work were put into this by EMF at the SDR & a further 8 at Kidderminster to completion. I would therefore like to thank those involved for their part in this necessary exercise aimed at keeping the loco in good mechanical condition for the rest of the current boiler certificate. – Terry Jenkins.

February 2010 – EMF Update on New Tender Project – by Terry Jenkins.

  • Achievements so far:tender wheelsets fitted with new tyres by South Devon Railway Engineering, axles ultrasonically tested and the wheelsets delivered back to the SVR ready for use.
  • Castings obtained for 6 axlebox underkeeps and 6 axlebox bearing brasses.
  • Patterns manufactured for:
    • Tender horns, leading/trailing & centre
    •  Tender brake cylinder top & bottom covers, piston, trunions & trunion bearings
    • Tender brake shaft end bearing
    • Tender spring hanger bracket front/rear
    • Tender Brake Hanger Bracket
  • New wooden axlebox dust shields obtained
  • Near complete set of parts obtained for water scoop & operating gear. We are particularly pleased to acquire these as this negates the need to produce expensive patterns for these items which are nowadays of no function but without which the tender looks incomplete. The acquisition of serviceable old items adds some “provenance” to the new build.
  • Drawings have been prepared & checked ready to go out for quotations for the supply of:
    • Buffer beams & dragboxes
    • Front & rear step assemblies
    • Mainframes
  • It is intended to order & assemble a & b above before the frames are ordered as considerable space will be needed once the frames are received
  • Tender Brake Hangers – we have two of the correct type & thought that we had found two more but on close examination these are found to be 45xx loco type & are unsuitable for the tender. We are therefore still on the lookout for further useable tender brake hangers.
  • A pair of tender water valves in overhauled condition have been acquired.

We continue to look for serviceable old parts towards this project.

Erlestoke Pops the Question!

On 28 February 2010 23:57, Stephen Thomas wrote:

Dear Sir,

I’m sure that you are aware of the favour that “Erlestoke Manor” did me on October 4th, 2009 (by wearing a rather unique headboard), but I don’t know if anyone has seen the photos. If the EMF would like to use any of these photos, then they are welcome to do so.

Yours sincerely,
Stephen Thomas.

PS: Once again, Amanda and I would like to say a very big “Thank You” to all those involved in making our day so special. In fact, Amanda now regards “Erlestoke” as “Her Engine” !!

(When this unexpected headboard was seen on the train passing through Bewdley, it created a quite a stir of wonderment and emotion – I know, I saw it! All the very best for a happy future to you both from EMF – Ed)

Other EMF Team Efforts

Our working team continues to try to keep its act together by giving assistance to other projects on the SVR. At Bewdley, John Whitcomb is leading an EMF team fabricating a new bunker for ex GWR 2-6-2T Prairie tank no 4150 (a former Stourbridge engine) under the watchful eyes and to the drawings of Pete Simpson, the 4150 Group’s Chief Engineer.

Some satisfaction was being felt when, after an hour’s heavy manual lifting, several parts of the new bunker were assembled together into a sizeable “box” until someone wondered whether it looked quite like what it was supposed to. And why was a part at its edge marked “left side” butting up to a part marked “right side”? After hasty review, red faces, some hilarity, rapid deconstruction and reassembly and the erection began to look a little more recogniseable. Fortunately Pete wasn’t around at the time.

Your ideas on a postcard of what this new class of prairie tank might have looked like will be welcomed by the editor. Hopefully a recogniseable version will be on show at 4150 Group’s open weekend 7-8th August at Bewdley

Loco Mileages – Des Ainsworth

Des Ainsworth reports that, according to the SVR records, 7812 Erlestoke Manor clocked up the highest
operational mileage for locos on the Severn Valley last year at 10,422 miles followed closely by the Stanier Mogul no 42968 which itself is approaching 100,000 miles in preservation.

Here John Oates’ photograph shows 7812 approaching Highley with the Gresley coach set on 16th February – shades of the pre war Newcastle– Swansea “Coast to Coast” service when Manors hauled Gresley sets between Banbury, Cheltenham and Swansea.

Wheel Weighing Device – Gerald Peacock

The spring problems referred to above highlighted the need to achieve the design loading on all of the
axles and also prevent overloading the axleboxes which causes overheating and wear.

The SVR now has access to an individual wheel and axle loading measuring device (see photo right).
This is made of a rigid central steel bar with adjustable wedges each end together with a hydraulic pressure jack.

A manual hydraulic pump is connected and a gauge indicates the tonnage sustained under the wheel
when it starts to lift from the track – this should average around 8.5 tons for the Manor’s driving wheels. The spring tensions can then be adjusted to give the required loadings.

The photo at left shows Philip Hammond carrying out this exercise on Bradley’s wheels at Kidderminster just after it returned from overhaul at Buckfastleigh.

Terry Jenkins’ photo right shows our Vice President Bernard Rainbow underneath Bradley Manor at Buckfastleigh while helping to refit horn ties following its axle box overhaul.

Final reminder!

To book your seat on the “Obbo” trip 24th June, please ring or email Dave Kilner now!

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