The third feature in our series about Severn Valley Railway apprentices focuses on Ryan Parsons, who is building a new boiler for an Isle of Man loco.
IN THE Severn Valley Railway’s (SVR) boiler shop at Bridgnorth, improver boilersmith Ryan Parsons is tacklinga new-build boiler.
An improver grade is the first level for qualified employees after completing an apprenticeship, and as a new graduate from the railway’s Heritage Skills Training Academy, Ryan is very proud to be carrying out this key project, part of a large-scale external contract the SVR is undertaking.
“This is one of five new-build boilers we’re providing for the Isle of Man Railway (IoMR). It’s an important contract for us, and is bringing in a lot of revenue for the SVR.
Right now, I’m marking out fusible plug holes for the pre-tapped bushes and drilling and reaming girder holes for the bolts which fit into the girder itself. With the girder holes and stay holes to mark out and drill, I reckon there’ll be about 300 in all.
“During the first part of my apprenticeship, I rotated around the different departments at the railway, including a six-month stint in the boilershop. S
o, when I came to specialise in boiler work, I knew quite a bit about what I was doing. In the early days here, I worked on stripping apart another IoMR boiler for No. 15 Caledonia, and a year later was putting it back together again.”
Read more in the January 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!