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Sir Berkeley Returns

Following the discovery of a significant steam leak in the smokebox whilst on hire to Beamish, Manning-Wardle No.1210 ‘Sir Berkeley’ was withdrawn from operations. Through lengthy discussions between Beamish, the Vintage Carriages Trust (owners of Sir Berkeley) and ourselves it was decided it would be best to investigate and undertake any repairs at Middleton. As such the hire period was brought to a premature end and it returned to ourselves on the 8th May. 

Upon its return investigation work was undertaken. Much to the relief of everyone, it was found that it was not an issue with the cylinder block as originally thought. Instead the gasket between the cylinder block and main steam pipe had failed allowing steam to leak where the flange joined. 

As a precautionary measure the main steam pipe was removed and hydraulically tested to 210PSI (one and a half times its working pressure).  This showed that the main steam pipe was not cracked and in suitable condition to be put back in place. 

New gaskets were made, the flange faces cleaned up and the main steam pipe assembly reassembled. The only thing left to do was undertake a steam test.

On the 2nd June a fire was lit and pressure slowly raised. Once at working pressure the brakes were applied and the regulator opened. This allowed steam to enter the main steam pipe and would reveal whether the new gaskets had resolved the steam leak. Thankfully no steam leaks were found and Sir Berkeley was once again declared fit for operating.

Sir Berkeley is planned to be operating over the next few steam service days including over the model railway exhibition weekend. As with all heritage locomotives, this is subject to last minute change without notice. 

All photographs courtesy of Geordie Brown