LNWR King George the Fifth

Illustration by Grant Regan, reproduced with permission

The George the Fifth project has taken its first official steps, with the formation of the LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust, with Paul Hibberd, Derek Buckles and Bruce Nixon as directors and trustees and charitable status confirmed. The Trust is currently getting quotes for indemnity insurance, preparing standing order forms and developing a website, having already opened a bank account and commissioned the above illustration. It has also visited the NRM and inspected 20 of its 60 drawings. Drawings are also held by the LNWR Society, with whom discussions continue.

Sadly the Trust’s work has been somewhat held up by the passing of its engineer, Ray Berry. Accordingly, the Trust are seeking a new member with similar expertise.

More happily, the group will be at NRM Railfest on June 8th to 10th, sharing a stall with the B17 Trust. Anyone wishing to add their expertise to the project can approach them there.

F5 67218 and 4709
There has been significant progress in respect of both of the projects to reconstruct pre-grouping tank engines. Starting with the F5: the frame plates , centre frame stretcher and guard irons have been cut at Tata Steel at Halesowen, at the same time as frame plates for 4709. There is an engineering update with photograph here. The group has also added a Justgiving facility to its website, to take donations.

Worsdell G5
All completed components for the G5 have been moved to Rail Restorations North East, Shildon, for assembly: this indicates a significant step towards completion for the project. These include the boiler, believed to be the largest built from scratch in the UK for 40 years (can anyone identify what was built in the early 1970s that was larger…?), and whose completion was reported to be due at the end of this month. A launch event for the boiler will be held at 10am on Saturday May 12th, and will be open to the public.

The project’s website has been modified, although a recent article in Railway Herald contained yet more detail. It gave the locomotive’s intended number as 1759, though this is not confirmed on the website. It also specifies that all components for the frames have been cast, and that the driving wheels and crank axle at the next major components being targeted for casting, due to be at Boro Foundry, West Midlands.

The article also offers interesting detail on the financing of the project: components have only been commissioned once funds have been in place, so the project has not taken on any debt. Share ownership is available for purchase and a ‘friends’ organisation is emerging.

New pictures, including of the boiler, are available on the project’s website.

45551 The Unknown Warrior
Rumours have been circulating regarding the wheels for this locomotive, and the group has informally offered clarification on National Preservation. The keyways in three wheels have been placed in the wrong position. They have been bored out and welded prior to re-boring and positioning of the keyways in the correct position. The group are in touch with the Vehicle Acceptance Body to obtain confirmation that this will be acceptable for mainline running.

3MT 82045
The 3MT group has issued its regular new updates for March and April. Progress includes more on the footplating, and the purchase of components for fitting later in the build, which are being stored securely away from the project’s Severn Valley Railway base.

72010 Hengist
Two news updates were issued in March, both detailing work to move some of the project’s stock of components to new storage arrangements. The group’s engineering committee is aiming to assemble the frames as the next major steps; it is unclear from public announcements whether the project has a new base or where that might be, although several options were known to be under serious consideration last year.

32424 Beachy Head
The latest news update for the Brighton Atlantic contains considerable detail, including the casting of multiple components and fitting of the cylinder liners.

6880 Betton Grange
The Steam, Steel and Stars III event, in aid of the Betton Grange project, concludes today. Footage of proceedings to date is already on Youtube, featuring Tornado among the vintage machines.

As noted in the last update, the Friends of Betton Grange website has been taken down, and now removed from the links on this site.

B17, J39 and V3 projects
The status of several projects is unclear, based on their web presences. As stated above, the B17 Trust plans to be at Railfest in June, but their website appears to be offline. A site is online but is not functioning properly; it looks like there are files missing or some other fundamental problem. Information about the plans for this project would be received with interest.

Also as noted in the last update, the J39 website is offline. The project’s Facebook page is still active, however. Again, firm news on this project’s future would be received with interest; it is one of several that have been open to charges of having little serious prospects beyond its online activity. Also in this camp is the L1 project, which has a new website, albeit largely empty of content other than appeals for new members. A Facebook group with the stated aim of building a V3 tank engine has also been created. This has not been added to the navigation on New Build Steam, and the L1 and J39 projects may be removed if their future plans cannot be set out a little more firmly, for instance with details of legal entities or business plans.

Robinson ‘Immingham’
A non-UK new build steam project has emerged in the Netherlands – nonetheless, it has UK connections, as it aims to construct a new Robinson-designed 4-6-0 ‘Immingham’ class locomotive, as built by Beyer-Peacock for the North- Brabant German Railway in 1908. Completion is intended for 2018, and more details can be found on this website – mostly in Dutch, but with an English summary. As it’s outside the scope of this site it will not be included in regular updates, but we will keep an eye on it for noteworthy developments. With thanks to John Simons for pointing this out in the comments for the previous post.