Visitors at Mid-Hants Railway’s Vintage Vehicle Weekend enjoyed a bonus as a Ransomes & Rapier 45-ton steam crane was put to work.
The lucky visitors to the Watercress Line, which runs between Alton and Arlesford in rural Hampshire, were treated to a spectacular bonus at the recent Vintage Vehicle Weekend. A 1944-built Ransomes & Rapier 45-ton steam crane was used to lift the boiler and firebox from the 1929-built Peckett 0-4-0 saddle tank engine No.1788, Kilmersdon.
The steam crane, which was built for the Southern Railway and spent its working life at Exmouth Junction, has been with the Mid-Hants Railway since 1992. It made impressively light work of lifting the boiler and firebox. The Peckett, which is owned by the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust, has only been at the Mid-Hants a few months, having joined displaced stock from the Trust’s former West Somerset Railway’s Washford base, but the railway has plans for its operational use and the overhaul is going to be fast-tracked.
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