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Steam Improvements of the Last 30 Years


Vale of Rheidol Railway Locomotives
updated 05/05/2000

Shaun McMahon worked here as the Locomotive Foreman between 1989 and 1994. This railway operates 3 2-6-2T's built at Swindon by the Great Western Railway in 1923 (No.s 7, 8, and 9). The line is 2 foot gauge with a ruling grade of 1 in 40, 11 miles long. It was originally built as a lead mine railway, but is now a tourist line.

Kylchap Cowl as Fitted to Locomotive No. 8
During 1991, this device was designed, fabricated, and installed on the locomotive to improve the drafting of this locomotive (the worst of the fleet).

Lempor Exhaust Stand for No. 7
After the initial success of the Kylchap modification to no. 8, Shaun McMahon and Nigel Day designed and fabricated a Lempor exhaust system for installation on locomotive no. 7. Unfortunately, railway management was unreceptive to this idea and the system was never installed.

McMahon and Day saw the possibilities for improving service on this railway by moderately modernizing their locomotives along proven lines. This would have included new oil firing systems, Lempor exhaust, piston valves, modified bogies, suspension improvements, one man operation, high superheat, and a modern water treatment system. Unfortunately, the railway remained uninterested in improving their locomotives despite the proven benefits on the similar Welshpool & Llanfair Railway a mere 40 miles away!