Cranking up the pressure
When General Steam Navigation was withdrawn from service in February 1966 she was placed in storage but in April 1966 fellow Merchant Navy 35026 Lamport & Holt Line was discovered to have a flawed central axle and to keep her in traffic it was decided to give her GSNs. General Steam Navigation was then transferred to Eastleigh works where the task of fitting 11s crank axle into 26 was undertaken. It was here that GSN was fitted with a new spare wheelset from a West County class so she could leave for Barry by rail. Ever since Barry its always been known that we have need to get a new crank axle made for her if she was ever to return to steam. When the previous owner agreed to swap axles with Braunton he simply exchanged a plain set for another plain set. The current axle is a couple of feet in front of sister Merchant Navy Brockbank Line at Sellindge and now we intend to launch an appeal to convert Brauntons old trailing axle into a new crank axle for GSN.
Rob Le Chevalier the South Devon Railway Engineering’s Workshop manager is working on a quote for the work. The South Devon Railway Engineering workshop is the best in the country and has previously created the crank axles for the P2 and the LMS Patriot. The cost is expected be about £25,000 which will include the cost to replace the tyres and the transport of the axle from Sellindge.
This where we need your help to help us raise the money in any way you can whether it the purchase of shares in the company, a £5 month standing order or spreading the word by helping on sales stands.
We very much hope to be able to tell you this time next year that the job is proceeding on the new crank axle wheelset with your help. This will greatly enhance our credibility and put us in the foothills of the mountain that we need to climb to put the steam in back in GSN again.
You can donate to this appeal by purchasing shares in the locomotive or via a one off donation be can online via PayPal.
A big thank you goes to out to our shareholders whose backing has enabled these purchases.
As always thank you for your support