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Re-wheeling planned for The Unknown Warrior

THE LMS-Patriot Project hopes to have new-build ‘Patriot’ No. 5551 The Unknown Warrior back on all of its wheels again before too long following the return of its centre pair of coupled wheels to Swanwick Junction. 

The wheelset has had new crank pins fitted at Multi-Tech, near Wakefield, after a problem was discovered with the original crank pin keyways. 

The only way to remedy the fault was to replace the crank pins in their entirety. 

The two remaining coupled wheelsets were removed upon the loco’s arrival at the West Shed in order to inspect the axleboxes. 

This was a result of an issue discovered when the centre ‘drivers’ were removed and the axleboxes were found to have been starved of lubrication. 

The frames of No. 5551 sit on the jacks inside the West Shed awaiting re-wheeling. PETE SIKES/

The white metal bearing faces showed signs of damage as a result, and the decision was taken to drop the front and trailing wheelsets for inspection.

The centre wheelset returned to the West Shed on October 23. Its delivery will enable Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust (PRCLT) chief engineer Simon Scott and his team to re-wheel The Unknown Warrior and get it ready for the delivery of its boiler from heritage Boiler Steam Services, with a planned first steaming during the middle of next year.

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