5551 The Unknown Warrior

5551’s chassis being lifted at Crewe. Photo by Kevin West.

An engineering update taking the story of the Patriot up to February was published slightly belatedly in April, with another reportedly due relatively hot on its heels in June.

As ever, the update contains a wealth of detail and is well worth reading in full for anyone who takes an interest in the project. Issues with suppliers and quality control continue to be a prominent theme in it, with further problems reported in relation not only to Llangollen but other suppliers as well. The centre driving axle pins, supplied by South Devon Railway Engineering, are being replaced after an issue was found with the keyway cut into them, for which repair of the existing components isn’t a feasible solution. Over at Heritage Boiler Steam Services, there has been a delay while insurance approval was obtained for the size, pattern and material of the firebox stays – this has required further design work, even though approval had been understood to have been obtained already, and reportedly arose from a ‘change of staff’.

Andy Forster, former CME of the West Somerset Railway, completed an independent mechanical inspection in December, which confirmed the group’s assessment of the state of the chassis, uncovering only a few further minor issues. White metalling of bearings has been a major item of work that requires re-doing, for which the group states it will recover costs from Llangollen.

In terms of finishing the locomotive off, three interested potential suppliers have provided quotes, while a fourth ultimately opted not to quote on the basis that it could not meet the required timescales. The option of completing work in-house also remains under evaluation. Interestingly, assembly work is also preparing the ground for ongoing maintenance of the locomotive when operational, with the collection underway of the necessary set of large spanners. Owners of any 1″ BSW (Whitworth), or larger, spanners who could supply them to the group are invited to contact them.

According to this post on National Preservation, many and possibly most of the issues raised in the February update have now been dealt with, and good progress is being made.

Engineering Update, February 2019 – 30 April

The Warrior 39 – November 2018 (PDF)

Photos of work on boilers of 5551, 1014 and others – 16 May (HBSS, Facebook)

Video: reaming stay holds – 18 April (HBSS, Facebook)

Photos: foundation ring riveted – 1 April (HBSS, Facebook)

Video – 28 March (HBSS, Facebook)

Video: riveting 5551’s boiler – 28 March (HBSS, Facebook)

Video: riveting boiler barrel to firebox – 26 March (HBSS, Facebook)

Photos: ongoing boiler work – 16 March (HBSS, Facebook)

V4 3403

Image by Stuart Black, A1SLT

The A1 Trust has taken a raft of initial decisions ahead of the formal launch of the V4 project, now expected next spring. Its fundraising model will be similar to the tried and tested approach of the A1 and P2 projects, with one significant difference of detail being that funds from the Founders Club will be used for component acquisition, to run alongside the completion and testing of 2007 Prince of Wales, before construction starts in 2022.

The high-level specification agreed for the locomotive includes the new design of crank axle and pony truck developed for the P2, a tender based on the LNER’s 4,200 gallon design as used with V2s (rather than the 3,500 gallon design originally allocated to the V4s), and as much detailed commonality with the A1 and P2 as possible. A new 5ft8in pattern will be manufactured jointly with the Gresley Society, to make wheels for the latter’s N2 tank engine (currently under overhaul ahead of its centenary in 2021) and the V4, in that order. The V4 is expected to cost £3 million and, subject to funds being raised quickly enough, take five years to build.

V4 project steams ahead – 26 March

35011 General Steam Navigation
The new home for 35011 has been confirmed as the Swindon and Cricklade Railway in Wiltshire, and the locomotive was successfully moved there over 14-15 April.

35011 sets course for the Swindon and Cricklade Railway – 13 March

Coverage of the move on BBC Points West – 16 April (Twitter)

Pins for the trailer truck collected after machining – 1 April (Twitter)

Photo of preparation work before the AGM – 10 May (National Preservation)

3840 County of Montgomery
For the 4-4-0 County, the main frames have now been machined and delivered to Tyseley, while on the organisational side the Trust has completed its formal registration with the Charity Commission, and now enjoys charitable status.

