An update on the smokebox door

We apologise for the recent silence but we can report the following and we hope to have more updates very soon, hopefully with photos over the coming weeks.

Due diligence on the smokebox door has taken us longer than we anticipated but we are finally underway. The down-payment has been made with Keyte Smith Ltd of Bingham, Nottingham. Peter Stanton, the Chairman of the LNWR Society and Member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and a Chartered Engineer was appointed by the Trust to ensure that we confirm to the appropriate certification especially as we want to be eligible for mainline running. Along with Jamie Keyte of Keyte Smith, all the necessary due-diligence for the smokebox door has being undertaken.

A materials certificate is to be provided and the door will be made of Boiler-Plate, which is stronger and more resistant to corrosion than the ‘Crewe Steel that’ the LNWR employed, which was made by the LNWR for its own use. Keyte Smith have also done calculations to demonstrate that the door will be able to withstand the partial vacuum behind it. The outer door profile is being produced by a process known as ‘metal spinning‘. You can read about the process on Wikipedia here. The original doors were fabricated by pressing, which only makes sense if you are producing large quantities of the same item (as Crewe Works was undoubtedly doing) and really isn’t practical or cost-effective for one-offs. I should stress that the result will be indistinguishable from the original.

Internal discussions are currently taking place to finalise the next stage. We are all reasonably certain about the next part to be fabricated next however we’ll hold off announcing it until the decision is definitive. To this end we hope to soon begin running simulation software and following due diligence to again ensure mainline running. What I can say is that we are considering a more structurally integral part of the locomotive, which we hope will be a serious demonstration of intent. It has made sense for us to hold back on structurally critical parts of a new locomotive until we felt ready to tackle them but we are coming to grips with the fabrication, tendering and certification processes and we are attracting invaluable support from knowledgeable and experienced individuals such as Peter Stanton, Richard Coleby and Ted Talbot.

We are also steadily gathering interest and support and we have you, our donors and supporters to thank for getting us the point where we can finally cut metal. Of course it perhaps goes withing saying that much more is needed and so we humbly ask for your assistance in raising sufficient funds for the next stage of fabrication. And remember, once we reach the £10,000 mark matched funding from a kind benefactor will kick in, helping to expedite the build. At £20,000, another £10,000 in matched funding will be made – all the way to £50,000 – which will give this project a real fillip. People like you will make this happen so please consider becoming a regular donor or if you’re not comfortable with monthly contributions, then a single donation is of course also greatly appreciated. A reminder that UK taxpayers can match their donation through Gift-Aid so remember to tick the Gift Aid-box and fill out the appropriate details when filling out the donation form. Monthly donations can be cancelled at any time. You’ll find a link on ‘How to Help‘ at the top of this page including the form in doc and PDF formats. Single donations also can be made securely through Paypal on our main website.

We thank you for your support!

Speaking of assistance, the LNWR Society is in the process of digitising the drawings it holds in its collection and we shall be receiving a full collection in a digital format soon. We kindly thank the LNWR Society for this gesture.

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