6880 at Warley – photos by Tim Easter, courtesy of the 6880 Society.

6880 Betton Grange
Betton Grange was in Birmingham over the last weekend in November, for display at the Warley Model Railway Exhibition. It was displayed with the copper cap to its chimney, brass whistles and safety valve bonnet, Grange 80 headboard and express lamps, all fitted once on site.

2999 Lady of Legend
Piping is the major focus of work on the Saint at present – or, as the latest news update puts it, “the many fiddly bits that take up a lot of time without a great deal to show for it.” The boiler from ‘Barry Ten’ member 2861 remains in the frames temporarily, as a template for the pipework.

45551 The Unknown Warrior
The Patriot project has published both a final engineering update for the year, and a message from chairman David Bradshaw, the latter emphasising the importance of keeping funds from donors flowing in order to maintain the pace of progress to date and ensure the locomotive steams in late 2017 / early 2018. The engineering update amplifies the point, revealing that since the start of September the project’s chief engineer has placed orders to the value of £102,288 – and this does not include the value of work by LNWR Heritage at Crewe and Llangollen Railway Engineering. The project’s fundraising schemes now include a ‘Tenner for the Tender’ appeal.

The engineering update contains the customary level of detail, and can be read in full here. Highlights include the successful fitting of the sample driving wheel spring, with the remainder now on order, and the near-complete installation of the replacement frame stretcher. However, the crank axle has had to be removed for remedial attention at the South Devon Railway, following a trial fitting of the inside motion eccentric.

Elsewhere, a new 10.5” brake cylinder for the tender has been obtained, in preference to modifying the ex-8F 12” cylinder already held (the 8Fs being unique among LMS locomotives in having this component). In respect of the boiler, only the throatplate remains to be delivered before all the platework is complete, and work towards assembly continues at Crewe.

This Facebook update shows a photo of the two latest parts acquired for use on the locomotive: a vacuum gauge and a Bardic lamp. Meanwhile, seasonal considerations have led to the storage arrangements for the splasher and nameplate being revised – they had been under the chief engineer’s dining table, but the space had to be cleared for Christmas.

G5 1759
Calculations and modelling have commenced to ascertain whether the G5’s crank axle design is sufficiently robust to satisfy modern safety standards. Mott MacDonald Ltd, who are recognised experts in crank axle technology, have been engaged to carry out the work and will be using ANSYS Finite Element Software. A dedicated Crank Axle Degree Fund has been launched, with a target of 360 pledges of £100.00, of which more than half have been secured. When complete, the fund will pay for the purchase of the crank axle.

F5 789
CAD plotting of 789’s frames has progressed further, and assembly is expected to take place at Tyseley in the latter part of 2017. Wheeling will subsequently be undertaken at a different location, yet to be disclosed. In the meantime, an O gauge working model of the F5 has been produced and will be on display at future publicity and fundraising events.

72010 Hengist
The plans for assembling the frames of the Clan have now been finalised, combining the intended two phases of the process into one. This should save time and money over the long term, but will necessitate additional up-front cost. In summary, the intention is for the frames to be ‘small-bolted’ together, with temporary frames to ensure rigidity. Riley & Son will then invert the frames and they will be sent to Stephenson Engineering for machining of the horn guide faces. After this, the frames will return to Riley’s, be put the right way up, and have their external components small-bolted on. It will then remain only to replace the small bolts with finished size fasteners. However, this will be time-consuming: reaming each hole to size will take approximately an hour, and there are 350 in each mainframe plate. Funds are being raised to cover the up-front costs involved in these plans.

3MT 82045
The November update from Bridgnorth contains news of progress on multiple fronts, not least that the two boiler barrel sections are now bolted up and ready for riveting. Further details are in the full update, as is an account of a meeting of the BR Standard Locomotive Owners’ Group (BRSLOG), which took place at the new facility of LNWR Heritage in the former diesel depot at Crewe. The extent of the facility seems to have inspired thoughts within the group on the sort of wherewithal that would be necessary to build the sometimes-mooted fleet of 3MT tanks – although it is worth remembering that they told this site last month that any such project would be for someone else to see through, and not follow directly from the completion of 82045.

