Boiler Overhaul Contract Awarded to Leaky Finders Limited

May 22, 2024

Boiler overhaul contract awarded for 76077

  • Leaky Finders Ltd of Cullompton, Devon to overhaul boiler
  • Firm chosen after competitive tender process
  • Owner Toddington Standard Locomotive Ltd steps up funding appeal
  • Boiler component sponsorship scheme launched

21 May 2024: Toddington Standard Locomotive Limited (TSLL) has announced that the boiler of their Standard class 4 2-6-0 no. 76077, will be overhauled by Leaky Finders Ltd, boilermakers and locomotive engineers of Cullompton, Devon, following its successful tender for the work.

The boiler is currently at Toddington, on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, where 76077 will eventually be based. The locomotive’s chassis is currently being restored at Locomotive Maintenance Services in Loughborough.

Andrew Meredith, TSLL’s engineering director says: “We have gone through a stringent tendering process based on price, engineering skills, approach to the work and timescales as well as conducting appropriate due diligence. Leaky Finders proved themselves more than capable to undertake this important work and I’m delighted that we have reached this conclusion. Six contractors were asked to quote for the works, but unfortunately nearly half were unable to give us a realistic start or completion date, including Locomotive Maintenance Services. This underlines the huge amount of overhaul work being undertaken in the UK as well as the shortage of skilled labour that seems to exist within the heritage sector.”

Andrew adds: “I’m pleased that our original cost estimate for the boiler repairs looks to be pretty much spot on, although with a project of this nature we won’t know for sure until the job is complete. The boiler will be delivered to Leaky Finders in December 2024 and hopefully will be completed by the end December 2025”

Rory Edwards, Director of Leaky Finders added: “I’m thrilled that we have been chosen for this work. We visited Toddington to examine the boiler for ourselves and confirmed the programme of work identified in the excellent tender document. Although it hasn’t been steamed since 1967, the boiler is in surprisingly good order, particularly given that it was overhauled at Eastleigh only three years before 76077 was withdrawn. So I see this as a fairly straightforward boiler overhaul, that will include a new front tube place and front parallel boiler section, a decision I fully endorse as it will safe cost and effort in the future. I’m really looking forward to working with the 76077 team. This will be a fine engine for the GWSR and I’m proud that our work will form such an important part of the locomotive’s overhaul.”

Ian Crowder, Marketing Director of TSLL added: “All our effort must now be concentrated on raising the necessary funds to fund the overhaul. “Already the boiler appeal has passed the £30,000 mark which is hugely encouraging. Following the success of our three component sponsorship promotions to date, we have now launched a catalogue to enable boiler components such as tubes, the tube plate, stays, patch screws and so forth to be sponsored. It means that sponsors can claim ‘ownership’ of specific parts of the boiler.”

Leaky Finders has developed a strong reputation for the high quality of its boiler work in the heritage railway industry. It has for example, recently completed the high-profile boiler overhaul of Merchant Navy pacific no. 35028 Clan Line which has just returned to main-line duty, working the Belmond British Pullman out of London Victoria station.

Says Andrew: “Following overhaul, there will then be about nine months’ work to install the boiler in the frames and complete the locomotive. There’s still a lot to do and it’s going to be tight but, providing we can raise the necessary finance; we will do everything possible to achieve our aspiration to have 76077 in working order for its 70th birthday in December 2026.”

The boiler for 76077 is number 1052, which was fitted to 76077 at Eastleigh Works in Hampshire in February 1964, when the locomotive received its one and only general overhaul. It is among the first batch of boilers built for the class at Darlington and was first fitted to 76007. It was subsequently fitted to 76012 in 1958.

Words: Ian Crowder, TSLL Marketing Director