TVR 28 was last steamed in 1992 and a restoration attempted in the late 1990s. The locomotive was stored in dismantled condition for a number of years, until in 2013, the Gwili Vintage Carriage took custodianship of the locomotive and arranged for its re-assembly and cosmetic restoration. Following an assessment of the loco's condition, in 2019 an agreement was arranged with the Railway Museum to return 28 to operating condition. Restoration works will be carried out at the Gwili Railway in Carmarthen, South Wales by a dedicated team of volunteers. The restoration will be used to help develop heritage engineering skills with as much work as possible being carried out in-house.
Frames & Running Gear
Considerable work was undertaken on the wheels, frames and running gear of the locomotive during the previous restoration attempt. As such it is not anticipated that significant work is required here, although some work is required to ensure that items have been assembled correctly and have not suffered during their time in outside storage. Hence, the restoration will include removing the wheels from the frames for examination and checking of axleboxes and running surfaces as a precaution. Records suggest that the driving wheels journals, crankpins and axleboxes were all addressed in 1998, with a full set of new main driving springs fitted in 1999. The frames themselves are generally in good condition, work having previously been carried out to build up wasted areas of the wrought iron frames. The rear dragbox assembly has been previously replaced, although the front and rear drawgear requires some attention and replacement springs. The missing rear centralising frame has been located and re-united with the locomotive. The brakegear itself is partially complete, which has allowed the handbrake to be returned to service on a single axle. Missing items will need to be replaced and some re-bushing of the existing parts will be required. The steam brake cylinder fitted by the NCB has been sourced and reunited with the locomotive.
Overall, the boiler appears to be in good condition, key areas that would require attention being –
Replacement of all crown stays
Replacement of a number of side stays
Replacement of corroded rivets in a number of locations
Replacement of the lower outer firebox platework
Patch replacement of an are of the firebox tubeplat.
General overhaul, local re-staying, re-tubing, mounting pad repairs, washout plugs etc.
Motionwork, Cylinders & Valves
Cylinders appear in excellent condition despite having been open to the elements for a number of years. Measurements indicate that they have been re-bored from original sizes with matched pistons to suit. The slide valve face appear to be in good visual condition again with little evidence of wear. The slidebar bars are present and in useable condition but have suffered from some pitting and will be re-machined. Eccentrics are in a worn but generally good condition, along with the associated valvgear. Overall the valvegear can be considered to be in good condition. Generally all new pins, fitted bolts etc will be required with some re-boring/bushing on some components.
The locomotive’s side tanks are welded replacements. These tanks are now life expired with considerable corrosion in the lower sidewalls and tank floor. Both side tanks will require complete replacement. The bunker and bunker water tank is also in a similar condition and will need to be replaced completely. The cab sides/roof are in a restorable condition, with many repairs and modifications having been made over the years. Despite this the majority of the cab can be re-used with only patching in local areas. The smokebox front plate is badly corroded and will require repair or replacement. The ashpan is missing which will require a new one to be made. The drawings for almost all items of platework required have been obtained from the Taff Vale/Great Western records held at the Railway Museum allowing accurate reproductions to be reproduced.
Boiler Fittings & Pipework
A number of original fittings have been reunited with the locomotive, including the regulator stuffing box, injectors and blower valve. All other fittings, pipework, lubricator, safety valves etc will need to manufactured from new. The drawings for the majority of these items have been obtained from the archives of the Railway Museum.