‘Patriot’ boiler trial-fit­ted

Ded­i­ca­tion of The Un­known War­rior marks cen­te­nary of Ar­mistice.

Steam Railway (UK) - - CONTENTS -

A‘com­plete’ par­al­lel-boil­ered ‘Patriot’ has ap­peared for the first time since 1962 – at Crewe – in time for Re­mem­brance Sun­day.

New-build Fowler ‘5XP’ 4-6-0 No. 5551 The Un­known War­rior had its boiler trial-fit­ted into the frames for the first time on Novem­ber 5 at Crewe Her­itage Cen­tre – where, on Satur­day Novem­ber 10, the new crest on its name­plate was un­veiled by Falk­lands War vet­eran Si­mon We­ston CBE, pa­tron of the LMS-Patriot Project. Chap­lain Mike Roberts of the Rail­way Mis­sion then ded­i­cated this ‘Na­tional Memo­rial Lo­co­mo­tive’ to those lost in con­flict.

Among those present were Gra­ham Wood, grand­son of Vic­to­ria Cross win­ner and LNWR foot­plate­man Wil­fred Wood – af­ter whom ‘Patriot’ No. 45536 was named – and rel­a­tives of LNWR plate­layer Ernest Sykes, ‘5XP’ No. 45537’s name­sake.

To make the lo­co­mo­tive ap­pear even more com­plete – and give a fore­taste of its first steam­ing, now an­tic­i­pated in late 2019 – it wore an orig­i­nal chim­ney from No. 45539 E.C. Trench, and was paired with a Fowler 3,500-gal­lon ten­der for the first time, the lat­ter bor­rowed from the East Lan­cashire Rail­way’s un­der-over­haul ‘Crab’ No. 13065. In re­turn for the loan, the LMS-Patriot Project has agreed that No. 5551 will visit the ELR when fin­ished.

The con­tract to com­plete the ‘Patriot’s’ own ten­der chas­sis has been awarded to Leaky Find­ers, the boiler re­pair and en­gi­neer­ing firm set up by Dart­mouth Steam Rail­way boil­er­smith Rory Ed­wards (SR480). Com­bin­ing a new set of frames with the wheelsets and axle­boxes from an ex-Barry Fowler ten­der, the chas­sis is ex­pected to be com­plete in six months.

Cur­rently still at the ‘Patriot’s’ pre­vi­ous con­struc­tion base of the Llan­gollen Rail­way, the ten­der frames were due to move in late Novem­ber to a site near Ex­eter for Leaky Find­ers to carry out the work, over­seen by for­mer West Som­er­set Rail­way Chief Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neer Andy Forster.

The LMS-Patriot Project will shortly be seek­ing quo­ta­tions for the con­struc­tion of the ten­der tank, with a view to plac­ing an or­der as soon as Chief En­gi­neer Kevin West has com­pleted its CAD draw­ings.

An­other type of ten­der will be oc­cu­py­ing the group’s minds in the com­ing weeks – ten­der doc­u­ments are be­ing sent out for the con­tract to com­plete the en­gine’s bot­tom half, fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion by the Llan­gollen Rail­way to un­der­take no fur­ther work on it (SR485).

Ty­se­ley Lo­co­mo­tive Works, the Princess Royal Class Lo­co­mo­tive Trust, Rail­way Forg­ings & Cast­ings Ltd (run by Keith Bot­tom­ley, owner of ‘9F’ No. 92207) and Ri­ley & Son (E) Ltd have all ex­pressed in­ter­est.

How­ever, it was re­vealed at the LMS-Patriot Project’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing at Crewe on Novem­ber 10 that the group is also con­sid­er­ing the op­tion of com­plet­ing the job by it­self.

With the boiler found to fit sat­is­fac­to­rily into the frames, Her­itage Boiler Steam Ser­vices will now con­tinue its con­struc­tion and in­ter­nal fit­ting-out, with the aim of com­plet­ing it next spring.

It is ex­pected that the su­per­heater header will be cast soon – the last large com­po­nent still out­stand­ing for the lo­co­mo­tive, with the de­liv­ery of the re­verser shaft.

Fit­ting of the lat­ter will per­mit the assem­bly of the mo­tion once a prob­lem with the key­ways on the re­turn cranks has been re­solved; and while the ‘Patriot’ may not be ready to go yet, it is able to stop, thanks to the fit­ting of its steam brake cylin­der and brake rig­ging.

●● See also pages 38/39.

JOHN HASTINGSTHOMSON/ LMS-PATRIOT PROJECT

Falk­lands War vet­eran Si­mon We­ston CBE un­veils the new crest (in­set) on Novem­ber 10.

PETE SIKES/ LMS-PATRIOT PROJECT

‘Patriot’ No. 5551 The Un­known War­rior with its boiler in the frames at Crewe on Re­mem­brance Sun­day.

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