Welcome to part two of the final news round-up of 2017. Part one can be read here.

60163 Tornado

A seasonally appropriate shot of Tornado – in fact from 2009 – adapted from a picture by Jo3hug on Flickr, under licence CC BY 2.0 and available for re-use under the same.

Tornado will make its first run in passenger service at up to 90mph next spring, it has been announced. The A1 will haul The Ebor Flyer from London to York and back on April 14th. For now, the locomotive is in its winter maintenance period – Allelys Heavy Haulage, who provide specialist haulage for railway vehicles, were contracted to make the move by road, and posted pictures on their Facebook page.

There have also been several operational and organisational announcements from the A1 Trust of great interest. One is that the fundraising scheme to allow the purchase of Tornado’s tender (currently owned by, and leased from, William Cook Cast Products) has reached its initial target of £200,000. However, the scheme – the 163 Pacifics Club – is being continued, with all ex-LNER Pacifics now available to be ‘sponsored’. The Trust is also aiming to boost its number of covenantors for Tornado, whose numbers have dropped from a peak of around 1,600 to 1,112, yet whose contributions are essential to fund Tornado’s five and ten-year overhauls.

The big news, however, concerns the location of the Trust’s proposed new base, which will be the Whessoe Road engine shed and the surrounding site. The shed has four roads and was built in 1861 by the Stockton and Darlington Railway, not long before its absorbtion by the NER. In addition to the existing shed, the Trust plans to build a three-road workshop with overhead cranes and educational facilities, to maintain its fleet and build future locomotives. The site is also planned to boast a mainline connection, carriage shed and 70-foot diameter turntable. However, steps to achieving all this will include the relocation of the business currently using the land next to the shed, major repairs to the shed itself and of course raising sufficient funds to finance the development.

2007 Prince of Wales
The appeal to raise £100,000 for the P2’s cylinder block was launched in October, and reached half of its total in its first month. The design for the block, by David Elliott, converts the original one-piece casting into a welded fabrication, modifies the steam passages along Chapelon lines and reduces the block’s overall width, to maximise the locomotive’s route availability.

Engineering milestones have also been passed: the crank axle was delivered from South Devon Railway Engineering in Buckfastleigh, via Unilathe in Stoke for machining, at the start of November; and the first wheelset was completed back in August, when the Cartazzi wheelset had its wheels pressed onto the axle, also at Buckfastleigh. Following the fitting of all wheels and tyres, it is hoped to have the chassis wheeled in the spring of next year. Meanwhile, some components are already being painted in their final topcoat of LNER apple green – specifically those that will not be accessible after assembly.

Additionally, a link has been forged between 2007 Prince of Wales and its seafaring namesake, HMS Prince of Wales – the second of the Royal Navy’s two Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. This takes the form of a ‘Bond of Friendship’, announced in October.

61662 Manchester United
Progress on the Footballer has taken the form of adding steel to form the front footplate curves, and further work on the front footplating. Steel for the right-hand side is on order, following the fitting of footplating on the left of the locomotive. This has been painted with red oxide paint, but will need to be removed in future for the cutting of holes for steam pipes.

61673 Spirit of Sandringham
The frame stays for the Sandringham have been made: five steel castings from William Cook Cast Products, and two fabrications from North View Engineering. All these elements should be at Llangollen by the end of the year. Recent design work has concentrated first on developing the frames into a rolling chassis, and moved on secondly to the horn blocks and front crank axle.

Additionally, the design requirement for the boiler – a Diagram 100A boiler, as fitted to the B1’s and retrofitted to the B17s – has been sent out to specialist suppliers.

F5 789
CAD work has been completed on the bracketry that will be required for the assembly of the F5’s frames. The pattern for the motion bracket is now at the foundry. Thoughts are also turning to the project’s location after Tyseley has completed this task, beyond which it will not be able to accommodate the group. Talks have begun with the Whitwell and Reepham Railway in Norfolk, which is already pencilled in as a future home base for the Claud Hamilton.

GCR 567
The frames for 567 were due for delivery to Ruddington by the end of October, following on from the delivery and machining of stretchers throughout the year. Assembly of the frames can then commence. On other fronts, the group has successfully launched a new website and held a successful AGM.

8783 Phoenix
Progress on the Claud Hamilton is overwhelmingly in the form of CAD work, with these two examples having been posted on Facebook.

2001 Cock o’the North
A ‘frames unveiling ceremony‘ was held in September for the Doncaster P2, officiated by Dame Rosie Winterton, MP for Doncaster Central, and regional ITV weatherman Jon Mitchell. The nameplate of Cock O’ The North was lent for the occasion by permission of the Doncaster Grammar School Railway Collection.

G5 1759
The crankshaft for the G5 has undergone its initial machining, and its final machining will follow ultrasonic testing for flaws in the casting.

The motion will be the next major focus, with a club now launched to raise the necessary funds, aiming to recruit 150 donors giving £600 each, to reach the £90,000 required. The similarity of the G5 Company’s recent fundraising efforts to those used by the A1 Trust may not be coincidental – the latter’s administrator circulated the press release about the motion fund, possibly to the same press list, and a 3D CAD image attached to it is credited to David Elliott. The same release also confirmed that work is being undertaken to get the locomotive onto the main line, and not just running on preserved lines as originally intended.

35011 General Steam Navigation

The above video gives a good overview of the recent state of General Steam Navigation. In advertising its October working groups, the 35011 society advised its members that these would likely be one of their last chances to see the locomotive in the South East.

The project’s component sponsorship scheme has been yielding results: the first such components to be ordered have been the nameplates, while two anonymous supporters have pledged funds for all six truck oil trays. In respect of heritage components, a Bulleid-design steam reverser has been successfully purchased – this being a major target for the group to acquire, as no new version of this component has yet been manufactured in preservation. Elsewhere, this Twitter update shows progress on machining the shut off cocks.

Additionally, the group has been approached with queries about their use of the name General Steam Navigation, in light of the Patriot’s recent difficulties. They have confirmed that the name is licensed to them by P&O Heritage, who now own it, on condition that it is clear the group is not connected to shipping operations – hence its full name of General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society.

32424 Beachy Head
The boiler of the Brighton Atlantic is the current main focus for the group. The painting and installing of the tubes has begun – the former being more time-consuming than the latter, as they are done a few at a time and need to be allowed to dry. The weight of the superheater flues will make their fitting a somewhat trickier task – and the business of expanding and beading them all will also generate plenty more work.

Elsewhere on the engine, a Westinghouse air pump governor has been designed in CAD, and the parts then cast and machined. It has been tested very successfully on another locomotive already.

And finally…
That brings us to the end of proceedings on New Build Steam for 2017. We hope the greater mix of articles has proved enjoyable over the last year or so – we will continue to try new forms of content into 2018. It remains only to thank everyone who has read the site, commented, added photos to the Flickr pool, followed us on Twitter and liked us on Facebook, and to wish you a both happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year.