Thursday, 11th May 2017 – Bluebell Railway Atlantic Project and Sheffield Park Gardens.
In the morning, David Jones RCEA (who is also a volunteer with the Bluebell Railway) met us and showed us the ‘restoration’ of a Brighton Atlantic locomotive currently underway by the Bluebell Railway in the dedicated shed and workshop. The name is Beachy Head. It was originally built at Brighton in 1911 to a design by D.E.Marsh who had previously designed similar locomotives for the Great Northern. It was the last Brighton Atlantic to survive, being withdrawn in 1958.
David talked us through the various stages of the construction which apart from one item, the regulator handle, is a reproduction of the original Brighton locomotive. The boiler was recovered from a site where it was being used as a stationary boiler. Although originally from a GN locomotive, it was entirely appropriate to be used as a Brighton Atlantic. The work was approaching the stage when the boiler tubes can be installed. The boiler will then be pressure and steam tested before being placed on the already completed frames, wheels, and motion. This is expected to be in 2018.
The project is due for completion in 2020.