Latest News from Crofton Beam Engines

Crofton Beam Engines on the Kennet & Avon Canal between Great Bedwyn and Burbage (six miles south of Marlborough) is open on Saturdays, Sundays and August Bank Holiday Monday through to the end of September. When the engines are not in steam, tickets may be purchased on arrival. Advance tickets are required on steaming days to help the hard-working volunteers and staff regulate visitor numbers to the site.

You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds, where new picnic tables have been installed. For more information please visit the Crofton Beam Engines website.

July 2022

Ecoal Trial Steaming – First Report

A trial steaming using Homefire Ecoal (comprising 50% olive stones) was held on 5 July 2022, having warmed the boiler through the previous day.  From a slow start from light-up the boiler managers developed a different firing method and were then able to control the steam supply to the engines very well.  This “sprinkling” technique meant that the fire burned more evenly over the whole grate area.  This had two main consequences:

  • cooler firebars, which should lead to longer life; and
  • a much hotter working area in front of the boiler, which will need addressing if we are to use this method in future.

Additionally, there appeared to be much less smoke from the chimney and much less ash produced.  Very early analysis suggests that the rate of consumption of Ecoal is similar to that of our normal coal.

A reminder of our Summer Steaming Days

Saturday 30 & Sunday 31 July

Sunday 28 & Bank Holiday Monday 29 August

Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 September

Advance booking for steaming days is recommended. We look forward to seeing you there!

Crofton is open on Saturdays and Sundays through to the 25 September 2022.  Entry to the site is free on non-steaming days, with an admission charge to view the boiler house and engines.

No refreshments are available to purchase on site. Entry is by the main gate only (opposite the car park). There is no access from the tow-path. That gate is locked.

More information – opening times and prices

If making a special or long distance journey, please check with us beforehand that we will be open. Crofton is powered by volunteers, we may have to close at short notice for unforeseen circumstances.


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