Welcome to the third news round-up of 2019. As it has been nearly five months since the last one (for which apologies), it is something of a bumper edition.
2007 Prince of Wales
One of the biggest news announcements in recent months has been the placing of the order for not one but two boilers by the A1 Trust – both Diagram 118A boilers, they can be fitted interchangeably to both Tornado and Prince of Wales. This is expected to reduce each engine’s time out of traffic for overhaul by around four months on each occasion, as the third boiler can be refurbished while the locomotives are in operation. Dampflokwerk Meiningen (Steam Locomotive Works Meiningen) will be delivering both boilers, with delivery due in September 2020 (for fitting to Tornado at its next overhaul) and July 2021 (for fitting to Prince of Wales).
July’s Mikado Messenger states that a review of progress shows completion still to be feasible for “three years hence” subject to the availability of funding, despite Tornado’s requirements somewhat diverting design resources this year (for which recruitment has been undertaken).
Multiple news updates show progress on 2007 with an abundance of photographs. Strong progress on the tender is of particular note.
Late September update – 26 September
Early September update – 5 September
An Audience with the Prince of Wales coming to Leeds – 5 September
Tender construction special – 4 September
Boilers – an heir and a spare! – 21 June
5551 The Unknown Warrior
The Patriot team has announced the election of the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust as the contractor for the completion of the locomotive, at its dedicated West Shed workshop on the Midland Railway, Butterley. The rolling chassis has now been transferred to Butterley from Crewe, and work continues towards completion, including further remedial work to problems identified after the move away from Llangollen. The locomotive is expected to steam in 2020, and planning is underway for its operation on the main line, including for the fitting of the necessary electronic equipment, and for the purchase of a support coach.
LMS Patriot Project on BBC Radio Derby – 29 September
The Unknown Warrior Moves to West Shed – 13 August
Reflections on work by Llangollen, by Gavin Shell – 6 September (National Preservation)
Engineering update July 2019 – 5 September
Photos of 5551’s transfer from Crewe to Llangollen – 12 August (National Preservation)
Announcement of PRCLT as contractors – 5 July
Engineering update, May 2019 – 20 June
Progress report – 6 June
Photos of progress from HBSS – 5 August (Facebook)
Photos of progress from HBSS – 27 June (Facebook)
The Warrior, issue 41 – May 2019
Knowsley Chamber video showcasing Heritage Boiler Steam Services, 16 August.
The tender spring hooks ordered for, variously, Network Rail’s LNER tender-derived snowploughs, Spirit of Sandringham and the V4, have now been delivered, marking the first delivery of new parts for 3403. In another collaboration, the A1 Trust will be project-managing the production of a pattern for driving wheels for both the V4 and the Gresley Society’s N2 tank engine. The V4 project will be formally launched next spring.
First new V4 components delivered – 12 August
Tornado has enjoyed a strong summer of main line running, with the Trust now having brought its railtour bookings entirely in-house. The team has had to work hard to address occasional mechanical niggles successfully, including cracked stays and a small steam leak – these are not exceptional as main line heritage steam operation goes, but serve to remind that in absolute terms Tornado is no longer all that ‘new’!
On September 28th, the A1 was briefly borrowed for some station pilot duties at Doncaster, moving a failed class 90 locomotive out of the way after being briefly taken off the front of the North Briton tour.
Tornado Railtours booking office opens – 21 June
After a productive day carrying out an examination on the coach, training & emptying ashpan & cleaning the grate, some of the A1 SLT team retired to the most magnificent engineering site in Scotland – 23 July (Twitter)
Two East Coast thoroughbreds, ten years apart in age, – 4 October (Graeme Bunker on Twitter)
6880 Betton Grange
A summer of progress at Tyseley has brought Betton Grange’s boiler to the stage where it is ready for its hydraulic test, which is expected within the next week or two. Work has also continued at Llangollen to make the locomotive ready for the fitting of its boiler when it is complete.
Boiler ready for hydraulic testing – 8 October
Latest news from Tyseley – 3 September
First tubes in boiler – 22 June
Brake rigging and cylinder cocks – 18 June
More work at Tyseley – 7 June
Progress on the boiler – 4 August (Facebook)
Another busy weekend for #teambetton – 17 July (Facebook)
Injector pipework underway at Tyseley – 1 July (Facebook)
Tubes going in – 22 June (Facebook)
Boiler looking good – 22 June (Facebook)
Brake gear connected – 17 June (Facebook)
Back in action at Tyseley – 5 June (Facebook)
In an undated news item, the G5 project has announced that its piston rods are now on order, and they are seeking a quote for forging and machining the pistons.
CAD image of springs currently under manufacture for driving wheelsets – 25 May (Facebook)
Assembly of the Clan’s frames has progressed substantially over the summer, with stretchers being aligned and drilling for bolts well underway. The smokebox saddle has been machined and is back in the frames. Other smaller items are also receiving attention, including the manufacture of the tender doors.
Latest news page (links to individual stories not available)
Bogie bolster cups and stretcher casting – 30 July (Facebook)
Work continues on frame assembly – 8 July (Facebook)
Trial fit of the right-hand motion bracket – 5 July (Facebook)
Latest from the works – 4 July (Facebook)
Assembly of 82045 continues in the erecting shop at Bridgnorth, where it has been briefly shunted around to accommodate other work.The steam chest liners have been fitted, and machining of the pony truck axleboxes completed, among other highlights.
