It has been a busy few weeks at LNWR Heritage, Crewe, but Clan Line has made its first tentative moves under its own power, and has passed the in-frames steam test, and the official examinations.

One of the jobs that had to be done before this was the weighing. This is not to find out how heavy the locomotive is (we more or less know that), but to find out how much weight is on each wheel, and to adjust the springs accordingly. This is done by using a cantilever arrangement which hooks under each wheel flange, and lifts the wheel just off the rail. The amount of force needed to do this is measured by a load cell, and the figures on each wheel are compared with the design specifications.

Thanks to the North York Moors Railway for the loan of the equipment.

The engine is weighed

We could then light the fire, and let the locomotive warm up slowly and gently.

The first gentle fire

The following day, before we moved the engine, it was very important that we ensured that we could stop it. Therefore, we went through a thorough testing of the braking system - steam (for the engine), vacuum (for the tender), and air (for the carriages).

Steam rises

When we were happy with the brakes, the injectors, and the lubrication system, among other things, we tried opening the regulator, and the engine moved very smoothly - and stopped when told to.

The first tentative moves

Later in the week, after the official testing of things such as OTMR, TPWS, GSM-R, the safety valves, and the braking system, as well as calibrating the speedometer, it was announced that we had passed these major hurdles.

The next major step was the laser profiling, for gauging purposes.

To do this, we had to have the smoke deflectors fitted.

Clan Line starts to look the part

Laser profiling

The next steps are planned to be the light engine test runs, followed by painting.

Then, after the loaded tests, we look forward to welcoming Clan Line back to Stewarts Lane, where we have a busy program booked with Belmond British Pullman and UK Railtours, among others.

More Photographs

Watch the first moves on a short video