About the Author
Honorary Secretary of the Preservation Society
River Esk is currently stored, unserviceable. River Esk was in the middle of a major overhaul at the time of the workshop fire. The chassis had been completely stripped so that all work required on the frames could be completed.
This work, which included new axles, axleboxes, tyres and crank pins, had been recently completed, along with the refitting of the wheelsets to the frames. These parts are safe as the flat wagon they were sitting on was pushed out of the workshop when the fire started. The boiler was off site, the tender stored in the carriage shed and Esk’s boiler cladding was in the engine shed, and so they survive intact too.
The valve-gear had been refurbished, with new valve bobbins and spindles, and the cylinders had been removed from the frames for attention. These, along with most other fittings and superstructure, were stored in the engineering workshop, some upstairs near the hottest part of the fire. These have been damaged or destroyed by the fire and the repair or remanufacture of these parts has to start again. This work will not start until after the Irt and Mite are back in service. The boiler is still away, and it is intended to ensure that the chassis rebuild is either well on the way, or complete, before instructing Newton’s with regard to work on a re-tube and new firebox stays.
It is likely to be more than a year before Esk runs again.