General Steam Navigation Steam Locomotive 35011 Drag Truck Update

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The General Steam Navigation (GSN) Locomotive Restoration Society has released the latest update on progress being made to restore the Bulleid Pacific No. 35011 General Steam Navigation trailing truck.

The truck was delivered to North Norfolk Railway (NNR) where it was completely dismantled and detailed examination and testing carried out.

Visual and non-destructive testing (NDT) of the axle showed no defects. Although one end of the axle has pitting, most of the axle is stock size. NNR is awaiting confirmation from GSN’s certification body, Ricardo, that it can name its preferred tire turning and profiling subcontractor.

Trailing truck of 35011. Credit: General Society for the Restoration of Steam Navigation Locomotives.

A new set of springs that was purchased as part of an order from the 35006 Locomotive Society all have the same deflection under load, so setting up the height of the trailing truck will be easier.

The left axle box has visible cracks in three places, one of which extends at least two inches to the side. You will need to grind to the top of the arch before attempting a weld repair. As this is made of gunmetal, it might be difficult to show that it was done properly. The right axlebox has no visible cracks.

Both axleboxes are bent at the bottom, probably because the truck was lifted at some point. The left axlebox is much worse than the right and could fracture if an attempt is made to try and get it back in shape. The right axle box may be in a suitable condition to be reshaped. A penetrating dye will be used on both axle boxes to check for further cracks, but it is likely that the left axle box will need to be replaced.

There is a model available for the axleboxes, as they are the same as for the tender. To save costs, the company may consider ordering all eight, including the right axle box.

The goosenecks at the front of the truck, in particular the one on the right, are in poor condition. The best long-term solution is to completely cut them out and replace them. This will allow NNR to examine the back of the frame and the condition around where the necks are connected.

There is a small crack on the right rear of the frame which should be repairable. NNR should arrange for NDEs to be performed around the crack, at the location on the LHS of the frame, and around all other weld areas to determine the amount of material present and the strength of the welds.

The next step is for NNR to create complete CAD drawings of the trailing truck, understand how the truck originally operated, and obtain spare parts.

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