The headline story of the last few months has to be the return to traffic of the pioneer new build locomotive, 60163 Tornado, after its £400,000 overhaul at Darlington Locomotive Works, and return to apple green livery. The A1 has already enjoyed a sojourn in Scotland, and can be sound on the following workings over the rest of the year:
- 12th July – ‘The Torbay Express’ – Bristol to Kingswear and return – Torbay Express
- 26th July – ‘The Torbay Express’ – Bristol to Kingswear and return – Torbay Express
- 2nd August – ‘The Torbay Express’ – Bristol to Kingswear and return – Torbay Express
- 8th August – The Golden Age of Travel lunchtime excursion – Belmond British Pullman
- 11th August – 2nd September – Nene Valley Railway, Peterborough
- 23rd September – London Victoria to Bristol and return – Belmond British Pullman
- 26th September – ‘The Silver Jubilee Talisman’ London to York, Darlington and Newcastle – A1SLT booking through UK Railtours
- 6th November – The Golden Age of Travel lunchtime excursion – Belmond British Pullman
- 8th December – Christmas Lunch – Belmond British Pullman
- 12th December – Christmas Lunch – Belmond British Pullman
- 31st December – ‘The Peppercorn Phoenix’ – York to Newcastle and return – A1SLT (details tbc).
The LMS Patriot Company has announced that its next project after the completion of The Unknown Warrior will be a new build LMS Fowler 2-6-4T locomotive, featuring a parallel boiler and numbered 42424. These 3-cylinder machines have a long line of descendants, all represented in preservation: Stanier’s 2- and 3-cylinder locomotives, a further development by his successor Fairburn and ultimately the Riddles Standard classes. The Irish version of the design, built to the 5’3” gauge, is also represented by a surviving example. This project will recreate the pioneering design that laid the ground for them all. Fundraising will commence once The Unknown Warrior is completed.
45551 The Unknown Warrior
The biggest area of work on the Patriot recently has been the permanent fitting of the cylinders to the frames.This requires the use of 68 specially fitted bolts – manufacture, machining and fitting of each of them costs nearly £100, so the total cost of this work alone is well over £6,000.
Elsewhere the project is drawing on both designs and hardware from other classes: no drawings survive for several key components of the braking system, so the design used on the Jubilees is being copied and deployed; crossbeams and pullrods may be sourced from existing 8F spares as the components were in common between the two classes; and the locomotive brake cylinder from 8F 48518 is being refurbished for use on 45551, to be followed by the tender brake cylinder. Smaller systems such as the drain cock operating systems are also having to be copied from other locomotives, with Jubilees and SDJR 7Fs being studied.
At Tyseley, work continues on the bogie and on the forming blocks for the outer firebox steel flanged plates. Inner firebox and boiler components are now at the new Crewe South works. Delivery of the boiler has been agreed for the end of 2016, to allowe for fitting ahead of the engine’s first steaming in the second half of 2017.
In September, The Unknown Warrior will be displayed at the Barrow Hill 65 gala, which is intended to be a major gathering, at which nearly all surviving (or re-emerging) LMS classes will be represented. The costs of moving the locomotive will b sponsored by Allelys Heavy Haulage.
The latest edition of The Bluebell Standard offers an update on progress on the 2MT: the hind truck frame has been cast and is being machined; meanwhile, progress towards wheeling the locomotive is being made. The polyshed to house it is now ready to be put up, as soon as space is cleared next to Atlantic House.
The 3MT mogul group has commissioned some artwork as part of its fundraising efforts; details are on its website, and the prints are expected to be available to order by the end of this month.
The new boiler for 82045 has moved a step nearer, with formal approval from the design now received from all relevant bodies. It will be built in Bridgnorth’s boiler shop, although some items may be outsourced. The smokebox wrapper has also been delivered, and was placed on the chassis for a few days – pictures in the June news update. The boiler appeal remains on target – which means it has some way to go yet – and thought is now turning to fundraising for the locomotive’s motion. Elsewhere, the crankpins have been fitted to the wheels at Buckfastleigh, but the wheels have not yet been balanced yet; it suits the project for the wheels to be away for a while longer however, as the axelboxes are still being prepared, with the white metalling stage not far away.
61673 Spirit of Sandringham
The main frames and buffer beam of the ‘Sandringham’ B17, having been profiled at Tata Steel, have now been sent to the Boro Foundry for machining.
61662 Manchester United
The ‘Footballer’ group have laid their new track panel and started painting the tender Brunswick green. Next steps are likely to be focused on fundraising for the main frames.
6880 Betton Grange
The boiler appeal for the Grange has now reached 10% of its target, and recent work has included new lamp iron brackets, the trial fitting of the motion bracket and completion of the 10 bolt OXO section. The boiler of Willingham Hall is due to be lifted this month.
32424 Beachy Head
The latest update from the Brighton Atlantic group is typically rich in details and photographs. Selected highlights include the completion of the running frames as far back as the cab front, and further work on the bogie, including fitting of the grease pipes to lubricate the centre slide and attention to items identified on the earlier trial assembly.
The G5 project has re-commenced its programme of open days, and held an opening ceremony for its new home on June 13th – photos can be seen on Flickr.
1014 County of Glamorgan
The County’s frames remain at Tyseley, although work there is now complete, including horn grinding and overhauling the axleboxes. Work on the firebox is approaching completion at Crewe, with a date to be set for an inspection visit and to discuss costs for the boiler barrel and smokebox. Meanwhile back at Didcot, the ‘extra day’ initiative was successful in securing more man-hours for the project, and may be repeated in future.
The two halves of the cylinder block have now been united, and CAD plotting has been completed for the frame plates, commenced for the horn guides and is pending for the motion bracket. The cylinder block halves, diamond stay and tank supports will be returned to Tyseley ahead of the assembly of the frames.
2007 Prince of Wales
The Gresley Society has announced that it will be sponsoring the smokebox of the new P2, including design work necessary to update it for the new locomotive and the distinctive faring and smoke lifting sheets around the chimney. Meanwhile, progress has continued with William Cook Cast Products ‘churning out’ castings, in some cases re-using patterns for components in common with Tornado.
Progress on the Clan has been ongoing, but apparently under-reported due to health issues for the project’s webmaster. Numerous components have been machined, including the substantial ‘bread bin’ stretcher, and more ordered, including the front firebox support. The existing cab structure has been refurbished and deployed on promotional duties.
2999 Lady of Legend
The name for the Saint when running in Atlantic form has been chosen: it will be ‘Churchward’ and carry the number 191; appropriate name and numberplates have now been made.
A short Twitter update from the GCR 567 project shows that connecting rods have been needle gunned, and that larger components are on order.