‘Lizzie’: £100k needed for

Cash-strapped Princess El­iz­a­beth so­ci­ety launches emer­gency ap­peal to re­turn be­lea­guered ‘Pa­cific’ to the main line.

Steam Railway (UK) - - Steam News - BY DAVID WIL­COCK

AF­TER pay­ing £280,000 to Ty­se­ley Lo­co­mo­tive Works for the over­haul of its LMS ‘Princess’, the cash­strapped 6201 Princess El­iz­a­beth So­ci­ety needs to find an­other £100,000 to complete ad­di­tional re­pairs that it could not af­ford to tackle in 2016. ‘Lizzie’ re­sumed main line char­ter work in Au­gust last year af­ter a 3½-year over­haul at the Birm­ing­ham fac­tory, but ran only 12 trips be­fore it was with­drawn again, fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of weep­ing boiler tubes dur­ing a rou­tine washout on Novem­ber 26. The same boiler in­spec­tors who re-cer­ti­fied No. 6201’s boiler af­ter its Ty­se­ley over­haul have now ruled that the lo­co­mo­tive’s boiler, which re­mained in situ through­out the over­haul, must now be lifted from the frames. Newly ap­pointed Princess El­iz­a­beth Chief En­gi­neer Si­mon Scott has drawn up a list of 25 ‘es­sen­tial re­pairs’ that must be car­ried out be­fore the Royal Train en­gine can run again on Net­work Rail me­tals. The list in­cludes: re­pairs to cracks on all four fire­box cor­ners; fire­box tube­plate and foun­da­tion ring rivet re­place­ment; re­newal of out­side steam pipe ‘el­bows’; a new smoke­box door in­ner; the re­place­ment of a ‘wasted’ sec­tion of the boiler bar­rel ex­ten­sion; re-bor­ing of all four valve chests; new valve heads; two new pis­ton heads; the complete re­place­ment of all 123 small smoke­tubes; and new ten­der tyres. Mr Scott has also flagged up as a ‘pos­si­bil­ity’ the need to re­place ex­ist­ing su­per­heater flue tubes. PELS Chair­man Clive Mo­jon­nier ad­mits that prin­ci­pal mem­bers of the 6201 so­ci­ety are “far from happy” that so much ad­di­tional work, re­quir­ing a full boiler lift, is deemed nec­es­sary, so soon af­ter the so­ci­ety paid Ty­se­ley Lo­co­mo­tive Works £280,000 for the work un­der­taken on the ‘Princess’ be­tween 2012 and 2016 - but he has elected not to chal­lenge the thor­ough­ness of the Ty­se­ley over­haul, or the bill. “We don’t want to get into the kind of sit­u­a­tion that the 6024 Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety was in a few years ago, when they ended up in the High Court and ul­ti­mately had to re­lin­quish their en­gine, King Ed­ward I, to pay the costs of the ac­tion. We’ve got to draw a line and move on. But we have signed an agree­ment with the Princess Royal Class Lo­co­mo­tive Trust at But­ter­ley, and their West Shed will be ‘Lizzie’s’ new home from now on. We’re never go­ing back to Ty­se­ley.” Asked to com­ment on Mr Mo­jon­nier’s state­ment, Vin­tage Trains’ Chair­man Michael White­house said: “When 6201 came to Ty­se­ley it very soon be­came ap­par­ent that the so­ci­ety had very lit­tle money and even fewer work­ing mem­bers, and would only be able to fund ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial work. So, we were un­able to un­der­take a full boiler and me­chan­i­cal over­haul and, in­stead, un­der­took such en­gi­neer­ing work as could be agreed within their bud­get. Even that took some four years as we had to nurse the project along to a cash flow they could af­ford.” He con­tin­ued: “The small tubes (20 of which were re­newed to al­low in­ter­nal ac­cess), were oth­er­wise left in place, as they were only three years old at that time, and it was agreed with the boiler in­sur­ance ex­am­iner

