The first couple of months of the year have seen further reflection by various projects on their progress in 2014, and further progress from many.

3MT 82045
The 3MT tank project continues to take strides in respect of both the build itself and the project-based organisation necessary to make it possible. On the latter front, the boiler appeal has passed £150,000 and the aim is to pass £200,000 in 2015. Sponsorship is still being sought for individual components: the smokebox door is now sponsored, but the smokebox wrapper was still up for grabs at the time of the group’s last update. Meanwhile, plans are being developed for the operation of the maintenance fund to pay for repairs and eventual overhaul once the locomotive is complete: steaming and hire-out fees will form the basis for this, but the group hopes to enjoy continued support from individuals.

In terms of the build itself, this photograph on Facebook shows the completed and painted cab in Boston Lodge works. Boston Lodge has also been awarded the contract to construct both side tanks. The pony truck wheels were being machined in January, prior to being sent to the South Devon Railway to have axles and tyres fitted. A pattern is being made for a new chimney, with the existing chimney from class 3 mogul 77014 now deemed beyond repair; it will however be painted and mounted on the engine for cosmetic effect for a time. Interestingly, the chassis is being pointedly assembled facing north, in support of the view that the Severn Valley Railway might usefully be extended in that direction from Bridgnorth – though presumably its first run up the line, at least, will therefore have to be bunker-first (assuming, of course, that it is tested and run in at the SVR).

2MT 84030
The latest 2MT update details work towards the re-wheeling of the engine. Grease pipe runs have been started, and the build will soon have a new home in a re-used poly-shed being moved as a result of other developments on the Bluebell. This project is also having sufficient swing links for the suspension on the rear pony truck to meet both its own needs and those of the 3MT tank in Bridgnorth.

60163 Tornado
Tornado’s overhaul continues apace, with many photographs available on the A1 Trust’s site, and some footage from YouTube below.

The overhaul has resulted in an appeal for 57mm (2¼”) rubber balls, traditionally made as dog toys. They are used for blocking the superheater holes, to create a seal during testing. Some of the existing stock of balls had perished, and replacements of the correct size could not be sourced from the original stockist, which now sells balls of a slightly different size. Consequently, the Trust issued what must be one of the strangest requests to supporters in the history of the heritage railway movement!

Tornado’s programme on her return to traffic has taken shape, with the Cumbrian Fells express over Shap and the Settle and Carlisle line on May 30th, a run on the ECML on June 2nd, a succession of excursions for Belmond British Pullman over the summer and a trip to the Nene Valley Railway in August and September.

1014 County of Glamorgan
The County is making progress in respect of its firebox, now nearly complete at Crewe, and boiler, with a new barrel and smokebox now costed at approximately £132,000; a contractor for this work is being sought.

The project’s frank and informative review of 2014 highlights, however, that it lacks sufficient man hours to ensure completion by the target date of 2021, and work continues to find ways of increasing the rate at which work is done. More positively, however, it also reports strong progress on the tender and footplate floor.

A review of the Night Owl’s 2014, and look ahead to 2015, suggests that a rolling chassis will be close, but perhaps not quite achieved, this year. Finding a contractor who can manufacture the required new axle poses a challenge and the group may need to look outside the UK; ensuring that the work meets current rail standards and will be signed off by the Vehicle Accpetance Body is also requiring work.

The group also delayed fitting the front buffer beam after noticing that the frames were misaligned, perhaps the result of a heavy shunt suffered by the donor locomotive. Further investigation suggests the problem does not indicate deeper difficulties with the structure, but the fitting of the extension frames to the main frames is not quite ready to take place.

6880 Betton Grange
After machining, the Grange’s cylinders have been delivered – see the video of the machining below. Meanwhile, the latest Steam, Steel and Stars gala in support of the build has been held at Llangollen this weekend.

2999 Lady of Legend
Significant progress on the Saint’s boiler has been made, with the much-delayed delivery of the superheater flue tubes finally coming in November. Ongoing work including fitting new crown nut stays and foundation ring rivets will move the group towards being able to look at out-of-frame hydraulic and steam tests. A water test on the new tender tank showed only a small number of easily fixed leaks; work continues on the coal space section. Pipe run work has been started, and an order placed for the name and numberplates for the Atlantic version of the locomotive.

72010 Hengist
There has been relatively little reported news on the Clan, but behind-the-scenes work apparently continues busily. Specific items reported include the the completion of the tie bar at the rear of the frames, with its associated pins. The machining of the ‘bread basket’ stretcher is to follow next.

45551 The Unknown Warrior
The Patriot is currently off its wheels and minus its smokebox again, as work progresses on fitting the cylinders. One of the outer cylinders was returned briefly to the manufacturer on delivery for minor remedial work, and is now back with the locomotive. Plenty of synergy continues to be found with the Jubilee class, with a bulk order of valve heads having been placed for Leander, Kolhapur, Bahamas and The Unknown Warrior. Previously unlisted Jubilee valve gear drawings have been identified in the NRM’s Search Engine, which will be of assistance for parts where the relevant Patriot drawings no longer survive.

Meanwhile, the implementation of a new engneering standard had threatened to add significantly to the timescales and costs of assembling the new wheelsets. On investigation, it transpired that the new standard applies only to the areas where the wheel centre is pressed onto the axle – see this engineering update for full details.

At Crewe, work on the inner firebox was on schedule to reach complete assembly by the end of February. A further engineering update is expected shortly on the Patriot website at the time of writing.

F5 789
Work on the F5 continues in respect of both physical engineering and CAD work: in respect of the former, the star stay that sits under the footplate is being machined; regarding the latter, a current focus is the frame plates.

Worsdell G5
The components of the G5 are being moved to a new home, close to their previous housing at Rail Restorations North East, as shown in these photos on Flickr. The new unit is larger and will allow for the final construction phase of the locomotive. It is hoped that the project’s regular open days will re-commence in April. Meanwhile, shares in the locomotive remain available to buy.

61662 Manchester United
Repair and restoration continues on the B17 tender, as does fundraising for its frames. The most urgent priority, however, is raising £500 to purchase a short stretch of track on which to place some of the items acquired for the locomotive, for display.

3MT 77021
The 3MT mogul project has clearly suffered internet-related woes, with access to both its email account and website having been interrupted. The group is now back in control of both, however. More happily, the smokebox door is away for drilling, sufficient funds have been raised to allow the order to be placed for the handrail assembly, and oil box feeds have been made as part of an order for several new build and restoration projects.

2007 Prince of Wales
Machining has started of the 24 frame castings for the P2, and orders have been placed for poly patterns for the next batch of castings. This will include the front boiler support, which is a modified design derived from Tornado to allow the locomotives’ boilers to be interchangeable. The castings are all being produced by William Cook Cast Products, and machined by other suppliers in Yorkshire and the North East. Meanwhile, tyres have been ordered and will come from Ringrollers in South Africa.