32424 Beachy Head

In October 2000 the Bluebell Railway announced its intention to reconstruct a Brighton H2 Atlantic based on SR/BR period Beachy Head.

The locomotive build incorporates an ex-GNR atlantic boiler and an ex LBSCR B4 class tender chassis.

By July 2016 the bottom half of the locomotive (frame and motion) was completed and a Beachy Head nameplate attached to a splasher. By this time the boiler was under overhaul and all of the 134 tubes and 32 element superheater elements were on order.

By March 2018 work on the boiler was well advanced and it is anticipated that it will be hydraulically tested soon.

By July 2019 work on the tender had progressed to a state where the tank could be tested to ensure it was water tight before being transported to Sheffield Park later that month.

It is expected that the locomotive will be completed in 2020.

In November 2019 it was announced by the Bluebell Railway Atlantic Group that the boiler had passed its hydraulic test.

In April 2020 it was reported that the Bluebell Atlantic Group planned to fit the boiler to the frames before the Bluebell 60 celebrations in August 2020. A steaming date in the spring of 2021 was then anticipated. By July 2020 the anticipated steaming date had slipped, as a result of the Corvid-19 pandemic, to 2022.

When the locomotive is completed it will be operated with the regulator from the original 32424 Beachy Head which was taken out of service in April 1958.

It is anticipated that the locomotive will operate exclusively on the Bluebell Railway for a number of years before any possible use on other heritage railways is considered. Any movement away from the Bluebell railway will have to be by rail although it will not haul rail tours on the main line.

 

The original 32424 Beachy Head which was withdarw from service and scrapped in May 1958. The photo was taken at Norwood Junction shed in April 1958
32424 Beachy Head boiler – March 2019

32424 Beachy Head frames – March 2019

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