45551 The Unknown Warrior

Two significant announcements have come from the Patriot project. The first is a fundraising appeal to get the cylinders cast, aiming to raise £50,000. In fact progress is already underway: the discovery that Precision Patterns of Oldbury can make make polystyrene patterns at a much lower cost than traditional wooden ones has allowed the pattern and casting of the middle cylinder to be ordered. A further £21,000 is needed in total for the three patterns and castings, plus £30,000 for machining.

Funds are being invited in a variety of ways: donations for the patterns (£2280 for the inside, £2000 each for the outside patterns), or they may be sponsored (£5170 and £4750 respectively). Alternatively, donors may wish to sponsor in units of £1.15 for a a cubic inch of cylinder capacity; 19,851 cubic inches are available to be sponsored in total.

Separately, the second announcement concerns an issue not covered by New Build Steam to date: lubrication. Morris Lubricants, described as the market leader in steam heritage lubricants, and Britain’s leading family-owned, independent oil blenders and marketers, is supporting the project by contributing to the cost of the pattern for the bogie centre casting, and providing metalworking lubricants for the locomotive’s manufacture, and specialist steam lubricants for its operation. The front bogie has been ordered and is to to be under the locomotive by the time it goes on display at the Warley Model Rail Exhibition in Birmingham’s NEC this November.

The above video focuses on the boiler appeal, and was put online in February.

Worsdell G5
The G5 is one of several projects to be enjoying progress on one of the most obvious components of their locomotive: the first of their driving wheels has been cast. Indeed, it arrived in November (the G5 project as ever focusing on the work rather than communicating it). In addition, the hornblocks have been machined and are being fitted to the frames, the AWS system has been purchased and platework for the cab and bunker is being fabricated. The project is also hosting more open days at its base, Rail Restorations North East Ltd. The first is on May 4th, and they will be on the first Saturday of the month thereafter.

72010 Hengist
Work is advancing on the Clan on a couple of fronts. Firstly, shot blasting and non-destructive testing of frame components is underway at Riley and Sons in Bury, to provide the necessary certification for mainline operations. Secondly, more details have been issued of the project’s collaboration with the Advanced Manufacturing and Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield. AMRC will be converting paper drawings into digital forms (AutoCAD / Solidworks), and are also keen to start manufacturing some components – this will allow them to trial new manufacturing techniques and train their apprentices, as well as progressing the Clan build. Smaller bogie parts are expected to be first in line. AMRC will also be carrying out dimensional checks on the frame extensions, which support the firebox.

3MT 82045
Plans for significant components of 82045 are coming together nicely according to the latest news update. Casting of the driving wheels has been ordered, with quotes being obtained for their machining and fitting. The project’s Wheel Appeal has exceeded expectations, and funds will be available to cover all the work (funding for the spring assemblies and axleboxes is also available from general funds). Plans for the locomotive’s motion are being prepared, and planning for a boiler appeal is on the way, for launch when the wheels and motion are well advanced.

The front and rear pony assemblies are also due to be a focus imminently, although production of the rear pony truck casting has been paused while the Standard 2 project consults with the foundry. Another collaboration with a heritage group has borne fruit: a regulator is being manufactured for 82045 thanks to a donation from a member specifically for this item, taking advantage of a casting produced for a Standard class 4 locomotive.

The group’s AGM was held on April 6th in Kidderminster.

60163 Tornado
The last month has seen a few niggling problems for Tornado. A planned run from Southend on the Cathedrals Express was cancelled  after a problem was found with the crosshead white metal bearing surface (at short notice, 35028 Clan Line picked the train up at Acton). After this was repaired, a further problem – reportedly a broken air pipe – brought the locomotive to a halt at Slough a fortnight later; it was repaired and on its way after roughly an hour’s delay.

More happily the locomotive’s new support coach, for which fundraising has been underway since 2010, is more or less complete and following accreditation work this month will enter service in 1950s ‘blood and custard’ livery.

B17 Spirit of Sandringham
As was kindly pointed out in a comment on the last news round-up by Paul Hibberd, issue 18 of the Heritage Hub e-magazine (PDF) contains an article from the B17 Steam Locomotive Trust announcing that the locomotive is to be called Spirit of Sandringham. Further details such as the number it will carry or plans for its construction are not featured, but the article does include details of how to donate to the project.

2999 Lady of Legend
A further update on the Saint has shown continued progress. Bar the valve reach rods, all the valve gear has now been fitted. A plethora of smaller components has been completed ready for fitting, including the loco brake valve, footplate seats and boiler handrail support pillars. Material for the construction of the new tender tank is on-site and construction due to start shortly. Additionally, a donation of paint has allowed painting of the locomotive and tender to commence.

6880 Betton Grange
Progress continues on the Grange’s wheels, with new balance weights riveted into position and paint being applied.

Contracts for the multi-stage work to cast, machine and fit tyres to the Night Owl’s wheels are expected to be issued soon. Meanwhile, work has been done to develop the drag box pattern, incorporating later improvements by Collett to Churchward’s design, and efforts to improve access to many awkwardly-placed rivets.

Wardale book
The 5AT group has issued more details of the re-print of David Wardale’s book The Red Devil and Other Tales from the Age of Steam. It is expected from the printers in the middle of this month, and pre-orders are being taken on the 5AT website, for £39.95 plus postage. It is being supplied to the group at cost, and profits will fund work to develop improvements to steam locomotive performance; details of two such projects, looking at equipment to test exhaust performance and at the use of bio-fuels, are due to be announced soon.

Outposts of New Build Steam
Finally, a reminder that New Build Steam is now active across several social media platforms, having recently joined Facebook and Google+ in addition to the long-standing Flickr pool and Twitter channel – please do like, follow, add to circles and share your photographs.