GWR ‘28XX’ No. 2807 suffered a boiler tube failure whilst the locomotive was at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s Autumn Welsh Steam Gala.
The Churchward 2-8-0 visited the NYMR for the line’s three-day event on September 30-October 2, courtesy of Cotswold Steam Preservation Ltd. According to CSPL, the boiler tube failed on the morning of October 1.
Discussion between NYMR engineers and those from the locomotive’s home base at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway resulted in the tube being plugged off at both ends to temporarily seal the failure. By October 3, this work had been completed and the 2-8-0 underwent a successful steam test.
Despite the failure, No. 2807 was able to run at the NYMR’s Railway in Wartime event on October 14-16 and the locomotive returned to the GWSR on October 21.
Although a new tube has since been fitted, there are fears that the failure could be a sign that the other boiler tubes could also fail in the short-term. As the ‘28XX’ is already seven years into its 10-year ticket, if there are any further problems, a decision will be taken whether to withdraw the locomotive for a full heavy general overhaul.
However, plans are already being made to mitigate the risk and following a hopefully successful steam test to be carried out this week, it is expected that No. 2807 will run the Santa Specials on the GWSR.
Having been built in 1905, No. 2807 is the oldest surviving Churchward-designed locomotive in preservation, and the oldest locomotive to have been saved from Barry scrapyard.