When 76084's Mark 2A BR tender was restored we had the wheel bearings examined by an engineer who put a question mark over their high speed capabilities but passed them for heritage railway speeds of 25 mph.
Thinking back Phil Rollin was fortunate that 76084 remained coupled to her original tender throughout her 14 year 4 month stay at Dai Woodham's scrapyard. But such a long period of inactivity in salt-laden air from the sea must have taken its toll on mechanical parts.
The question of the tender bearings suitability for high speed running, especially with our ambition of going mainline, had to be answered. Where better to put the bearings to the test than on the GCR.
So, after advice from the GCR management, 76084 was turned to run facing north on the better 'down main' on the morning of 20 October 2014. The tender was full of coal and water and a 5 coach consist coupled up. Speed on the 'up main' were limited to 45 mph but 76084 performed 4 runs on the 'down' where maximum speeds recorded were 58, 60, 60 and 61 mph respectively.
And how did the bearings stand up to this treatment? With no problems at all. They reached an acceptable operating temperature and stayed there.
There is a video on YouTube that complements this article.
The mainline beckons in 2015
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