It’s been a busy time with planned and unplanned tasks coming up.  On the locomotive building side, we have placed and order for the cab footsteps, and the CAD designs for the cast Motion Plate and Frame Stretcher along with the necessary Engineering Change documentation are in draft form.  These are out for checking by Martin Shepherd and with our Approvals Contractor Ricardo.  They have also gone out to potential contractors for costing.  Thanks to the generosity of our members the finances are strong enough to make this purchase.

Following close behind is the dragbox.  This is a little bit more of a challenge as the LNWR one was a very complex iron casting.  The cost of a pattern would be prohibitively expensive for a one-off.  After trying several different options we now favour a welded fabrication using heavy steel plate.  It is much simpler in design and allows the use of the LMS/BR standard steam brake layout in place of the idiosyncratic LNWR arrangement using one cylinder to work engine and tender brakes.  Gaining approval for that on today’s main line might be a challenge too far!  Unfortunately changing the design in means that we have to demonstrate compliance with standards.  Load cases for drawbar pull, brake operation, loco lifting, track twist etc are being developed ready for stress simulation.

Alongside the engineering work, we’ve had our monthly Trustee meeting, worked on a couple of press articles, formally adopted our Quality Manual and two Technical Reports on the LNWR’s controversial centre frames and on fasteners.  A much-abridged Flip-book version of the centre frames report will be on the website once we’ve mastered the technology.

We are busy, and making real progress.  The usual request: if you will the end in the form of the only pre-World War I express loco for the Main Line, please consider contributing to it, either by volunteering or giving.  To those already doing so, thank you very much for helping to fill this big gap in the ranks of preserved steam.

We are on the Up!

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