Project 27
Restoring the Bluebell Railways forgotten P Primrose

End of Year Engineering Update 2019

It has been a busy winter working on 27 with the rear drag box & buffer beam complete and riveted in place for the close of the year. The cylinder block has also been split ready for final machining & the second wheel set has also entered the works over winter and is progressing well with the aim to having all three of the wheelsets painted up into top coat by the summer.

Ian Ferguson also join us, for three weeks during the school holidays and festive season, taking on several machining jobs both large and small to help move the project on with the work being detailed below.

The valve faces revealed ready for machining the top & bottom reliving grooves.

Previous to the Cylinder block being split the following work was undertaken below.

This picture shows the as cast state before machining of the back face seating.

Awhile later the square machined back face seating has been cut.

Another example of the back facing seat having been cut in a difficult to reach position.

The tool set in place and set for back cutting the face by hand!

Bolt positon referance numbers ready for the block to be split.

More reference numbering on the top of the block.

On the machining front Ian Ferguson joined us for 3 weeks over Christmas and progressed a number of jobs in the machine shop with new piston rods and wedges being made giving us a complete assembly with only the piston rings to order from an external supplier at a later date.

Ian has also re-bushed and repaired all the bronze glands which attach to the cylinder block and has machined our blast pipe casting obtained a few years ago to fit to the top of the cylinder block. All of these items are now in stock ready for when the cylinder block is fitted to the frames hopefully sometime in the late Spring or early Summer of 2020.

Piston rod packing glands in the process of being re-bushed by Ian Ferguson.

New piston rods trial fitted into the piston head.

Blast pipe castings freshly machined & ready to go into stock.

Two new piston rod nuts machined with the old example in the background.

Brass dome headed nuts for the blast pipe.

Brake bow beams with there ends re machined round.

A close up of the machined ends.

And finally on the main frames front the final work to rivet up the rear drag box is slowly drawing to a close with all the relevant holes now being drilled, reamed, countersunk and ready for final riveting. Also the first of many of the hundreds of part that go into a loco, in the form of the cylinder cocks control rod pivot bracket, has been mounted up & set on the new frames ready for riveting on, another little milestone achieved!

Rear drag box assembly in place by the end of the year.

Rear buffer beam drilled & ready for the final rivets.

Some of the final 5/8″ rivets set in place & ready for a coat of paint

One of the first components fitted to the new frames.

Latest News


As a small group, we rely on fundraising to keep achieving our goal of seeing the Bluebell Railways smaller fleet of engines operational. So get on board with us today no matter how large or small the contribution.