3MT 77021
The final update on 77021 before Christmas shows that the centre boss had been machined and was being fitted to the smokebox door. The visit to Stoke to drop off the components for the smokebox door also yielded sight of a pattern for a BR Standard cab window lock, which will be made for 77021 as part of a larger order of castings. Both Facebook links are to photos of the items in question.

32424 Beachy Head
There is now tower scaffolding inside Atlantic House, to allow for the work at height that has now become necessary. Further scaffolding will be erected prior to the fitting of the cab roof. On the boiler, the handrail knobs mentioned in the previous update are now properly fitted, and a welder has been contracted to work on the necessary patches in the boiler.

61662 Manchester United
A trial fitting of the smokebox to the saddle has been undertaken. Additionally, smokebox door straps and hinges have been made and also trial fitted to the smokebox door.

60163 Tornado
The programme for Tornado’s 2017 main line appearances has been published. They commence on February 11th and will take the A1 to destinations including Shrewsbury, Cardiff, Carlisle, Edinburgh and – in a first visit to Cornwall – Penzance. The Trust will continue to act as promoter for the bulk of the locomotive’s main line runs.

2007 Prince of Wales
Progress on the P2 continues on multiple fronts. 3D printing has been utilised to create patterns for the numerous steam valve hand wheels that cannot be made using patterns originally made for Tornado, and it is anticipated the 3D printing will be used for further components in the same way – though unfortunately technology is not sufficiently advanced to 3D print the bronze components themselves.

The final manganese steel faced hornblock liners for the coupled wheels have been delivered, and fitting is underway. The close machining of the frame plates and hornblocks using computer-comtrolled processes to ensure close tolerances relative to the 3D models is paying dividends here, with minimal hand fitting being required.

There is plenty of further detail in the latest engineering update, and if you would like to hear more from the team direct, you may wish to attend one of the roadshows being held throughout 2017, all along the route of the East Coast Main Line. They start in London on January 14th, and attendees on the inaugural date will get complimentary access to the galleries of the London Transport Museum, which is the venue for the event. All roadshows will feature presentations from Trust personnel including Mark Allatt (Chairman) and David Elliott (Director of Engineering), and run from 11am to 1pm on the dates below.

• Saturday 14th January 2017 – The London Transport Museum, London
• Saturday 18th February 2017 – The Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough
• Saturday 18th March 2017 – Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery, Doncaster
• Saturday 22nd April 2017 – York Railway Institute, York
• Saturday 13th May 2017 – Darlington Locomotive Works, Darlington
• Saturday 17th June 2017 – Newcastle Mining Institute, Newcastle
• Saturday 1st July 2017 – Edinburgh Jury’s Inn, Edinburgh
• Saturday 14th October 2017 – Dundee Heritage Trust Discovery Point, Dundee
• Saturday 25th November 2017 – Aberdeen Jury’s Inn, Aberdeen.

The events are open to supported and interested members of the public; this report from a previous roadshow in 2014, when just one component for the locomotive had been created, may give an idea of what to expect.

And finally
This article concludes New Build Steam’s coverage for 2016, with thanks to everyone who has read the site, commented on articles and joined us on social media. The run-off poll to find our Fantasy New Build remains open until January 20th and at the time of writing remains a close-run affair – it’s just a bit of fun, so please do vote if you haven’t already.

We look forward to 2017 with keen anticipation: all being well, it will be the first of several years in which a succession of new build locomotives start moving under their own steam – although a first new movement early in 2018 rather than in the next 12 months remains possible and would of course be no less welcome. Either way, this site aims to meet this next phase in the course of new build steam with more regular and more varied content. Between news round-ups and Q+A articles with project groups, there should be something new on the site each month, with periodic additional feature articles in addition.

It only remains for us to wish all projects every success, and all readers a peaceful and prosperous 2017.