Registration of the Trust approved by Charity Commission – 22 May (Facebook)

Frame plates delivered to Tyseley – 21 May (Facebook)

Main frame machining completed – 17 May

Frames go for machining – 7 May

6880 Betton Grange
Work on Betton Grange continues on the same twin-site basis as in recent months, with the connecting rods, boiler and tender among the areas receiving particular attention.

Latest progress – 10 April

Activity over Easter at Tyseley and Llangollen – 24 April (Facebook)

Progress at Tyseley – 27 March (Facebook)

Progress on the chassis (Tyseley) and tender (Llangollen) – 13 March (Facebook)

2013 Prince George
There is more visible progress on Prince George, with multiple components supplied in ‘flat pack’ form for the running plate, and a dome pattern now produced. A video on the project’s website shows the welding of the front running plate (opens as a download).

Progress – LNWR George the Fifth

Photos: ‘flat pack’ pieces of the running place – 10 March (Facebook)

A new update on the Night Owl provides updates on several key decisions about the build, and items of progress. The major points are that new cylinders and a new No7 boiler will be made for the locomotive, rather than using existing parts that are readily available and authentic for the design – just about – but would bring their own problems.

Latest News

CAD image courtesy of the GCR 567 Locomotive Group

GCR 567
The GCR 567 group contacted New Build Steam in late April with the sad news that Prof Dennis Wilcock, their Treasurer and Purchasing Officer, as well as website and newsletter editor, had died suddenly. This has clearly been a shock to the team, as well as an organisational blow, and this news update will provide a more full run-down of news relating to this locomotive, rather than the usual summary and ‘link post’, as the project’s own capacity to disseminate news has been so badly affected. News updates up to April 23rd can nonetheless be read on the website.

Purchase orders have been issues for castings for the eight bogie hornblocks and the boiler blowdown valve. Indian Railways vacuum cylinders have been ordered from a firm on Kolkata, and a further order is expected to follow from the group that is restoring the GCR ‘Barnum carriages’.

The rear dragbox design has been revised, to produce a version that should be cheaper and easier to make compared to the complex and heavy casting on the original locomotives.

The stock of running plate components has been added to, with the fabrication of mid-frame and rear steps.

Delivery of the drawhook forgings to Ruddington is anticipated: they have been made and are undergoing heat treatment.

The arrival of some new supporters contributing monthly donations has meant that only 15 places remain available on the locomotive’s first train.

And finally, given the sad circumstances, expressions of interest are invited from anyone who would like to contribute to the project as one or more of its new treasurer, purchasing controller, webmaster and newsletter editor.

61673 Spirit of Sandringham

Spirit of Sandringham’s assembled main frame, courtesy of the B17SLT

The B17 Trust held a members’ meeting in Stevenage on 9 March, and the report of proceedings highlights many details of interest.

Following the successful inspect of the assembled static frame, the components necessary to turn it into a rolling chassis have been identified and costed up at a total of £245,926. Work is underway with UK-based boiler manufacturers to develop the specification for the boiler design. A target completion date of 2029 has been set, to mark the centenary of the class entering service.

Additionally, the Trust has agreed a joint statement with the 61662 Manchester United project, aimed at clarifying the distinctions between the two endeavours, which is reproduced below in full.

NBPLG – 61662 Project
61662 Manchester United is currently a full size ‘mock up’ representing the cab, boiler, smoke box and buffer beam with a planned completion date of 2019.When this representation is complete, there is the intention to seek support from Manchester United FC and their supporters by way of an appeal for funds in order to determine if an operational version could be produced.

B17 SLT – 61673 Project
61673 Spirit of Sandringham is a full-size operational locomotive and tender produced to a defined design in accordance with current Rail Authority Regulations to be certified for mainline running. Construction of the static mainframe is complete and the next phase is to complete the rolling chassis.

It should be noted that the 61662 Project is primarily focussed on Manchester United FC and their football supporters whereas the B17 SLT is open to the public and enthusiasts of all kinds. Indeed the management of NBLPG have been kind enough to recommend that all members of the public and railway enthusiasts interested in seeing a new operational B17 locomotive should look at the B17 SLT website for information.

