Friday, 26 August 2011

Off with her Cab!

To get access to the boiler, first the cab has to be removed. The cab is bolted and riveted to the tanks. The condition of the boiler has to be inspected and issued with a safety certificate before it can be used.

Although this is labour intensive, it's quite straight forward, barring a few rusty fixings. The cab was not particularly heavy, but it was a delicate manoeuvre requiring sensitive control of the forklift.

The preparatory work - unbolting and dismantling - took the most time.

Many hours of work have gone in so far, but this is the first time that the Woolwich has been visibly altered.

The next job is the removal of the offside side tank - so watch this space!
View the stage-by-stage process on our online album.  

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


As we begin to strip down and rebuild a loco, let's cast our minds back to where it all started.  Take a look at some of the research and new graphics we have on display on our open days.

Scroll to the bottom of the Royal Arsenal Railway page and check out our map of the entire RA railway system.

....And there's a few colourful images and information at the end of the About the loco page

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Obstinate Nuts.

Here's how we deal with the rusted nuts on the cab of Woolwich.  The loco is undergoing preparation work for the removal of the cab and the right-hand tank this week - the cab extension added by Bicton Railway is still in place.  

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Hidden for Years - the steam chest

 This week, we unveiled a part of the engine that possibly hasn't been seen since 1954.  The volunteers at Crossness Engines Trust were lucky enough to take the first peek at the inside of Woolwich's steam chest.

We wanted to inspect the condition of the 'slide valves' that allow admission and exhaust of steam to and from the cylinders.  The only thing to stand in our way was a thick and heavy plate covering the steam chest, secured by 14 very substantial studs.     

Don't be fooled: this job was by no means easy!  The outside of the cover was corroded and removal was risky - loose dirt and grit could damage the valve, and the joint between the cylinder and the cover can't be damaged in any way.  It is a delicate operation.  
What did we find?  All is revealed!  Take a look at the photo story online.