Latest News Items

Loaded Test Run

After a lot of anguish and hard work, both by the MNLPS working members, and our contractors, Leaky Finders and South Devon Engineering, Clan Line has had a successful loaded test run round Kent, to Dover. We are now ready to resume our main line activities, starting with a trip to Bath with the British

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Progress at Stewarts Lane

Work on Clan Line continues apace at Stewarts Lane. Several people from Leaky Finders have been staying in London to help us. They even gave up their Easter break for us. We are very grateful to them. The brick arch in the firebox has to be rebuilt. It is actually made of refractory cement, and

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Back Home

Clan Line is, now, back home at Stewarts Lane, after its extended visit to Leaky Finders in Devon. There is still a lot of work for us, and Leaky Finders, to do, before our next trip. There are plenty of bits to put back, and pipes and cables to reconnect. Then, we have all the

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Testing Has Started

Another report from Leaky Finders in Devon:- “Well, what a few weeks it’s been here. After an effort from the team like no other, this week saw the boiler on 35028 Clan line filled with water, successfully pass its hydraulic test, then a warming fire lit yesterday and steam slowly raised today up to around

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Progress in Devon – 8

Leaky Finders‘ latest report shows that progress in Devon is still going well:- “It’s been another busy few weeks here. “Work on Clan line continues – both the replacement firebox sides were fully welded and successfully passed their NDT between Christmas and New Year. Work then turned to reaming, tapping, machining and fitting the hundreds

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Progress in Devon – 7

The latest report from Leaky Finders shows more good progress:- “Starting with 35028 Clan Line, once both the new side sheets were tacked in place the boiler inspector paid a visit to witness the plates in place and to go through all the relevant paperwork relating to this aspect of the repair. With the go

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Progress in Devon – 6

The latest report from Leaky Finders shows some good progress:- “The overhaul of 35028 Clan line has taken a massive step forwards this week, with the fitting and tack welding of the first of the new firebox side sheets. It’s an extremely tricky operation to get them inside the firebox, so it’s critical to get

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Progress in Devon – 5

Work on Clan Line’s firebox is progressing well at Leaky Finders in Devon. The remaining defective sections of the thermic syphons have been removed. On the replacement sections, the stay holes have been marked up and pilot-drilled. Preparations have been made to replace some more stays. These ones are on the backhead, by the firehole

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A Progress Report

Work is still progressing on our overhaul on several fronts. The loco is still at Leaky Finders in Devon. The new parts for the thermic syphons have arrived from Buckfastleigh, and they look good. The damaged sides of the inner firebox have been removed, in preparation for their replacement. The new boiler tubes are being

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More Details From Devon

We are still awaiting the delivery of the pieces of boiler plate for the repairs to our thermic syphons. This wait is quite understandable. There is a lot of work involved in making the formers, which will be used to press the steel into the complicated shapes required. Our suppliers, unsurprisingly, don’t have skilled people

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Buy Early For Christmas

We have some new items for sale in time for Christmas. They include a mug featuring a photograph of Clan Line, and some smart neck ties. We also have the return of our popular jigsaws. Coming soon will be our 2023 Clan Line calendar. Be sure to place your order soon by visiting our online

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Progress On The Boiler Repairs

Our specialist contractors have made more progress on the repairs to the thermic syphons. They have been working very hard to get Clan Line back out on the mainline. For most of September, they have worked seven days a week, often until quite late in the evening. Because of this, we now have the new

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Boiler Repairs Are Progressing Well

As you can see from this photograph, the repairs to our thermic syphons are going well. The fireman’s side is almost ready for tack-welding. There is just the final bit of welding preparation to do, now. The work is being undertaken by Leaky Finders, with South Devon Railway Engineering providing the pressings, and Chapman’s Engineering

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Boiler Problems

The steam movement in general has been having difficulties with getting enough of the right type of coal recently. We have not been exempt from this problem. Some of the coal that we have tried has formed large lumps of clinker, preventing enough primary air coming through the grate from below. Some of the coal

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Colin Kerswill RIP

Very sadly Colin Kerswill passed away on Wednesday 13th April 2022, aged 86. Colin was a long standing member of the Society and a true friend to us all. He was also a dedicated mentor to many railwaymen during his footplate days in steam preservation, both on the Mainline and, in particular, the South Devon

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Annual Maintenance Almost Complete

We are coming towards the end of our annual maintenance period, and everything is looking promising. We have a maintenance schedule which lists everything that we carry out annually, as well as things that are done less frequently. This year, we took out all three piston valves, as part of a piston and valve examination.

