532 Interactive

Get to know Blue Peter, inside out.

We've created this interactive guide to make it easy for you to learn about the workings of our Peppercorn A2 Class.

How big is Blue Peter

Smaller than a bus? Bigger than a plane? Find out just how big Blue Peter is...

 

Use the buttons to find out about the parts of Blue Peter...

In total, the engine and tender are 22.2 meters long.

Thats the same as 2 London Busses.

Together Blue Peter and her tender weigh 170 metric tons!

The engine alone weighs 107 metric tons, or 107,000 kilograms.

Thats more than 8 London Busses and the weight of 5 Range Rover's on each wheel!

The tender weighs around 60 tons or 60,000 kilograms.

That does depend how much fuel Blue Peter is carrying. You can learn more about that later on...

What's what? The parts of Blue Peter.

Choose your part...

Click on the labels to find out what the different
parts of Blue Peter are for...

Safety Valves

The safety valves are used when too much steam is being created by the engines fire. When they go off huge jets of steam appear out of the top of the engine.

Dome

This is the highest part of the boiler and is where steam collects. It travels through a pipe to the regulator, which controls how much steam goes to the cylinders.

Sanders

When it's raining or during the autumn when there are leaves on the line the driver sometimes uses sand to give the engine more grip. This is where we put the sand into the engine.

Chimney

Just like the chimney on your house, this is where the smoke from the engines fire appears, after having heated the water in the boiler.

Buffers

Buffers are the part of the coupling between the engine and carriages. They press together with the other vehicles buffers and have springs, to stop the engine being damaged when coupling a train together.

Cartazzi Wheels

These wheels are used to support the weight of the engines cab and firebox. They are designed so the wheels can move from side to side to allow the engine to go around corners.

Driving Wheels

The driving wheels are coupled to the cylinders and power the train. They are the biggest wheels on the engine, allowing Blue Peter to travel at high speeds of 75mph.

Leading Wheels

The leading wheels are used to help support the 100 ton weight of the engine and are also important in helping to steer the engine around corners.

What colour?

Blue Peter has worn two colour different colours during her life. She started with Apple Green, the colour of the L.N.E.R and ended her working life in Brunswick Green which was used by British Railways on all their express steam locomotives.

She has also worn three different badges or logos during her lifetime, all of them from British Railways as she was built just after nationalisation and was never part of the L.N.E.R.

Use the buttons below to check out the colours and logos...

What about fuel?

Just like your car Blue Peter needs fuel.
But instead of petrol she uses coal and water.

Steam engines like Blue Peter have to bring their fuel with them wherever they go in a special vehicle called a tender. It rides with the engine behind the cab, this lets the fireman easily shovel coal from the tender into the engines firebox.

Blue Peter has a large tender designed to carry enough coal to travel over 300 miles and enough water for around 100 miles of running.

How much coal and water do you think that is?

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How fast...

Blue Peter is an express passenger engine. This means she has to travel at high speeds of up to and sometimes over 100mph. Because of modern restrictions, when she returns to traffic she will only be allowed to travel at 75mph.

In order to travel at such high speeds Blue Peter has large driving wheels, how fast do you reckon they spin?

Click one of the speed buttons to find out more...

At 10mph Blue Peter's wheels are going round 0.8 times every second.

At 30mph Blue Peter's wheels are going round more than twice per second.

At 75mph Blue Peter's wheels spin more than 5.5 times per second.

At 100mph Blue Peter's wheels would be going round more than 7 times a second.