Covertcoat is a 0-4-0ST ‘Quarry Hunslet’ built in 1898 by the Hunslet Engine Company of Leeds as No. 679. Originally named ‘The Second’, as she was the second of a batch of two, she was later renamed after the racehorse which won the Grand National in 1913.
Covertcoat was built for the Dinorwic Slate Quarry in North Wales, and worked there until c.1959. Sold in 1964, she was initially preserved by enthusiast John Butler, who kept her for twenty years before she was sold to the LSR in 1984.
Her cab is a replica of the type fitted to some of the ‘Quarry Hunslets’ and was fitted in 1987, whilst her tender was constructed at the railway in 1991 to provide additional coal and water capacity.
New Boiler 2006/7
During the early 2000s, it became clear that significant work would be required to Covertcoat’s boiler when it was next removed for overhaul. A new firebox, which is 20% larger than the one she had previously carried, was built over the winter of 2005/6. When dismantled at the end of the 2006 season to fit the new firebox, it became apparent that the boiler was in a worse condition than expected, so the decision was taken to build a new boiler, incorporating as much as possible from the original boiler.
The boiler barrell was rolled at Deepdale Engineering, whilst the rest of the boiler construction was undertaken on site at the Launceston Steam Railway. By April 2007, the basic shell of the boiler, incorporating around 5% of the original boiler, was finished, work continuing in the period between Easter and Whitsun when the railway was closed. Tubing of the new boiler started at the end of May, and the boiler was finished by early June, ready for inspection and acceptance by the boiler inspector and insurance company. By mid June the boiler was complete and had been hydraulically tested, an initial steam test taking place on the 19th June.
1st July saw work being undertaken on the expansion brackets which hold the boiler in place. Since the 18th June the boiler has been fitted into the frames, and pipework completed in the smokebox.
Covertcoat was moved from the museum workshop to ‘Toad Hall’ in July for refitting of the cab and saddle tank. Following successful trials, Covertcoat re-entered service at the end of July.