4253 Locomotive
A not-for-profit company run entirely by volunteers
Contact us at: gwr4253@gmail.com


As first seen in Wales

Extent of deterioration is clear

This side just as bad

Cab floor area

Interior of cab

Rear of cab area

Right water tank seen from cab

Left water tank seen from cab

Arriving at Rolvenden

On low loader at Rolvenden

Going into the yard at Rolvenden

Laying track to unload engine

Edging down ramp

Finally back on the ground

Cab roof being removed

Bunker being removed

Reduced to chassis and boiler

Boiler being lifted from frames

Boiler free and lifted clear

Frames being raised to remove wheels

Frames free of wheel sets

Just the five axles left

Bunker ready for dismantling

Corner piece removed

Extent of corrosion evident

Coal space revealed

Upper section cut from floor

Angle sections being removed

Punching out the remaining rivets

Equal opportunities rivet removal

New plate for bunker rebuild

Protective paint applied on arrival

Drilling over 1,000 holes for rivets

Bunker corners

Trial fitting of back sections

Cut out for curved rear section

Final trial bolting up to check fit

Bunker parts pre riveting

Riveting Jan 2013

Riveting of new bunker begins

Bunker interior

Riveting in rear panel

Bunker front

Bunker rear

Front end of frames cleaned up

Red oxide applied for protection

Trial fitting of new fabricated part

Cleaning up front drag boxes

Heating prior to straightening

Riveting in front left drag box

and then the right hand one

Original and new front buffer beam

Painted prior to fitting buffer beam

New buffer beam being lifted in

and then riveted up

The end result before final paint

After final painting

and complete with number

Wheel sets as removed

Removal of axle boxes

Extent of the cleaning challenge

Initial steam cleaning

Followed by scraping

Smaller person for the smaller wheels

Painter follows the cleaner

Cleaning the eccentrics

Finished after 8 days work

Cleaning up pony truck

Frame cleaning

Needle gun needed on most areas

Areas marked for replacement

Birds nest in LH cylinder

RH piston removal

Heating to aid removal

Paint applied to prevent corrosion

New frame stretcher being drilled

More frame stretcher drilling

Riveting of new upper stretcher

Boiler as removed

Needle gunning of firebox

Needle gunning top of boiler

Work continues in August sun

Protective coat of paint applied

Work completed to avoid further deterioration

Smokebox tube plate

Superheater header removal

Superheater tube being cut out

and then removed

Cab roof

In position for dismantling

Young volunteer gets ready

and then starts the dismantling

Just salvageable with work

Buffer provides seat for Henry

Working party rest break

John & Bryan strip water tank fittings

Working party during dismantling

Working party with front frames

Snow stops play in Feb 2012

Fundraising Sept 2012

A reluctant piston finally removed

Bunker riveting team

Side tanks as removed

Grinding off rivet heads

and punching them out

Outer panels removed

Angle strip cleaned for reuse

Red oxide for new tank steel

Checking fit of rear section

Drilling tank for joining plate

Cutting away wasted frame

leaving large hole

Trial fit of repair section

Drilling frame repair sections

ready to be welded in place

Cylinders cleaned and painted

Fitting water tank panel

Younger volunteers drilling

Baffle fitting

More tank baffles

Removal of flue tube

then carried to scrap pile

Extent of scale in boiler

compared to old LH tank

Debris removal from boiler

after all tubes removed

Positioning of frame repair section

and aligning with new floor sections

Main weld completed

Fundraising at Hoppers event

Dragging LH tank into the open

to remove baffle plates

This end even worse

Tank base being dismantled

Firebox inspection

Boiler inspection

Rivet burning to remove smokebox

and then driving rivet out

Extended work area

New bunker being repositioned

Wheels return after refurb

and placed on a length of track

