Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Sentinel Conversion Loco Steams Again (1)

Mike Hart from Elsecar Heritage Railway, recently announced that his current restoration project, a Sentinel Conversion Loco named Gervase, had steamed again on June 30th 2012 for the first time in 50 years.
Gervase (1) photo courtesy Mike Hart
As well as preparing the boiler for its final certification exam, the engine unit was run, the vacuum and steam brake equipment was tested and the steam heating and all the other bits and bobs checked out. At the end of the day, a pleasingly small snagging list was left to sort out.
Gervase (2) photo courtesy Mike Hart
At the end of July the loco was planned to be moved to the railway workshops at The Great Central Railway, Loughborough, where Locomotive Maintenance Services would make and fit new axle boxes and horn guides, recondition the side rods and perform various other jobs to finally finish the loco’s restoration.
Gervase (3) photo courtesy Mike Hart
Mike’s aim is to have the loco operating at Elsecar by Christmas 2012 and ready for a trip to the Kent & East Sussex Railway Gala in May 2013 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first steaming at Tenterden.
Gervase (4) photo courtesy Mike Hart
Sentinel works no. 6807, Gervase, is the only known remaining potentially serviceable Sentinel ‘conversion’ loco. It was originally a Manning Wardle but adapted by Sentinel in 1928 to use a vertical boiler and vertical twin cylinder engine of steam road waggon design.

Although the cab and engine housings bear a resemblance to the Fry's type of 100 HP Sentinel, there the similarity ends - it has side rods instead of chains linking the front and rear axles.

This is a really interesting project and I am looking forward to visiting Elsecar to see it in action.

Click here for a couple of historic photos.


  1. Thank you Andy. The photo of 'Gervase' (in your file (2) above) working in industrial service at Redhill in 1951 is another I haven't seen before. I find it amazing just how many photos of such an obscure shunting loco continue to appear, although as a gentleman who was a young enthusiast at that time said Redhill was only a bike ride from home in South London and when you got there you could be assured of a ride on the engine! Mike Hart

    1. I had to crop and digitally enhance them to get the best detail but they have come out well. They seem to have considerably increased the number of 'blog visitors via National Preservation's forum!

      By any chance, do you have four spare spectacle window frames, 15" in diameter, or know of a source?


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