News round-up Q2 2014

The second quarter of the year has seen substantial progress on numerous projects, with two more locomotives now existing as rolling chassis and many major components ordered. There have also been interesting developments on new build projects outside the normal remit of this site – see the end of the update for details.

Contents
2007 Prince of Wales
45551 The Unknown Warrior
72010 Hengist
3MT 82045
60163 Tornado
F5 789
LNWR George the Fifth
1014 County of Glamorgan
2999 Lady of Legend
6880 Betton Grange
8783 Phoenix
Worsdell G5
32424 Beachy Head
GCR 567
Off-topic (1): NBL Class 22
Off-topic (2): modern steam in the USA

2007 Prince of Wales


The P2 project’s flying start continues: the frames were rolled on St George’s Day and profiles on May 21st at TATA steel in Scunthorpe. The process was started by Sir Nigel Gresely’s Grandsons, Ben and Tim Godfrey.

Subsequently, the locomotive’s eight driving wheels have been ordered from William Cook Cast Products on what are described as, “very favourable terms.” The company is therefore confirmed as a major sponsor of Prince of Wales, as it was for Tornado. The completion of a rolling chassis is hoped for, “towards the end of early next year,” (sic – NB clarification in comments below) – presumably that means within 12 months from now.

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45551 The Unknown Warrior
The Patriot has been wheeled at Tyseley, after its temporary wheeling last year; the operation was aborted at the end of May after the need for further work on some of the axleboxes was identified at a late stage, and subsequently completed successfully. The engine will be at Tyseley for its open weekend on July 5th and 6th, and then return to Llangollen. The inside cylinder will be fitted at Llangollen, having been removed at Tyseley before departure. The components for the bogie are also at Tyseley, where they will be assembled before following the locomotive to Llangollen next year. Further details are available in this engineering update, including of work on drawings for other components including the boiler.

A book on the project is due to be published in August.

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72010 Hengist
The Clan project has embarked on a collaboration with the 5AT group, to use modern steam engineering know-how to secure an improved performance from the locomotive relative to its forebears. They have agreed the scope of a feasibility study to look into the exhaust system, boiler, piston valves and pistons. This follows work by the 5AT group for fit a Lempor exhaust to the S160 based at the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. 3D modelling work has already identified some dimensional errors on the BR drawings (while this might seem surprising, on reflection it perhaps adds context to the design and construction errors that hobbled the performance of 71000 Duke of Gloucester under BR ownership).

Separately, the locomotive’s frames have been moved to Ian Riley & Son (Bury), with assembly due to start (subject to funds) later this year or early next.

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3MT 82045
Many major components for the 3MT tank are complete or on their way: the pony truck wheels have been ordered; axleboxes and other items are being machined; the cylinders await machining at Williton; the driving wheels are having crank pins fitted at Buckfastleigh; the riveting of the rear half of the chassis is well underway; and quotes are being sought for the bunker.

The response so far to the boiler appeal has been strong, with sufficient funds raised already for the boiler barrel, smokebox and front tube plate. Costings for the expensive Belpaire firebox are being sought – copper will not be bought until it is needed.

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60163 Tornado
The shape of Tornado’s operations for the year is now clearer, with spells on the Nene Valley, Bluebell and Swanage railways (including use on driver experiences and dining trains) and two more railtours confirmed: the Border Raider over Shap on July 5th, and the Devon Belle to Exeter on August 25th. The engine lined up in the spring alongside fellow BR express blue liveried locomotives 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley and 6023 King Edward II, at Didcot’s ‘Once In A Blue Moon’ event.

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F5 789
The pace of progress appears to have picked up substantially on the F5 project with its move to Tyseley. A substantial number of 3D CAD models is being produced, including for the profiling of the frame plates, which were rolled in March 2012. From these, polymer patterns for the cylinder block and star stay will, it is planned, be completed and ready for delivery to Premier Castings by mid-August. The group has also substantially updated and re-vamped its website.

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LNWR George the Fifth
The completed smokebox door can be seen in photos in this blog post. While the project has funds for more components, it has held off ordering any before appropriate secure storage had been secured. This has now been arranged at Heckmondwicke in Yorkshire, adjacent to a project to construct new build LNWR fish vans. Construction of the locomotive will take place at a separate site, yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, perhaps mindful of the involvement of the A1 and P2 projects of relatives of Thompson and Gresely, the Trust is trying to track down relatives of the LNWR’s CME Charles John Bowen-Cooke, and is appealing for anyone with information, or a genealogist interested in working on the project, to get in touch.

