May 2022 Update on Erlestoke Manor Steam Locomotive 7812

The Erlestoke Manor Fund has released its May 2022 update on the progress of the restoration of GWR Manor Class Steam Locomotive No. 7812 Erlestoke Mansion.

7812 Erlestoke Manor with boiler and firebox cladding and BR green paint finish applied. Credit: Adrian Hassell.

Since March, the focus has been on boiler and combustor lagging and cladding, cab piping and floor fitting, locomotive painting and return to service. a 3,500 gallon tender to be coupled with Erlestoke Mansion.

By the end of April the re-piping was well advanced and they had laid out the steelwork for a new cabin floor before cutting and welding.

Cabin 7812 being prepared for coating
Preparing the side of the fire engine cabin for alignment. Credit: Terry Jenkins.

By early May the side of the fireman’s cabin had been lined up, and with the boiler and combustion chamber now coated, a BR green finish paint had been applied, some parts rubbed down awaiting further coats and the smoke chamber painted . Some finishing touches have also been done in anticipation of when they will be needed, such as aligning the cab side license plates.

7812 cab liner
Fireman’s cabin side paneling completed. Credit:: Adrian Hassell.

The tender has been in store at Tyseley Locomotive Works since summer 2019, having been paired with 7802 Bradley Mansion until this locomotive suffered piston rod failure.

Previously, the call for tenders was combined with Erlestoke Mansion from 2008 to 2017. She is now back in service for use with 7812 again, including a full review, some light repairs and partial painting.

Bitumen paint was applied to protect the coal space, and an undercoat was applied to the rear buffer beam.

A team of West Somerset Railway volunteers have restored the paint finish on the tender tank. Although the previous paint job was still high quality with few areas needing corrective touch-ups, the top surface was well ingrained with general dirt and brake dust from its previous period in traffic. The finish was restored by first removing embedded dirt and then using Clay Bar to remove previous coats of varnish. The final results provided a sound surface for local touch-ups followed by re-varnishing to match 7812.

Jose P. Rogers