What is it?
The Patriots were 4-6-0 locomotives built by the LMS, and often nicknamed Baby Scots on the grounds of their resemblance (and technical relationship) to Royal Scot class engines. But while two Royal Scots survive, both likely to be in steam on the main line in 2011, all the Patriots were cut up for scrap.
The ‘next’ Patriot (in fact 45551 is the number of the final built example, so this project is not following the A1 example of giving the engine a ‘new’ number) is billed as the ‘national memorial engine’ for those who died in WWI and subsequent wars, with the buy-in of Royal British Legion – presumably this harks back to one of the original locomotives being named ‘Patriot’ in memory of fallen LNWR workers in WWI (the same locomotive being converted to the Patriot design from a Claughton class engine after its naming).
This is actually one of the newest projects, proposed in 2007 and officially launched in 2008. Bearing that in mind, progress seems to have been quite swift so far. The video below gives an overview, with subsequent updates available on the same channel.
Status: Pete Waterman’s LNWR operation selected to build boiler at Crewe. Driving wheels cast. Some salvaged components to be used (lead wheelsets, tender, buffers).
Possible completion date: target 2018, for the centenary of the Armistice.