Report on B17 Members Interim meeting – March 2019

F5 789
The F5’s motion bracket has been machined, and this enabled the frames to be temporarily fixed upright for the first time after the plates were also successfully machined at TM Engineering, Kingwinford. They have now been lifted and taken to Tyseley for final assembly.

Frames delivered to Tyseley – 10 April

32424 Beachy Head
An order is due to be placed soon for the Brighton Atlantic’s tender tank, four quotes having been supplied in a range of £32,000 to £39,000. Delivery will be expected this autumn. Ongoing work is on the firebox back and firehole door assembly, and timber flooring for the cab.

Extract from members’ e-newsletter – 9 April (National Preservation)

The West Somerset Railway’s (relatively) novel GWR mogul continues progress towards its second spell in traffic. A new chimney has been cast, and barring work to fit it the smokebox has largely been completed.

Mid-May update – 18 May (Rail Advent)

West Somerset Railway Association meet fundraising target to put locomotive 9351 back into service – April (West Somerset Railway)

72010 Hengist
Regular updates on the Clan project’s website and Facebook page show the strides made at CTL Seal over April and May with the complex task of assembling the locomotive’s frames. Additionally, discussions have been held with a pattern maker for the cylinders, with a view to getting them cast in 2020.

Latest news (links to individual items not supported)

Video: turning the frames, prior to fitting the cast lower stretches – 20 May (Facebook)

Frames progress – 20 May (National Preservation)

Photos – 13 May (National Preservation)

Photo of progress with frame assembly – 11 May (Facebook)

Front bogie components acquired to date – 29 April (Facebook)

Bogie wheels arrive on site from the Boro Foundry – 13 April (Facebook)

Plans for discussions with cylinder pattern maker – 9 May (National Preservation)

3MT 82045
Machining is underway of the 3MT’s piston rods, boiler water level gauge frames, front pony truck pivot slide and carriage warming reducing valve. Trial assembly of the pony truck is being worked on. As ever, the news updates contain plenty more detail.

News update – April

News update – March

60163 Tornado
The A1 Trust has been recruiting for several roles, technical and non-technical. Applications have now closed, but links to the adverts are included below for interest.

Meanwhile, April’s Communication Cord contains details of the chain of events leading up to Tornado’s return to the main line, including the work at Barrow Hill to rectify problems arising from the priming incident on the Nene Valley Railway. The work involved was notable for support being provided by West Coast Railways, in addition to the Trust’s regular operational partners DB Cargo.

Vacancy: Machinist – 18 March

Vacancy: Senior Engineering Technician – 5 April

Vacancy: Engineering Technician – 5 April

Vacancy: Marketing Manager – 8 April

Communication Cord, Winter 2019 – April (PDF)

Tornado Telegraph 103 – March (PDF, second edition of the month)

Tornado Telegraph 104 – April

2007 Prince of Wales
Progress on the P2 includes the delivery of a set of regulator castings from H. Downs of Huddersfield, the machining of the superheater element and design of the electrical cubicles which will form the bases of the cab seats, similar to those on Tornado but modified in light of the P2’s different cab profile. Sanding down of the wheel rims has also commenced, as Prince of Wales will be run with polished rims, as was 2001 Cock o’the North.

The slightly revised dates for this year’s P2 roadshows have been confirmed as follows:

  • Saturday 1st June 2019 – Dundee Heritage Trust, Dundee (amended date)
  • Saturday 8th June 2019 – Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle
  • Saturday 6th July 2019 – Darlington Locomotive Works, Darlington
  • Saturday 14th September 2019 – Hilton Hotel, Leeds
  • Saturday 2nd November 2019 – Darlington Locomotive Works, Darlington
  • Saturday 7th December 2019 – Pendulum Hotel (Manchester Conference Centre), Manchester

Motion Club passes three-quarter mark! – 24 May

Mikado Messenger, March 2019 (PDF)

Tender Club launched – 9 April (Email campaign)

G5 1759
And finally, this Facebook post on 27 April announced the marriage of Richard Maughan, CEO of the G5 Locomotive Company, and Gemma Braithwaite, of the G5 Company’s Marketing Committee and Office Manager at the A1 Trust. New Build Steam sends the happy couple our congratulations and best wishes for the future.