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1014 County of Glamorgan
A detailed update on progress in March and April can be found here – although the report describes progress as slow, these appears to be plenty of activity on the build. This includes planning for the chassis to move to Tyseley in late June (therefore by publication of this update it may already have occurred) for horn grinding / repair / replacement and work on the axleboxes. This will mean Tyseley has three new build locos on site for a brief period, with the F5 and Patriot also present. The move has however requried the removal of the cab, on which work will continue while the chassis is away. Progress continues on forging motion parts at Arthur Stephenson Engineers. The group has asked for work on the firebox at Crewe to progress slowly.

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2999 Lady of Legend
A detailed update on the Saint was published in April, which includes information on work on the firebox.

Work on the boiler is planned to involve the fitting of new tubes, followed by a hydraulic test and possibly even steam test, with a major overhaul then to take place.

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6880 Betton Grange
Progress on Betton Grange has included a substantial job of adjustment on the main springs, so that the buckles match the T-links, and subsequent re-fitting to the locomotive, plus a visit from the Vehicle Acceptance Body to check on progress.

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8783 Phoenix
The Claud Hamilton group has posted four new CAD images on Facebook, although its website appears no longer to be online.

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Worsdell G5
The fitting of the G5’s cylinders is in progress, machining of both blocks having been completed. The group is holding an open day at Rail Restorations North East on July 5th.

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32424 Beachy Head
The ‘Latest News’ page for the Brighton Atlantic has detailed updates on progress over the spring, including the wheeling of the chassis. Pictures of this are available in the update, and in the New Build Steam Flickr group. The updates from April and March contain plenty more details and photographs, including of the valve gear between the frames.

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GCR 567
The GCR 567 project is now using this Facebook group (may require login) as its online presence.  They have located numerous original components for use on the locomotive, including parts for the motion, as well as manufacturing their first new components, the sand boxes. All the necessary drawings have now been obtained, although the frames are yet to be cut.

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Off-topic (1): NBL Class 22
While New Build Steam’s remit covers standard gauge steam locomotives in the UK, two interesting projects have come to our attention since the last update was published. The first is a group that has been formed to build a class 22 diesel hydraulic locomotive, as originally built for BR by North British. This will be done either from scratch or using an existing chassis as a basis.

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Off-topic (2): modern steam in the USA
After the celebration of its 75th anniversary last year, Mallard’s speed record for steam traction could be under threat if a group in the USA is able to bring its plans to fruition. A group called the Coalition for Sustainable Rail intends to develop a steam locomotive to match the performance of two diesel electric passenger engines, running at 130mph, by deploying the modern steam expertise developed by Porta and Wardale. This project has been in development for some time, and we’re grateful to the commenter who drew it to our attention.

The project is controversial, however: it intends not to build a locomotive from scratch, but to use a pre-existing engine as a test-bed. The machine in question is the last survivor of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad’s 3460 class of six 4-6-4 locomotives built in 1937 for services between La Junta, Colorado and Chicago, Illinois. The locomotive, 3463, has apparently been on static display since its withdrawal in 1953, and a legal challenge may be brewing to prevent the proposed modifications, which will include streamlining and conversion to coal firing, from taking place – although the CSR argues both that these are in line with how the class might have been developed had it been in service longer, and that any changes can be easily reversed.

800px-Santa_Fe_streamlined_steam_locomotive_the_Chief
The first of the 3460 class, and uniquely streamlined – the proposed testbed, 3463, never carried streamlining.

Experience from the UK suggest both that this saga might run for many years before a working locomotive emerges, if one ever does, and that restoring vintage machine, even if partially, may not prove any cheaper than building one from scratch. It will be interesting to see how the project develops.

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10 comments

  1. It is great to see that so much is being achieved on so many new-build projects in the UK. As you also cover some “off-topic” projects, you may be interested to see progress in building a modern replacement for the 2ft-gauge Baldwin (No. 15965 of 1898) 2-4-2T LYN of the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway. (Southern Railway No. 762)

    Work is advancing well, and the locomotive is on target to steam in December 2015. See the 762Club website for the latest information.

  2. No. 2007 Prince of Wales’s rolling chassis should be complete towards the end of next year – apologies for the typo. The first driving wheel has been cast and the frame plates arrive at DLW tomorrow. I fear that quarterly updates will struggle to keep pace with the project’s progress.

  3. You may be right about the quarterly updates, Mark – though for the time being it can’t be helped, and to some extent social media can fill the gap. I wish you success in causing me problems keeping up!

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