Former Wadebridge pannier welcomed back by South Devon team

FORMER Wadebridge ‘1366’ 0-6-0PT No. 1369 ran its long-awaited first revenue-earning train in slightly more than two years on October 5 at the South Devon Railway. 

The diminutive pannier had its first light engine test run on October 3, then double-headed with the 14.35 from Buckfastleigh to Totnes the following day with ‘57XX’ 0-6-0PT No. L92. 

Externally it was not quite complete, carrying temporary GWR vinyl magnetic letters on the tank sides and minus its cabside numberplates and former Weymouth brass bell. When finished it will carry the GWR’s 1930’s green livery with shirt-button monogram emblem. 

The two-year overhaul of No. 1369 has seen the firebox comprehensively rebuilt, having a new three-quarter backplate and partial new sides. 

The inner copper ‘box also received a lot of fettling to give it another 10 years’ life. New pannier tanks have been fitted and the motion, axleboxes and brake gear fully refurbished. 

No. 1369 backs off shed at Buckfastleigh during its first day in traffic on October 5.
The locomotive was not quite cosmetically complete, running with magnetic lettering on the tanks and minus its number plates. STEVE WIDDOWSON

With the pannier now in traffic the SDR’s Buckfastleigh workshops will turn their attention to ‘14XX’ 0-4-2T No. 1420.

Overhaul of the auto-tank’s chassis is already well advanced and in good condition thanks to major work carried out during its last major overhaul when the rear sections of the frames were renewed. 

Its boiler will be the biggest job and will require significant renewal of plate work. 

Copper for a new inner firebox is on order and the steel for a new front tubeplate, new barrel, front throatplate and outer wrapper are to hand. 

A new backplate has already been pressed. 

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