The National Trust owned locomotive in the care of the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways is currently undergoing a significant overhaul.
In 2018 the two organisations came to an agreement that would see the locomotive stay at the FFWHR for the next ten years and in return the FFWHR would raise the funds to cover the ten year overhaul of the boiler. This was scheduled for 2021 however with the covid lockdown and with funds on hand the decisions was taken to start the job a year early. The boiler tubes were very thin at the smokebox end and heavily pitted inside the boiler. As the loco was not likely to see much use in 2020 and there is space at Boston Lodge everything seemed to fit together well.
The strip down was completed in July and the boiler was inspected. No work was required other than a retube which has now been completed. The longest delay in this being waiting for the tubes to arrive from the supplier. Volunteer loco crew have helped clean the boiler shell and repaint it. The hydraulic test of the boiler is due in mid-September.
The chassis whilst reasonably solid had many ‘alignment challenges’. The works team have set about a major overhaul of the wheelsets, horns and slidebars. This along with work on crossheads and rod ends should see the loco fit for use for another few decades.
The engine is hoped to be back in action in time for the Ffestiniog Railway vintage weekend. Whilst not an FR locomotive members do enjoy catching a glimpse of Hugh working in the sidings or in the yard at Boston Lodge. A full autumn program of works trains is planned for the loco mainly moving ash and other materials around the FR. Volunteers wishing to help with this work on trains hauled by Hugh should drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
The locomotive will be outshopped in its current original style black livery as the paint is in good condition only requiring lights repairs.