The locomotive is being assembled in our unit at Hackworth Industrial Park in Shildon.
For those who could not make our annual conference, you will not have seen the latest progress.
The Angle Irons and Gusset Plates are now in place, awaiting the Tank Supports and Running Boards.
Current work in progress:-
The crank axle has been forged and is currently undergoing testing and machining. Plans have been produced for the running boards, tank support brackets and coupling rods and 2018 should see great progress with these, as well as the assembly of the trailing wheelset.
We have currently completed:-
The smoke box together with door and chimney have been manufactured and are fitted to the frames
The main frames:- they are assembled together with all the major castings, cylinder blocks, drag box, bogie support and horne guides.
The frames are mounted on the bogie which is completed to main line standards
The all welded boiler is completely finished except for hydraulic testing.
The rear of the cab incorporating the bunker and rear water tank.
The leading wheelset.
The wheels and tyres for the crank axe are finished and are in our unit at Shildon awaiting the completion of the crank axle.
We have established a separate fund to raise money for the crank axle- the only major component needed to complete the rolling chassis. We have also established another separate fund to raise money for the locomotive's motion components.
We have collected over 130 of the original drawings for the locomotive which will ensure accuracy and authenticity to the completed locomotive.
Some compromises have been made to comply with modern regulations such as the use of an all-welded boiler rather than the traditional riveted construction; these changes have been inspected and approved and are registered at Lloyds for insurance purposes. Others such as moving the Westinghouse pump from the cab to the front of the tank, modifications to the bogie and the replacement of wooden buffer beams by steel, have been done for expedience and to improve the engineering qualities of the finished locomotive. None of these changes will detract from the external appearance of such a beautiful piece of Victorian design; in fact some of these changes were also implemented by the LNER for the same reason.
In addition to the above major components the company also have many smaller components, safety valves, Westinghouse pump, brake gear and reconditioned Ross pop safety valves, bell type whistle, Davies & Metcalfe vacuum brake ejector valve and air cylinder, as well as other vital components, including AWS equipment have been purchased. Other component acquitions include a fully reconditioned eight port Wakefield lubricator, with a second six port to hand; a pair of Gresham & Craven lifting injectors, as originally fitted to the locomotive have been purchased and both are fully reconditioned.
In February 2009 we took the major decision to build the locomotive to main line standards so that it can obtain main line certification status. This significantly increases the final building cost but will help to maximise and secure our income for the future; with main line certification this locomotive will be capable undertaking short to medium length working on secondary lines.