The Train from Spain Project

Phase 1 testing

The locomotive and existing tender were moved to Ravenglass on 18 November 2016. Balancing and valve setting were undertaken. A press day was arranged for 22 November to celebrate its first time in steam at the railway, and photographs of the event had over 8000 views on social media within a few days, illustrating the power of this form of coverage.

The first trip beyond Ravenglass station limits occurred on 23 November, with some trepidation given that the locomotive had not run since the 1930s. Normally, an ‘engineering steam test’ such as this would expect to go to Miteside and back to check the performance of the wheels, motion and cylinders. Miteside was reached and nothing seemed to be amiss, so the trial run with a single support coach continued on to Irton Road. Again, a check over the locomotive showed no signs of bearings running hot, so the team pressed on, reaching and returning from Dalegarth at the first attempt.

Other key tests including test of the new air brakes on the locomotive, which showed that it achieved the target deceleration rate of 0.7m/s2. Further runs were carried out with progressively increasing loads, up to 12 empty coaches which is representative of a regular loaded 8-coach train. The opportunity was also taken for each of the railway’s usual steam drivers to try out and comment on the Krauss locomotive. Over 190 miles were run.

Generally the tests were very successful and demonstrated the capability of the locomotive. Further works were identified, in particular, to correct steam leakage on one of the strokes, likely to require new piston rings. All in all a positive end to 2016 and the first year of work on the locomotive.

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