Welcome to the Little Loco Group’s website, formed in 2017 from members of the Wainwright Villas Gang and supported by the Fenchurch Fund the Little Loco Group aims to help fund & support the overhaul & restoration of the Bluebell Railway’s historic fleet of smaller engines as well as the railway’s collection of pre-grouping engines & projects representing this era of locomotive history. In line with these aims the group works towards helping to keep an example of one of the two Brighton Terriers & one of the three SECR P tanks in an operational condition at all times.
Our current project is to return SECR No.27 Primrose back into operational service after last steaming in 1974. Once thought as a lost case, since 2017, the group has started a ground up restoration with major components such as the frames and cylinder block having been replaced. All the progress so far has solely been achieved through volunteer labour & funded by the Fenchurch Fund who have raised £45,000 of the predicted £150,000 needed to restore 27 back to working order.
Help us to continue our pace and make a donation today to help us to continue to preserve & keep operational the Bluebell Railway’s smaller fleet of pioneering steam engines.
Project 27 Latest Update
Following on from the beginning of the year the team has slowly been working towards finishing off the final construction & riveting up of the main frames. With the work on the rear of the frame plates now completed, work has concentrated on constructing the front end of the frame work. The new front buffer-beam has subsequently been fitted & angle work fixed into position & riveted up. The freshly paint rear sandboxes have also been fitted to the frames, to check they fit and to clear them out of the villas being a hefty item to store! Work in the new year will concentrate on acquiring and fitting new running plates as well as working towards fitting the new cylinder into the frames once some remedial machining work has been undertaken.
Following on from the start of the year and with the side valances previously set in place after the temporary fitment of the front end for alignment the four valence end plate wings where finally welded into place. With this work completed a start could be made at finishing off the final riveting to the rear end of the frames as well as the front end, once the counterweights had been removed and in doing so help us to reach a major mini mile stone with the completion of the erecting & riveting up of the main frames. Moving forwards with the frames, apart from fitting the new cylinder block & repaired horn guides, work will start to concentrate on fitting the new running plates & rear bunker section which as yet need to be ordered.
2022 a new year and a fresh start on project 27 following almost 2 years of lockdowns, restrictions & towards the tail end of 2021 the team getting back upto speed with where we left off. Work has mainly concentrated on progressing on with the overhaul of some of the various components currently taking up space in the villas so that we can either hang them back on the frames or put them into storage & out of the way.
Outside work on the frames has concentrated with the fettling of the front buffer beam angle rivet heads to allow the front counterweight to be temporarily fitted. The counterweight fitment being necessary not only to hold the front of the frames square, whilst the cylinder block is still to be fitted, but also to allow us subsequently make a start at setting up the front end & side valences.