That’s right, your eyes don’t deceive you! A project which has been over 20 years in the making, with many challenges, and with so many hours of work behind the scenes by our dedicated staff and volunteers to keep it moving forward, has reached another huge milestone.

At 7.30 am on Thursday 26th September, a fire was lit in the boiler of NG/G16 129 for the first time, bringing us ever closer to the completion of its restoration.

Under the ever watchful eyes of the project team and workshop staff, the fire was built up, the boiler warmed through and, slowly but surely, the pressure began to rise.

This initial steaming was arranged in order to check the steam tightness of the boiler fittings and pipework, test the injectors and – if possible – set the safety valves.

A few small issues were highlighted – the very purpose of these tests –  which will require some rectification work before the next test, and the boiler will also be washed out before it is steamed again.

The next stage will be to do the final setting of the safety valves, and blow out all the steam pipes to ensure they are clean. The piston valves and cylinder drain cocks have been removed for this process, which is to ensure no foreign material that may be left in the pipes from fabrication and assembly can be carried into the cylinders, damaging the piston valves and pistons.