Sold September 2005 Back to Archive

5 inch gauge Prairie for restoration - stock code 2559

A GWR small Prairie, run regularly until twelve years ago when the club it ran at refused to test the boiler due to their concern that it was insulated with asbestos. At this point the owner, somewhat alarmed, decided to have it stripped and relagged in mineral wool. Mindful of the hazards involved with asbestos and being a careful type, he gave the engine to his father (with whom he appears to have had a somewhat Larkinesque relationship) to do.

The boiler was taken off the chassis, the cladding removed, insulation dumped and new lagging fitted. At this point a younger man may have decided to give it a "thorough overhaul and repaint" which would almost certainly have ended up with the engine in a thousands bits, never to run again. Sensibly, our man simply put it back together again. However, in the intervening period, other engines came along so this one never ran again until it arrived here (a rather nice King having gone the other way).

After having a good oil round, it runs well on air and the boiler has passed a 150psi hydraulic test with no problems. Grate and ashpan are missing (although believed to be on their way here at the moment), as soon as I get them it can have a run. The only thing that appears to be missing is the safety valve bonnet, there is a half-machined replacement included.

Copper boiler with superheater, all silver-soldered, working pressure 100psi. Feed by crosshead pump and injector. Piston valve cylinders with Stephenson's valve gear, pole reverser in cab. Mechanical lubricator.

This engine looks worse that it is. The chassis runs nicely and has been well built. The firebox cladding is pretty grotty having been refitted in a fairly cack-handed way and the paintwork is dreadful. However, there is the potential for restoration to a good-looking, powerful engine - in the meantime, if you can stand the rude comments at the club, it could be run as-is.

There are some pictures of a decent running specimen on the archive page.

Length 40 inches
Weight 140 pounds

gauge 5 inch