that they were fit for a fur­ther pe­riod of use be­fore they would need to be re­placed. “At the time of the boiler’s com­mis­sion­ing steam test, in Oc­to­ber 2014, we ad­vised them that the re­main­ing small tubes would need to be re­placed within two years as funds came in. This en­abled the 6201 so­ci­ety to hus­band its much-needed funds as it also had to re­place the Train Pro­tec­tion & Warn­ing Sys­tem, which was to­tally in­ad­e­quate, es­pe­cially in the after­math of the Woot­ton Bas­sett in­ci­dent. “Ad­di­tional work was al­ways go­ing to be needed as rev­enue from lo­co­mo­tive hire came in, and Clive was made per­fectly aware of this re­quire­ment. We wish him luck in rais­ing the funds.” The so­ci­ety now has to find an­other £100,000 to pay for the ‘new’ round of re­pairs. It’s money that the group sim­ply doesn’t have - but it is tak­ing on the chal­lenge of fundrais­ing in a pos­i­tive, proac­tive way, be­cause, says Clive Mo­jon­nier: “We don’t have any other choice.” An ‘emer­gency’ crowd­fund­ing bid to raise £40,000 through the ‘Just Giv­ing’ on­line dona­tions web­site was set up by 6201 so­ci­ety mem­ber and rail­way pho­tog­ra­pher Jack Boskett in early Fe­bru­ary to un­der­pin the cost of lift­ing the boiler and buy­ing a full set of smoke­tubes. One week in, a mod­est £750 had been con­trib­uted, mainly by en­thu­si­asts al­ready aware of ‘Lizzie’s’ pre­car­i­ous fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion - but Clive Mo­jon­nier hopes many more will dig deep into their pock­ets to aid the LMS ‘Pa­cific’ in its hour of need. “The prob­lem is we are up against hun­dreds of other crowd­fund­ing ap­peals ev­ery­one is look­ing for money - and some of these ap­peals are re­ally heart-wrench­ing, hu­man emo­tion stories, where peo­ple need money for can­cer treat­ment and things like that. To most of the public, ‘Lizzie’ is prob­a­bly just a big lump of metal, and not a spe­cial case. But we’re im­plor­ing those who ap­pre­ci­ate LMS ‘Pacifics’ and who un­der­stand the ur­gency of our sit­u­a­tion to chip in now. We re­ally are say­ing to peo­ple: ‘Buddy, can you spare a dime?’.” The 6201 so­ci­ety has had a slightly more en­cour­ag­ing re­sponse to an ap­peal to its own mem­bers to ‘buy a boiler tube’, at a cost of £105. The ap­peal was an­nounced in the PELS news­let­ter pub­lished in early Fe­bru­ary. Af­ter ten days, the ap­peal had raised £2,000. The group is also un­veil­ing an­other fundraiser which it is call­ing ‘A day with a Princess’. For a £5,000 donation, par­tic­i­pants will get a day (six hours) on the foot­plate with Chief En­gi­neer Si­mon Scott, two nights’ stay at a lo­cal ho­tel, two years’ mem­ber­ship to the so­ci­ety, a pair of 6201 over­alls and safety boots, and a range of sou­venirs. Ad­di­tion­ally, the so­ci­ety is mak­ing a claim un­der its in­sur­ance pol­icy for loss of earn­ings amount­ing to more than £50,000, af­ter it was forced by me­chan­i­cal fail­ure to can­cel a pro­posed trip to Scar­bor­ough for the PRCLT. Fore­casts Clive Mo­jon­nier: “With a fol­low­ing wind, if we get the sup­port that we be­lieve ex­ists for ‘Lizzie’, there’s a chance we could be back up and run­ning again on the main line be­fore the end of the sum­mer. We’re dig­ging deep, and we’re im­plor­ing oth­ers to do the same.” ❚❚For more in­for­ma­tion on the emer­gency ap­peal, see www.just­giv­ing.com/ crowd­fund­ing/6201PL

JOHN STORER

‘lizzie’s’ penul­ti­mate rail­tour be­fore it failed:➧no. 6201 passes Bar­row-upon-trent on➧novem­ber 5 with the➧rail­way➧tour­ing Com­pany’s ‘Cheshire­man’.

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