Smokebox edge being cut

to ease removal

Tank rear panels trial fitted

and man inserted to drill holes

Tube plate being removed

to reveal interior

Damaged frame area cut out

and repair section offered up

Young volunteers in 5668 smokebox

Dave in new water tank

New pony truck stretcher

Water tank trial build

Heating rivets on the forge

and fixing in new water tank

prior to using forge for a late breakfast

Outer panels riveted up

and then laid flat for next part

Tank riveting team

Another sand box finished

RH frame repair welding starts

Dave exits water tank

Young riveter in action

Final tank panel bolted in place

Ponytruck stretcher being drilled

2nd frame repair completed

Two Sandboxes completed

Weighshaft being removed

Tank almost finished

Trial fitting crank pin nut

Replacing rivets on the frames

Cab floor frames replaced

Springs cleaned and examined

Weighshaft returned to frames

and then bolted in place

Melting white metal from axlebox

and making mould for re-metaling

Brake vacuum cylinder rebuilt

Buffers being reassembled

Replacing brake hanger brackets

Refurbished buffers

Left hand tank takes shape

New smokebox and door

Final rivets go into right tank

while left tank progresses

Axle box white metalling

and a close up shot

Steam crane moves boiler

New chimney arrives

and s/hand coupling rods

Old bunker goes for scrap

Replacing a rear buffer

Grinding out prior to frame repair

and first weld bead laid

Riveting stretcher to frame

Drilling out rubbing plate rivets

and studs in axle boxes

and the sliding plates

and countersinking on the tank

Crosshead being cleaned

Back of tank being drilled

and then trial fitted

Fabrication of joining plate

Followed by fitting in stages

Strip down of second tank

and final work before riveting

Temporary boiler house

Work starts on the boiler

First rivet goes in second tank

Boiler dismantling continues

Removing smokebox ring

Blowing out boiler rivets

Replacing left leading horn

Machining of new drain cocks

Dismantling valve assembly

Both new water tanks

Refurbished slide bars

Removal of fire hole rivets

Removal of foundation ring rivet

Internal motion refurbished

Horn grinding machine beam

Operating arm trial fit

Foundation ring removal work

New cab fabrication starts

Foundation ring rivet removal

Running plate trial fit

New drain cocks machined

New smokebox door and ring

Removing throatplate stays

Refurb of 4253 trailer

Bunker on way to Steam Rally

New rear panel for cab

Fitting new front running plate

Completed smokebox ring and door

Removing broken cylinder studs

Attaching cab roof vent runners

Horn grinding machine testing

New smokebox inner door

New cab completed

Drilling new smokebox

Cutting hole for blast pipe

Superheater header stud removal

Riveting smokebox door

Smokebox building team

Drilling axle boxes

Removing barrel section

New smokebox on frames

Horn grinding machine trials

Drilling new boiler section

Removing steel firebox stays

Copper stay removal

Drilling new barrel section

New front draw hook

New throatplate being delivered

Countersinking axlebox bronzes

Machining cross beam mountings

Removing motion bracket

Removing the old smokebox

Making spring hanger pins

A finished sand box

Cleaning the gauge frame

New tank filler lid

Cleaning up the coupling rods

Fitting oil boxes to frames

Axle box repair bushes

Prepping brake shaft for repair

New brake ejector

Refurbished expansion link

Making cylinder cladding

Removing side wrapper

Removing throat plate

Boiler stripped

Measuring axle boxes

Painting cylinder cladding

Machining under keeps

Cleaning cylinder covers

Replacing motion bracket

Fitting brake shaft caps

New boiler backhead

Reassembly of pony truck

Final painting of wheelsets

Cleaning the under keeps

Pouring axle box white metal

and then machining it

New sand box lids

First trial fit of axlebox

More cylinder cladding

Cleaning up pipework

Reaming firebox lap seams

and then putting in new rivets

