East Somerset Railway Loco Workshop

East Somerset Railway Loco Workshop

Cranmore Motive Power Depot is where the railways locomotives are based and maintained. The two road, 40m long running shed complete with a full length inspection pit provides an excellent home for the running fleet of locos and storage of locos awaiting overhaul. All maintenance on the locos is carried out in this shed including examinations, boiler washouts, running repairs and daily preparation and disposal of the engines in use.

The Running shed is open to the public where the engines can be seen up close and staff are available to answer any questions.

The reinstatement of the running shed roof in 2007 also provide the ESR with an ideal space for carrying out carriage and wagon overhauls. Working on body work under cover is far more effective than being out in the open.

Attached to the running shed is the well equipped workshop and machine shop. One heavy general overhaul is underway at any one time. The most recent overhaul has been the IVATT 46447. For latest pictures of this overhaul click here

Our latest engine being overhauled is the IVATT 41313. It is expected to take 2 years the same as the 46447. To see the ongoing restoration project in pictures click here

Overhauling an Engine

Each loco going through the workshops for an overhaul is completely stripped down into its individual components and they are inspected, repaired, cleaned and painted as required.

The motion often requires new bushes to be made and fitted.
The frames and wheels are needle gunned and inspected before being painted.
Oil pipes are checked and renewed if required.
Water tanks are repaired or renewed along with other panels such as cabsides, coal bunker, and boiler cladding etc.
All fittings are inspected and repaired.
Finally the loco is painted using primer, undercoat, top coat and varnish, lined out and appropriate emblems applied.

Every ten years, the boiler needs a full overhaul. The extent of the overhaul very much depends on the state of the boiler. A typical overhaul includes replacement of all boiler tubes and replacement of corroded boiler stays and rivets.

In the 46447 we also completed a full motion overhaul including axle boxes, and all the copper pipework had to be replaced. Most of the non ferrous fittings were replaced as the majority of them were missing

When the repairs to the boiler are complete, the boiler inspector will witness a hydraulic test. This involves filling the boiler completely with water and pressurizing to one and a third times boiler pressure. If all is satisfactory, the boiler is steamed several times before being lagged and covered by the cladding and then fitted onto the loco.

The completed loco is then subjected to the last commissioning exam by the boiler inspector before entering service pulling trains. Once in traffic, the boilers are washed out and examined after every 21 days in steam and are inspected annually by the boiler inspector.

If you would like to join the team overhauling and maintaining the locos and rolling stock at Cranmore, you will be made very welcome. Simply come along to the workshops for an informal chat and a closer look at what we are doing or email or call the station office (01749 880417). Email us