Compton Castle Engine Move

In 2014 the Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust bought the engine from Kingswear Castle’s sister Compton Castle which for many years had been displayed in working condition at Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight.

Getting it out was challenging and all credit to Rob Kingswell (pictured right) for planning and executing a very difficult job superbly. The job was undertaken on 23 February 2016. First of all a  number of bits and bobs had to be removed from the engine to make it fit through the hole which had to be cut in the roof of the building to get it out. The engine was then lifted very slightly and slewed through 90 degrees to fit through the hole. The crane driver in his cab could see none of what was going on but was guided expertly by his man next to the engine on the radio and Rob.

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It was a very tight fit with little space to spare on either side.

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Up she goes and out

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Since the engine was put in many years ago other things had been erected around the building which meant that a crane could not get close. In order to get a suitable jib length from the nearest point a crane could reach necessitated hiring one with a 100ton lift. It was a lot of crane to lift an 8 ton engine.

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The engine was first put onto a small truck to be moved from the pound

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It was then transferred onto a larger lorry for the journey to Kingswear

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Because of the size and weight of the of the crane, a small roadway had to be dug for it and covered with special matting to stop the crane sinking into the mud and getting stuck a potential situation which had not been helped by a particularly rainy winter saturating the ground. In the end the roadway and matting worked superbly and there were no problems.

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The lorry with the engine left the Isle of Wight in the late afternoon of Thursday 3rd March 2016 making the crossing on a Red Funnel ferry from Cowes to Southampton and, after an overnight stop at Exeter, arrived at Kingswear early the next morning. In this picture you can see the Dart Railway crane and its attendant trucks waiting at the Kingswear level crossing to unload the engine.

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The engine on the lorry at Kingswear around 10am on Friday 4th March 2016

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The Dart Railway team lifting the engine from the lorry with their own crane just as the rain started

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Gently lowered on to the waiting railway wagon

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Left to right: John Megoran from PSKC Trust, Nick Dunn from the Dart Railway and Rob Kingswell from Kingswell Haulage

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The engine arriving at Kingswear station around 12 noon on Friday 4th March 2016

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Diesel engine D2192 'Titan' pushing the carriage and truck with the engine into the station

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The engine sitting on the truck and waiting to be greased up, covered over and stored for the time being. Plans are being worked up for displaying it in a specially built glass box on Kingswear Station as a project for the off season next winter.

Words by John Megoran
Pictures by Kingswell Haulage, John Megoran and Jeremy Gold
 

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