Nick Simpson, MPD Manager, tells us a little bit more about what the MPD Team have been working on to get ready for the railway re-opening on 27 March 2023.

It's only 11 days to go before we begin running services from Pickering through to Whitby and today, out in the yard, various steam tests and examinations have been taking place at the MPD, with both our insurance inspectors on site.

Both No. 76079 and No. 825 have had their hot exams after a winter period of maintenance and repairs, these locomotives will be what we plan to start the season with as other engines come back online after their work.

The diesel department have also been running and testing traction; class 37 No. 37264 is coming to its end of annual exam, which includes the usual level checks, battery work and adjustments and has also been to Leeds Midland Road, hauled by No. 31128, for its tyres to be turned.

Not far behind these locos we have No. 29 which is having a post tube removal washout as part of its re-tube, this loco has had all the tubes removed form the boiler and the insurance inspection performed, the tubes are on site and next will be the re-tube and welding before its hot steam test. Seeing the sun for the first time after winter D7628 is having its roof fitted following its engine rebuild and main generator restoration as per last blog post, this is getting very close to run-up tests, trials and being available for crew training on the class, possibly next week if all goes well.

No. 8 Lucie is out and about, also on steam hot exam, the loco yesterday was prepped, filled with water and a fire lit for todays exam.

Other engines being worked on at the same time are the 9f being re-sprung following its new tyres, new springs have been procured and delivered and the engine is now over the wheel drop once more for the fitting of these parts along with new fitted bolts for the horn ties.

No. 5428 Eric Treacy is having new valve liners and valve head work done, the valve and pistons for No. 5428 have been away for metal spraying, these have returned and are in the queue for fitting, the loco will then be re-timed for running after the work this closed season which saw the centre wheel set removed for axle box work.  

Closest of all to entering traffic is No. 926 Repton, the axle box crowns are being blued in after the journals and tyres have been profiled this winter, the crowns have been cast here on site, machined and then fettled for the tender wheel sets to be installed. The engine itself is ready for hot exam after its connecting to the tender and the fitting staff making the locomotive ready, its steam insurance exam is booked for very early April.

It brings a real lift to the shed when the engines come out for testing after the winter and all the work that has been undertaken. We are looking forward to providing daily traction for 2023 and a busy railway.

Nick Simpson, MPD Manager.

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