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Annual Maintenance – 2022

We are in the middle of our annual maintenance period at the moment. The tasks that we carry out aren’t exactly the same each year. Our maintenance schedule lists when we do what. For more information about some of the usual annual jobs, see Annual Maintenance – Rules and Regulations from a couple of years

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Clan Line’s Rededication Ceremony – 12th October 2021

On 12th October, we (belatedly) celebrated the seventieth anniversary of Clan Line’s official naming ceremony. Even though the engine entered traffic on 23rd December 1948, it wasn’t officially named until 15th January 1951 by Lord Rotherwick, chairman of Clan Line (the shipping line) at Southampton Docks. For several reasons, including the pandemic, it wasn’t possible

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Man of Kent Railtour

Due to the continuation of social distancing restrictions, this tour with Pathfinder Railtours has had to be postponed to Wednesday 15th September 2021. For more details, and to make a booking, please see Pathfinder Railtours website.

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A Loaded Test Run

We had not been out on the mainline for well over a year, our last trip being on 15th February 2020. In that time, where Covid-19 restrictions had allowed, we have done quite a bit of work on Clan Line, including replacing the white metal in the middle big end bearing. We had taken the

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A New Railtour

Why not join us on a day trip to Margate? Pathfinder Railtours are organising a railtour to Margate on Wednesday 15th September 2021. The train will start in Newport, and pick up at Chepstow, Lydney, Gloucester, Stonehouse, Stroud, Kemble, Swindon, Didcot Parkway, Reading and Kensington Olympia. We will come on the front somewhere in the

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Andy Davies

1941 – 2021 It is with great sadness that we have to announce the death, just before his eightieth birthday, of Andy Davies, our longstanding Chief Engineer. Andy’s early years were spent to the north of London, and he used to spend time at King’s Langley, watching the trains go by. He joined the MNLPS

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The Coronavirus Outbreak

As you are aware, these are difficult times for all of us. Clan Line hasn’t run a revenue-earning trip since February last year. However, we are doing all that we can in preparation for a return to near-normal. This is the time of year when we have to re-certify our locomotive and support coach so

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New from Hornby

New from Hornby Gold-plated Clan Line In these rather depressing times, here’s something to cheer up all railway modellers, and Clan Line supporters. As we reported in August (see this news page, Hornby are celebrating their centenary, and, as part of that, they have produced a limited edition model where all the exterior metal parts

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2021 Programme

We can now announce some of our planned programme for 2021. Our UK Railtours trip from Kings Cross to Norwich on 24th April has been joined by several journeys for Belmond. Have a look at our Diary Dates page. All dates are subject to change. We are also in discussions with several tour operators about

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Train Simulator

Now you can drive a virtual Clan Line Bossman Games have announced a Clan Line add-on to the recently released Train Simulator 2021 by Dovetail Games. You can see more detail at their website.

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The Merchant of Norfolk

We are pleased to announce this re-arranged tour in association with UK Railtours, on Saturday 24th April 2021. We will be taking Clan Line on a springtime visit to Norfolk. This will be Clan Line’s first ever visit to Norwich. Our outward route takes us from Victoria, picking up at Highbury & Islington and Broxbourne,

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‘OO’ Gauge Clan Line

Hornby are celebrating their centenary, and, as part of that, they have produced a limited edition model where all the exterior metal parts have been plated in 18ct gold. With each locomotive there is a wooden plinth fitted with an 18ct gold track piece, plus a numbered certificate authenticating that the model is just one

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We are still here, but there hasn’t been much to report recently. However, the restrictions imposed because of the Coronavirus are starting to ease. In March, when we knew that we weren’t going to be using the engine for a while, we laid it up. This mainly involved opening up the boiler, draining it, and

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Because of the current Coronavirus outbreak, UK Railtours have decided that they will have to postpone the Merchant of Norfolk, which was due to run on Saturday 18th April 2020 hauled by Clan Line. Whilst we are obviously disappointed, we fully support their decision. It has also been confirmed that the Belmond Surrey Hills which

