Welcome to the RPSI Online
RPSI Home - Steam Train Dates - Online Shop - Website Contents

In a Class of their own...
186 storms away from Waterford.
186 storms away from Waterford.  Photo by Tim Stephens (courtesy C.P.Friel collection)
186 rounds Bray Head
186 rounds Bray Head.  Photo by Tim Stephens (courtesy C.P.Friel collection)
186 leaves Whitehead for Belfast York Road, 5th July 1980.  Photo BJ Pickup
186 leaves Whitehead for Belfast York Road to pick up passengers for the RPSI Whitehead Open Day, 5th July 1980.  This was 186's last day in traffic.  Photo by Barry Pickup
186 returns to Whitehead on 5th July 1980.  Photo by BJ Pickup
186 returns to Whitehead, seen here leaving Whitehead tunnel, to drop her fire for the last time before this overhaul, 5th July 1980.  Photo by Barry Pickup
The Society thanks all of you who helped
TARGET £85000


In January 2004 No.186 was steam tested and by the spring she was back in traffic.
Many hundreds of hours of paid and unpaid labour in our workshop at Whitehead were devoted to the engineering work required and the locomotive is a credit to your help and RPSI engineering. 
186's restoration won the 2004 HRA John Coiley Award for locomotive restoration.
On the 18th January 2004, No.186 was steam tested at Whitehead.  A period of testing and commissioning now begins with the target of having the locomotive completed in time for running-in prior to this years May Railtour. 
The photograph shows the locomotive in steam at Whitehead.
A lot of work remains to be carried out to complete this extensive overhaul, so our appeal is still ongoing for funds and volunteers.
The photograph shows RPSI volunteer Jeff Spencer putting coal on 186's first fire in nearly 24 years.
YOU have helped make this possible by donating over £45000.

Photos below taken on 11th October 2003.  Click on images below to see a larger version.
Overall view of the RPSI workshop on 11th October 2003
An overall view of the RPSI workshop showing 186 beside the boiler and firebox of No.461 and behind the frames of No.461.
A frontal view of No.186 in the workshop at Whitehead.  Overhauling boiler fittings and pipework ongoing. 
Assembly of valve gear nearly complete.
186 in the workshop on 11th October 2003
View of the cab of 186, the cab and dome are awaiting fitting.
A view taken standing on the tender of No.186 and looking over the backplate fittings.  The boiler and smokebox of No.461 can be seen on the right.  Cab and boiler cladding is ready 
for assembly, boiler lagging fitted.
Tender reunited with wheels and 
coupled to loco. Drawgear and buffers being assembled. Overhauling 
steam heating equipment. New electrical equipment including lights 
and speedometer being installed.
A view of 186s tender, now reunited with its wheels.

Thanks to the heritage grants programme of the National Heritage Council, the Society received a grant of €15000 towards the restoration of the tender of 186.  The bulk of the work was contracted to CME's department, Iarnrod Eireann, and was undertaken in the Wagon shop in Inchicore Works.  This consisted of removal and replacement of wasted plate, and the dismantling, inspection and refurbishment as necessary of wheelsets, brakes, and running gear.
The assistance of the National Heritage council is much appreciated. It allowed us to outsource much of the work on the tender, thus bringing forward significantly the overall completion date.
Martin Proctor and Michael Murphy prepare the tender of 186 for transportation to Whitehead following restoration at Inchicore.
Martin Proctor and Michael Murphy prepare 186's tender for transportation to Whitehead following restoration at Inchicore.

Photos below taken during August 2002.  Click on images below to see a larger version.
186's boiler and firebox in frames.  New front tubeplate and refurbished cylinder chest visible. Slidebards clearly visible in overhauled frames. New smokebox door ring.  Hinges on the floor.
Volunteer Mark Buchanan holds the template over the new smokebox door. Right piston ready for fitting.  Left piston head visible.
Splashers prepared and ready for fitting. Newly manufactured superheater elements awaiting fitting. No.186's reprofiled wheels now reunited with the frames.

186 Line drawing
For a detailed history of No. 186 CLICK HERE




RPSI Home button
Click on the RPSI logo (above) to go to the RPSI Homepage