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Britannia Valve gear seized-up!

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  • Britannia Valve gear seized-up!

    There has been a lot of discussion about valve gear seizures with the Schools Class locos., but I've just experienced something very similar with a Britannia. The loco. had been extensively run-in with no problems and converted to DCC. Running with a 9 coach train at moderate speed this evening, the loco. suddenly stopped with a buzzing noise. There was no preceding derailment. On inspection, the right hand connecting rod had buckled and become caught around the coupling rod pin on the leading axle. The crosshead had also disengaged from the slide bars. Have others had this problem?

  • #2
    I have 4 of these, and like all steam locos I have found that most trouble that people have with valve gear is due to either storage or handling.
    I use Parkwood arts stock boxes, which employ a plastazote type of dense foam which does not decompose and I cut away the foam around the valve gear so that it does not compress it in any way. I also keep my fingers well away from the valve gear whilst handling them. I am not saying that you have done this, but I have over 100 steam locos, and a large number of them are Dapol and following the system that I have adopted has meant that I do not suffer from this type of problem


    • #3
      That's sound advice although I am very careful in handling locos. It slightly terrifies me when trying to install DCC decoders because it's so difficult to avoid damaging the very delicate loco. to tender connections. Also, in this case, the loco. had been running perfectly round my 2.5 m long circuit for several minutes and was nearing the end of a long straight section (while I was concentrating on other loco. movements) when it suddenly seized-up. If it had been down to rough handling reducing valve gear clearances, I would have expected problems as soon as it hit any curves.


      • #4
        I can only suggest that once you have put everything back in its right place, turn the loco upside down and make an initial check that no part of the valve gear will foul any other part, then run the loco for at least 15 minutes whilst watching it like a hawk stopping it instantly you see anything wrong. if this happens, carefully turn it upside down again and 9 times out of 10 you will find which bits are hitting each other.
        I have also used this technique to fix Graham Farish tender drive locos that locked up.

        hope this helps



        • #5
          Thanks Alex. That very helpful advice. The loco. has now been exchanged under warranty so I will do exactly as you suggest with the replacement.