The Bluebell 2MT group issued one of their twice-yearly newsletters in August. The locomotive’s frames have now been set on the coupled wheelsets, and the chassis is now in new poly-shed erecting area. The lubrication systems have been among the other areas receiving attention, and the newsletter gives instances of the collaboration and support from across other groups at the Bluebell Railway.
Bluebell Standard 25 – August 2019
61673 Spirit of Sandringham
The B17 Trust has been focusing on the design and compliance work necessary to introduce what will be, for regulatory purposes, a new design to the main line. On the construction side, work remains underway to turn the completed static chassis into a rolling chassis. The A1 Trust has provided support with stress analysis of the crank axle, with much of the design being derived from Tornado and Prince of Wales.
In their first news update of 2019, the Claud Hamilton group cover news of further drawings research, progress towards seeking quotes for some bogie patterns, and the acquisition of an original GER whistle, carried by one of the original Clauds.
The Phoenix Whistle! – 7 August
35011 General Steam Navigation
The GSN group has produced another of the alliances with groups beyond rail that have proved fruitful for others – in this case, with the Medway Queen Preservation Society, which is working to restore a ship originally operated by the New Medway Steam Packet Company, with which the original General Steam Navigation Company had a close operating relationship.
Co-operation between rail and sail – 7 October
May 2019 update – 2 June
Working party – 4 August (Twitter, @GrahamMuz)
Tube removal – 4 August (Twitter, @GrahamMuz)
32424 Beachy Head
The latest news update on the Brighton Atlantic include photos of work on the tender tank, show in near-finished condition. Work in the pipeline includes placing the tank on the tender chassis, and then hydraulic and steam tests on the boiler.
To reduce costs and time in the workshop for both locomotives, the F5’s frames will now be assembled by Tyseley in tandem with those of the County 4-4-0. While they are waiting for their slot, the team is progressing with other areas of the build, including CAD for the driving wheels, for which a pattern will be produced in the traditional way. An order will be placed with Micron in Dudley; Paul Carpenter of the Night Owl project offered support and advice on the process. Discussions are underway with HBSS as a potential contractor for boiler construction.
Engineering news September 2019 – 26 September
Engineering news – 12 August
GER 789 Wheelsets – 26 July
A news update issued over the summer details work on the spring hanger brackets. Further news has been sent to New Build Steam in press releases: a new cylinder design has been completed and submitted to the project’s Vehicle Acceptance Body; and a contract has been awarded for cutting and supplying the locomotive’s running boards.
3840 County of Montgomery
Two original GWR whistles of the correct type have been donated to the 4-4-0 County project, one a regular high-pitched whistle and one a deeper ‘brake whistle’. The extension frames are on order, and on the organisational front the group has successfully completed its registration as a charity.
County of Montgomery gets its voice – 16 September
Extension frames ordered for County of Montgomery – 11 September
Success! We are a charity – 22 May
Summary of progress in the year since the frames were ordered – 28 July (Facebook)
Frames on display at Tyseley open weekend – 22 June (Facebook)
Coverage in railway press – 6 June (Facebook)
1014 County of Glamorgan
The major item of progress on County of Glamorgan has been the delivery of the smokebox to Didcot
The Smokebox has landed – 16 September
Happy Face – 5 August
A Thousand Words – 19 July
A Face Emerging – 23 July
Smokebox and wheels – 3 June
Saddle up – 27 June
More tendering – 29 June
Facial features – 10 May
Forming the boiler barrel sections for 1014 – 19 September, Facebook (HBSS)
New build projects have been the preserve of England and Wales until now, but a new group has been established in Scotland with the stated aim of constructing a Highland Railway Ben Alder 4-4-0. Drawings for the class and related locomotives are being assembled and the group has already registered as a charity.
Our Fantasy New Build poll in 2016 featured as a candidate the hypothetical BR Standard 2-8-2 mixed traffic design, eventually rejected in favour of the 9F 2-10-0. Although the unbuilt Standard attracted little support compared to some other designs, New Build Steam was contacted by John Mills to let us know that he has completed a 7 ¼ inch scale model of such a locomotive, which is in operation on the Bentley Miniature Railway in Sussex. Click the link for photographs.
The future of New Build Steam
There will be one further news round-up in December of this year, after which this site will cease to publish regular articles.
There are multiple reasons for deciding that now is the right time to call it a day for New Build Steam. Firstly, there is now much more and better coverage of new build locomotives than was available when the blog started in 2011: they are ceasing to be a mere niche within heritage rail, and don’t need a dedicated news site of their own. Also since 2011, the nature of the internet has changed: the blogosphere that this site emerged into has largely been overtaken by social media and the development of other types of news offer, with single-subject blogs now far less common and, to some degree, useful. Additionally, as the recent gap between updates might imply, other things are also competing for the Editor’s time and attention.
The site will be left online as a WordPress.com blog for the foreseeable future. Occasional posts, for instance for future locomotive launches, may still be published – but no promises! However, readers have indicated they do find these updates useful and informative, so if anyone wishes to pick up the mantle, I am willing to transfer the web domain newbuildsteam.co.uk, which currently redirects to this website, to a new website, at face value. Any interested party should get in touch with the Editor on newbuildsteam ‘at’ yahoo dot co dot uk, with an outline of any proposal for a new site. I would want to be satisfied that any further site will be delivered to a high standard and be viable over the long term. No other assets or intellectual property will be transferred.