2013 Prince George
The LNWR George the Fifth Trust has sent through some interesting updates to New Build Steam. They have recently taken delivery of the coupling rods, plus the chimney cap, with the chimney base and stem now on order. A drawing for the machining of the coupling rods has been completed.
Away from the cutting of metal, the group has been undertaking substantial work on some crucial areas of technical analysis, including both to reduce weight and to enhance safety. Modern analysis shows that the class’s motion gives excellent valve events, but also that many components were needlessly heavy – today’s design and manufacturing techniques will enable metal to be put where it will be most effective.
Another reason for this work is that Network Rail, the Office for Road and Rail and the Rail Safety and Standards Board are aware of the vulnerability of the connecting rods on some LNWR locomotives, fractures of which occasionally led to penetration of the boiler, as at the Betley Road accident of 1923, whose cause was bluntly attributed to ‘poor design’ by the ensuing investigation. The locomotive involved was of the ex-LNWR Prince of Wales class, which the group’s work suggests was more compromised by its design than was the George.
Further outstanding issues that the group has identified for resolution are gauging for main line use, hammer blow, and the axles, including the crank axle.