A series of photos from my first steam ups of a brand new 7 1/4″ gauge steam loco.

First Steam up. Always a fairly nerve racking moment.  Fire lit, blower was OK but had to switch to the club one as the draw from mine was insufficient.  At 80 PSI drain cocks open. Tentatively moved forwards. Fantastic but after short loop needed to put in water. Right hand injector worked but left hand absolutely nothing other than water and steam from overflow. Below shows why….not happy! A piece of stainless steel swarf between the two cones.

001 1st Steam up issue

Second Steam up. I didn’t attempt to move from the steam up area.  Instead I focused on getting both injectors to work – there is no axle pump or hand pump so I need both injectors to work before I can get a formal club steam test. This time the L.H. injector worked well but not the R.H. one. On cleaning it as seen below I found more swarf. This time two pieces of rusting steel.

002 2nd Steam up issue

Decision time – I decided to strip the whole injector water feed pipes and wash them out.  Also the water tank needed washing out along with the balance pipe. The image below shows how i collected all the pieces of swarf, paint and other matter. I was quite astonished how much I collected!

003 Wash out whole water system

Standard kitchen washing-up bowl showing a large quantity of “bits”.  Each of these pieces would be able to block an injector – I assume that the tank was never washed out?

004 Surpriesd at how much swarf

I filtered the water through some cloth to collect the debris – quite astonishing.

005 Filtered swarf and paint

Third Steam up – feeling very confident I decided that third time lucky would take place.  I had a great day with learning the idiosyncrasies of driving a new loco.  The loco is brilliant, so much power and surprisingly easy to keep in steam. My previous loco was a 5 inch Sweet Pea so I am very used to a marine boiler.

However – only one injector working all day.  And guess what I found between the cones on stripping the R.H. injector out.  See below. I guess there may be more in the tank but at least I will know what to do and how to do it!


Post Script….. I took the R.H. check valve apart and found the problem with the injector – the stainless steel ball had stuck. To be fair this may have been my fault as the R.H injector worked at the first steam up and when I cleaned out the whole system I cleaned / checked both check valves. On re-assembly it looks like I used a bit to much Loctite “Lock and Seal”.  I cant blame others for that!

006 3rd Steam up. Now its getting silly

Third Steam up – towards the end of the day I heard a slight ticking noise coming from the R.H side of the engine. Three bolts had become loose and fallen out from the weighshaft. Also the nut from the slide bar to rear cylinder cover had come loose. Picture shows the area concerned.

008 3rd Steam up. Some bolts not tight. Naughty.

Third Steam up – as this area is covered in oil I will need to give it a thorough clean so that I can use some loctite on the three bolts for the weighshaft and the nut for the slide bar.

007 3rd Steam up. Some bolts not tight. Naughty.

4th Steam up. The above problem with loose bolts was solved with stainless bolts carefully cleaned internal threads and a suitable coating of Loctite “Nutlock”.

011 Water Gauge Protector

4th Steam up. The above picture shows my present to self! A nice Water Gauge Protector from R A Barker. They have made quite a few before for Stafford’s and Feldbahn’s so they new what size etc. to make it. The water gauge is very close to where one’s shovel or rake could hit it so a protector is a must in my opinion.

012 Spark Deflector – Arrestor

Not been well with Covid over the last few days but thankfully was still able to get into the workshop! I have no idea whether other owners have built internal spark arrestors for their loco but I used a deflector on my Sweet Pea successfully for many years. This is a piece of flat mild steel rolled up with the brass deflector attached by a little piece of angle. Materials all from the odd and ends bin. Next steam up will check to see if it is ok.