The day of the out-of-frames steam test dawned cold and wet, with the possibility of sleet mentioned in the weather forecast. The intrepid team from LNWR Heritage had been up since 4:30 to make sure that everything was ready for the arrival of the boiler inspector. Fortunately, the sun came out, later, which made everybody feel better.

The sun came out

The first safety valve was set to lift at 260 psi, for the purposes of the steam test, so the pressure was brought up to around 250 psi, and held there. This was made more difficult by the lack of the usual controlling mechanisms, including injectors, blower and dampers, but the LNWR Heritage people were up to the task. When the boiler inspector arrived, the safety valve was lifted, and, after a thorough inspection, he announced that the boiler had passed the test.

250 psi

The safety valve lifts

The next main job on the boiler is to deal with the smokebox. The entire bottom half of it has been replaced, due to corrosion. At the moment, it is only temporarily bolted to the boiler barrel. Very soon, the boiler will be lifted on to the frames, so that the smokebox can be offered up to the saddle, and all the holes marked. The boiler will then be lifted off, again, to allow the smokebox to be riveted to the barrel. While this is being done,the boiler will be lagged and clad, before it is finally re-united with the frames.

Then, the superheater header, and the elements, can be installed. When this has been done, we can look at the three steam pipes which run from the header to the valve chests. The bottom sections of these need renewing, but work can't be started on them until we get to this stage.

Meanwhile, back in the main shop, work is moving ahead on the frames:-

The injectors have been fitted

and most of the pipework for the cylinder and steam chest drains is in place:-