The Lavender Line
During the Lavender Lines annual October Gala weekend it was with much regret that our privately owned resident Belgium steam engine Yvonne suffered a small failure which has now rendered the loco out of service. Her owner Colin has taken the decision to take Yvonne out of service 3 months earlier than planned so work can begin on the overhaul.
Yvonne has enjoyed almost 10 full years on her boiler ticket with her final 9 months at the Lavender Line. Her current ticket expires on 31st December 2014 which means she will no long be legal to run until her 10 year ticket has been issued. Every steam engine in the UK has to have a legal 10 year boiler ticket which must be issued by a qualified boiler inspector. Steam engines are incredibly powerful machines and with the expansion rate of steam it is very important to ensure that the engines boiler is in a good legal condition. Just like a car steam engines too have yearly tests on top of the 10 year exam, this is much like an MOT with a cold test carried out then a live steam test to ensure the boiler is within the correct limits.
There is a fair bit of work to be carried out on Yvonne during her overhaul, although her owner Colin has already begun by removing the fire bars, the fittings and ashpan to ensure that preparations can be made to remove the boiler so work can be carried out. All of Yvonne’s unique boiler tubes need to be replaced including the main steam pipe which carries steam from the boiler to the cylinders.
Yvonne’s overhaul is expected to take up to a year to complete depending on what we find when the work is being carried out. The plan is to reintroduce Yvonne into service at some point next year but this cannot be guaranteed due to the length of time it could take. Our resident steam engine 0-6-0ST Kitson Austin 1 is yet again our only working steam engine for the rest of the steam season and into next year.
Keep an eye out for more info on Yvonne’s overhaul and how she is getting on; photos on the overhaul are to follow.