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An Apology – 8th November 2019

We want to apologise to Belmond and their customers for the fact that Clan Line was not able to take the Belmond British Pullmans on The Golden Age of Travel recently. We were preparing the engine for the trip, and that includes a Fitness To Run examination, which is carried out by a DB Cargo

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John Adams RIP

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that John Adams passed away last night, 12th April, at home with his family, after a long illness. John had been an active member of the society for well over thirty years. He was a very talented engineer who was willing and able to turn

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We’re Almost Ready

We are almost ready for our first railtour of 2019, a Surrey Hills luncheon for Belmond, on Friday 8th March. The boiler inspector has been for the official annual steam test, and he pronounced himself satisfied. As we have previously reported, we have been refurbishing the motion bushes on the driver’s side of the locomotive.

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The Testing Has Started

Specialist Coatings (GB) Limited have completed their work of treating the inside of our tender tank to give it at least another thirty of life. Even though most people will never see all this work, the results are still very important to the preservation of the locomotive. The difference in the internal appearance is quite

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The Annual Maintenance Continues

After our annual cold boiler exam, we have “boxed up” the boiler. This involves re-fitting all the washout and syphon plugs, putting the mudhole doors back with new PTFE-based gaskets, and machining and fitting new fusible plugs. The boiler has been filled with treated water, but we can’t light a fire until we can get

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Annual Period of Maintenance

As with all locomotives, we have to have our boiler inspected every year, for our insurance company, and for the independent body that certifies the safety of our operations. It is convenient for us to do this at this time of year, as it coincides with the maintenance period of Belmond, our major customer. We

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New Tour – The Torbay Express

A new Torbay Express date. We are pleased to announce that we will be on the front of another Torbay Express tour this year. Sunday 19th August 2018 Departing from Bristol Temple Meads, and picking up at Bath Spa, Trowbridge, Westbury and Taunton. Taken from the Torbay Express website:- Experience train travel as it used

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The Golden Arrow – UK Railtours

We left London Victoria in glorious sunshine, and arrived at Canterbury West six minutes late, due to a combination of speed restrictions and adverse signals. Servicing was undertaken under the gaze of the public who had gathered to watch. Departure from Canterbury West was three minutes late, and the weather soon changed from warm and

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Another Great Tour – Despite the Weather – The Torbay Express

Sunday dawned, and, as the forecast had predicted, the weather turned sour. We departed Saint Philip’s Marsh depot about five minutes early. However, having lost time during the shunting moves, departure from Bristol Temple Meads was six minutes late. Taunton arrival time was five minutes later than scheduled, and, after watering and pulling coal forward,

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The Golden Arrow – Another anniversary rail tour from UK Railtours

UK Railtours have announced another anniversary railtour, on Wednesday 13th September 2017, featuring the Belmond British Pullmans, marking fifty years since the end of steam on the Southern. The Golden Arrow was without doubt one of the world’s most famous named trains, the means by which discerning customers travelled between London and Paris before the

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Some of our plans for 2017 – The Atlantic Coast Express, and others

The MNLPS and LNWR Crewe are working towards “Clan Line” being a complete loco around the end of March. We have specifications prepared for light and loaded test runs from Crewe in springtime, plus a simple ‘return south’ charter afterwards. Whilst we have specified dates, there is always the danger of slippage should any problems

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A Message to our Members

The following is a message that was recently sent to all our members:- OVERHAUL & APPEAL FUND UPDATEAUGUST 2016 I am writing to you, the membership, to keep you informed of progress on the overhaul of 35028 Clan Line where, unfortunately, a new and unforeseen problem has come to light that is going to place

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South Devon Railway Update 1

Tyre Replacement at the South Devon Railway As well as all the work that is being done by LNWR Heritage at Crewe, we are also having new tyres fitted at Buckfastleigh by the South Devon Railway. After the wheels were removed from the locomotive, they were sent to Devon, and work has recently started. The

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Crewe Overhaul Update 5 – Further information on the progress of the major overhaul

LNWR Heritage are continuing to make good progress on Clan Line’s overhaul at Crewe. Now that the boiler has been removed from the frames, work can proceed in parallel. All the cladding and insulation has been removed from the boiler, as have all the tubes and flues, and a start has been made on removing

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