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Boiler test info

How do they do it for an older engine

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paul yeomans09/02/2018 10:17:32
4 forum posts
1 photos
Twenty plus years ago my dad started to build a rob Roy only to find himself soon redundant and no longer having access to works facilities. So the build stalled and was eventually sold.
He has hankered after one ever since and last year bought himself one without a boiler certificate. Itwas cheap enough that he is ok just to have it as a static display item if it proves too costly or difficult to get live again.
I wondered if could ask a bit advice about boiler testing.
We have no previous tests or documents, hence the price. But would like to explore this as an option. What are the requirements for a test of this kind? Would the loco need to be stripped to expose the boiler? If this is the the case I suspect he won't bother but I'd love to get it going on track if possible while his grandkids are still young enough to have a ride on it.
Sorry for such a basic question but we need a it of basic info to guide what we do next
John Baguley09/02/2018 10:56:12
452 forum posts
48 photos

Hi Paul,

The boiler would need to be removed and also the cladding so that it can be given a visual inspection. It would then require a hydraulic test to twice normal working pressure to make sure it is sound. This assumes that you would want to run the loco at a club or anywhere in public.

You can usually tell just by looking at a boiler and the soldering whether it has been well made or not.


paul yeomans09/02/2018 12:21:57
4 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks for that John.

Looks like it it will be staying static!

paul yeomans09/02/2018 12:32:49
4 forum posts
1 photos


Clive India09/02/2018 12:34:33
210 forum posts

Has anyone had sight of the amendments those who take a very long time to do almost nothing are making to the boiler test code which is overdue for publication?

Redsetter11/02/2018 13:48:39
108 forum posts

It is not mandatory for the boiler to be removed from the chassis in this situation and this would be at the discretion of the boiler tester.

Paul, I suggest you contact your local club for help and advice, and don't be discouraged. In any case removing the boiler is not such a difficult job.

paul yeomans12/02/2018 09:13:40
4 forum posts
1 photos

thanks Redsetter,

we are in the nottinghamshire area so there are a few quite close to us. I'll make contact with one of them

thanks again


IanT12/02/2018 12:41:58
1433 forum posts
141 photos

The current Test Code covers the testing of "New" boilers and "Previously Tested" boilers Paul.

Without any previous 'Test' documentation to accompany an engine, an Inspector would have to decide whether he wished to follow the guidance for a 'New' or 'Previously Tested' boiler. As Redsetter has stated, whilst this would be up to the individual Inspector, I suspect many Inspectors would take the view that they did require a full visual inspection and a 'Shell' test (2 x Wp without fittings), followed by a 'System' test (1.5 x Wp with fittings) and Steam Test.

This 'visual' examination would involve removal of the cladding and requires "full access and visibility of all boiler surfaces" - which may also require the boiler to be removed from the engine. I think it is also worth mentioning that a "New" boiler may also have been examined at several stages of it's construction, so the Inspector would have a very good idea of what materials have been used and the quality of work involved. On an "unknown" engine, he does have to assure himself that suitable materials have been used in its construction and that sound joints exist. This is clearly very difficult from a simple external inspection with cladding in-place.

BTW - For 'previously tested' boilers - the boiler can remain mounted and clad provided the Inspector believes that he can properly examine and test it.

As John B states - this all assumes that you want to run the engine in pubic (e.g. at an MES track) - although even if not, it still makes good sense to know that your boiler (and its fittings) are safe.

The best advice (already given) is to take your engine along to your nearest MES and ask their Inspector(s) to take a look at it and advise you how they would approach it's testing. My Society doesn't charge for "advice" - nor in fact for the actual 'Tests' (although a small donation to a local Charity is welcomed). Other Societies may have different polices in this area. Whether a small charge was made (or not) this would still be a simple and sensible next step to take.

Clive - I understand that the current 'Green' book will be replaced by three new 'Orange' books on (or about) the 1st March.



Edited By IanT on 12/02/2018 12:43:49

fizzy12/02/2018 14:48:56
1690 forum posts
114 photos

"I understand that the current 'Green' book will be replaced by three new 'Orange' books on (or about) the 1st March" - I can hardly contain my excitement.

Brian H12/02/2018 15:13:32
1455 forum posts
102 photos

Is there any more information on the contect of the " three new 'Orange' books" and the reason for the change?


IanT12/02/2018 17:13:05
1433 forum posts
141 photos

Brian, I believe that the three codes will cover:

1) Boilers above 3B/L

2) Boilers below 3B/L

3) Gas Tanks (for gas-fired locos etc.)

My understanding is that for Boilers >3B/L it is mainly a matter of improved "wording" - although some areas may well be clarified. On thinking about what little I have heard - I believe that under the new code - Pauls' loco (as discussed in this thread) would be viewed as "unknown" and therefore will require a full 'Shell' (2 x Wp) test. In other words this area (no documentation) is likely to now be better defined and therefore no longer discretionary.

So maybe Paul should get to his local MES sooner rather than later....

However, to me (in Gauge 3 - we have boilers both above and below 3B/L - some gas-fired) the important change lies in books 2 & 3. The new <3B/L code will be recognised by both G1MRA and 16mm - thus aligning SF/NAME with these two organisations in terms of their boiler inspection policies - something I welcome. Whether the final draft has actually been agreed yet, I've no idea and I suspect that this 'sign-off' will also probably dictate when the codes finally get released..

That's all I can tell you, because that's all I know. I will have to await the publication of the new codes (like everyone else) before we can discuss this in any more detail.



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