Set up for cylinder cover repair

New pressure relief valve fitting

New drain cock pipes

New jockey valve

Prepping new boiler section

White metaling axle box

Burning off lap seam rivets

Machining new underkeep

Axle box lubricator assembly

Removing foundation ring

Making jockey valve bracket

Cutting axle box oilway

Trial fitting axle box

Fettling axle box underkeeps

Machining underkeep oil filler

Trial fitting axlebox

Removing foundation ring studs

Scraping in axlebox bearing

An assembled axlebox

Re-wheeling - lifting frames

Re-wheeling - pushing wheels under

Re-wheeling - axles in place

The re-wheeling team

Fitting brake beam hanger

New handbrake screw and nut

Drilling out worn brake components

Installing brake cylinder

Re-bushing brake beam

Fabricating pipe runs

Checking vacuum pump piston grooves

Fitting drain cock actuating lever

Fitting horn tie spacers

Lagging the cylinders

Machining vacuum fittings

Trial fitting brake shaft

Handbrake rod repaired

Machining of rocking shaft bearing

Dismantling water valve linkage

Riveting cylinder cladding

Installing lubrication lines

Painting cab roof

Trial fit of rocking shaft bearing

Making water valve mechanism parts

Drilling new cab floor

New rocking shaft bearing

Vacuum retaining valve

Tank fitting team

New cab floor plates

Vacuum pump lub lines

Fettling fit of cab

New handbrake operating arm

New door locking mechanism

New cab door and window handles

Fitting cab rear doors

Fitting new die blocks

Refitting foundation ring

New piston rods

Attaching final cab trim

Riveting boiler barrel

Cleaning the eccentrics

Riveting the cab

Machining injector flanges

Injectors installed

Forming overflow pipework

Fitting brake pull rods

Making damper door brackets

Casting eccentrics white metal

March snow stops play

Eccentrics ready for machining

Forming pipework

Fitting overflow pipe

Machining tool box hasp

Assembling cab window frames

Rocking shaft trial fit

Pipework forming

Refitting cab roof

New ashpan taking shape

Fitting more pipework

Machining flanges

Start of dart bar welding

Fitting damper door hinges

Removing section of boiler barrel

Machining dart bar arms

Ashpan tunnel section

Machining rocker shaft bearing cap

Trial fitting pipe flange

Tapping slide bar threads

Making oil pot trimmings

Dismantling main steam pipe

New ashpan tunnel

Superheater header cleaning

Fitting new motion pins

Boiler welding

Machining new motion bushes

and then pressing them in

Brazing more new pipework

Boring new die block

Eccentrics returned from machining

Eccentric bearing being scraped in

Machining die blocks

Fitting thrust washers

Eccentic bearings scraped in

First slide bar offered up

Die block fettling

Valve chest drain pipe

Fitting the motion

Making castellated nuts

Slide bar alignment

New filler lid catch

Welding in of repair patch

Water valve components

Trial fit of throat plate

Ashpan construction

Fabricating pipework

Riveting ashpan door hinges

Trimming throat plate

Fitting final slide bar

Glazing the cab windows

Finishing the ashpan heat shield

Dressing throat plate to fit

Cleaning new piston rods

Bolting down throat plate

New cab windows fitted

Boring new piston head

Cleaning slide bar oil pots

Pilot drilling throatplate

Trial fitting throatplate

White metalling slipper block

Tapping firebox stay holes

Fitting condensing coil

Removing main steam pipe

Making cladding pieces

Dismantling steam collector

More cladding pieces

New boiler water trays

New coupling shackles

New rocking shaft covers

New water sieves

Cab warning sign

New swab boxes and covers

Fitting brake cylinder hose

Fettling cladding sheets

Making insulation pads

Fitting pipework brackets

New toolbox

Cleaning expansion brackets

Replacing lap seam rivets

Needle gunning boiler interior

main steam pipe

Final lap seam rivet

Final welding of throatplate

Measuring crank pins for new bushes

Throatplate riveted to boiler

Fettling palm stays

Descaled firebox tube plate