As the work progresses on the underframe and running gear – especially as there is quite a lot of missing kit on Barnum no.228 at Ruddington – the search is on for metalworkers to produce the brake actuation rodding and hangers, then to seek suppliers of dynamo and vacuum brake cylinders.
The safety-critical brake cylinders are now in very short supply in the UK. Those beneath BR Mk.1 carriages are not acceptable as the GCR carriages have a separate vacuum tank, so adaptation would be difficult even if the increasingly rare type were available. Barnum no.228 does have that requirement – as the cylinders were removed perhaps as much as 60 years ago when our Barnum was converted into a stores and mess van.
With the GCR 567 Loco Group, may be this is an opportunity to have various groups to join together and seek a production run of new cylinders of the original type which are still being made in India? Many may recall that Britain was a great railway builder and supplier to the Asian subcontinent and the last of the adapted Robinson design of the J11 0-6-0 re-gauged tender locomotive were scrapped in Pakistan a relatively short time ago.
So if anyone can help with a local source, we are scouring the UK for a competitive supplier to meet the ex-BR standards – otherwise we will be happy to join with other groups to bulk order these vital items. Now if it attracts other potentially interested purchasers – do please let us know, soon, so we can cost these key items….
State of corrosion on one of the Barnum brake cylinders – requiring new manufacture. – Photo Courtesy – Andrew Coalwood