“Gervase”

Gervase under test at Loughborough on 17th March, 2013 - Dennis Wilcock

Gervase under test at Loughborough on 17th March, 2013 - Dennis Wilcock

"Gervase" is a 0-4-0 Vertical Boiler Tank locomotive converted by the Sentinel Locomotive Company in 1928 from a conventional H Class design Manning Wardle Saddle Tank first delivered on 28th December, 1900.

When new the locomotive went immediately to the Merstham Grey Stone Lime Works south of Croydon in Surrey. After heavy usage there it was converted into a Sentinel locomotive. During 1940 to 1942 it was loaned the Dorking Lime Works and in 1949 was sold to the Standard Brick Sand Company of Redhill. On 14th June 1962 it went to the Kent and East Sussex Railway and then sold by the K&ESR Locomotive Trust to Resco Railways Ltd in 1979.

As opposed to the conventional steam locomotive transmission Sentinel locomotives have a boiler feeding steam to a vertical twin piston and cylinder engine arrangement, similar to a car engine but powered by steam,  which powers a chain drive to the locomotive's driving wheels. The engine is capable of producing 100hp at 500rpm.

The locomotive was based at the Kent and East Sussex Railway where some boiler work was carried out but then went to the Elsecar Heritage Railway near Barnsley in 2008 where it has been undergoing restoration to working order. It came to David Wright's Locomotive Maintenance Services based at the GCR in September, 2012 for the completion of restoration. Work has involved attention to the horn guides and axleboxes.

The work was completed in mid March, 2013 and the locomotive has now run a series of successful trials.

Through the generosity of the owner, Mike Hart, the locomotive will operate barke van rides at Loughborough Central during Easter, 2013.

After running the inspection saloon to Leicester North for friends and families for those involved in its restoration the locomotive left the GCR on 6th April, 2013.

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