On Monday the 9th April, the Llangollen Railway Great Western Locomotive Group (LRGWLG) held a meeting to decide where the boiler would be restored.
It was an unanimous vote in favour of having it done at Llangollen, as their quote was considered to be the best option. Whilst the other quotes were looked at and decided that it would be more expensive to send the boiler away to be restored.
Llangollen Engineering have a good reputation when it comes to boiler work, and being a volunteer at Llangollen myself, I see the great work the boiler smiths do first hand. And as 5532 has had all her restoration work done at Llangollen so far, it seems right to have the boiler done at her home railway.
This week, the Chairman of LRGWLG, Mike Fazey will be meeting up with Llangollen Railway CME Graham Elwood to discuss further the plan for the boiler restoration. It is hoped that the boiler will be moved in the workshop after other contracted work is completed, mainly the overhauls of LNER D49 'Morayshire' and GWR Large Prairie '4160', and the boiler overhaul of A4 'Sir Nigel Gresley'. Whilst we cannot give an exact date as to when this will happen, hopefully it will be before next winter, as we do not really want to leave the boiler outside for another year.
The first thing to look at will be removing the inner firebox to assess it's condition. The boiler has been mostly dismantled already, mainly consisting the parts which could be removed without risking damage to the boiler. Some of these parts were assessed and replacements made where necessary, including a new front tube plate and outer firebox back head. These are currently stored unfinished (no holes drilled out for rivets etc.) ready for the time when they can be assembled to the boiler.
The inner firebox however has proven too risky to remove without the knowledge of a qualified boiler smith. This is why we want Llangollen to do this, the three boiler smiths employed by the railway have a vast amount of experience and knowledge between them and will have a better idea of how to remove the inner firebox safely with minimum risk of damage.
Thank you to everyone who have supported the loco throughout her restoration so far and getting us to the point where the boiler restoration can begin in the near future. But we still need as much money as possible coming in to get the boiler restored and into 5532. And the sooner we can raise it, the sooner 5532 will return to traffic for the first time in preservation. Please help us achieve this by buying shares in the loco at £25 each, or by donating what you can. Details on how to do this can be found here:- https://www.llangollengwloco.co.uk/how-you-can-help
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!