Raffle Tickets available at all Station Offices

WHY Locomotives Need Tyres

 

Believe it or not, steam locomotives and other railway vehicles do in fact have tyres. They are not black and made from rubber, they are actually made of steel and provide a replaceable wearing element on an expensive wheel. Over time the surface that makes contact between the rail head and locomotive tyre becomes worn and replacing the entire wheel due to this wear is extremely costly. To save this expense, a metal ring is forged and rolled out of a solid piece of steel to make a tyre. The tyre is made slightly smaller than the wheel to give an interference fit. To fit the tyre, several gas torches are placed around it to heat it up. This causes the tyre to expand and allow the wheel to drop in. Once the wheel is in, the gas torches are turned off and the tyre is left to cool and contract creating a tight seal around the wheel.

 

The Strathspey Railway needs your help to raise £12,000 for 8 shiny new tyres for our Ivatt Class 2 Steam Locomotive, 46512. An example of these tyres are printed on this year’s raffle tickets. We knew this time would come back in 2010, if only we had known then the challenges everyone would have to face due to Covid, lockdowns, etc. However, despite all of the curve balls the past 12+ months have thrown at us, we are still here and even more motivated to make this season a successful one.

One good thing that has come from a very limited 2020 service is that it has allowed us to get another 12 – 16 months use out of the tyres currently fitted to 46512.

 

So why do we need money for the tyres now?

Usually when we require a new set of tyres, we would place an order with the UK agent for the metal ring rollers in South Africa and could expect delivery of them within 14 weeks. However, there is now a shortage of the raw materials required to make locomotive tyres and the lead time has increased to 12 – 16 months. If we put the order in now, we will be able to get the maximum use out of the current tyres fitted just in time for the new ones to arrive. Once the tyres have been made and are in the UK, we envision the job taking around 3 – 4 months to complete. This will involve splitting the engine and tender, jacking the engine off its wheels, cutting the old tyres off, and sending the wheels down south to contractors for them to fit the new tyres and machine to the correct 1 in 20 profile. The wheels will be sent back to us and after a quick coat of paint the engine will be lowered back down onto them.

 

All this said, none of it will be able to happen without your help.

I know you will have heard a lot of this recently and cash is strapped for many but anything you can give towards this project is greatly appreciated. It is down to your support and generosity that the railway has been able to pull though these times and continue to run steam hauled trains in the Highlands.

So please buy as many raffle tickets as you can!

Tickets can be purchased at any Strathspey Railway Booking Office

 

Thank you in advance

 

Thomas MacDonald
Engineering Director
Strathspey Railway