Welcome to the 82045 Locomotive Fund website. Practical Steam for the 21st Century.

82045 Project Background 1997 - 2001

By John Besley

The idea

My own memories of the 82000’s are fairly scanty, being born in 1959 I can recall seeing green 82’s on the Cambrian at Newtown and above the beach at Aberdovey, also I must have seen them at Waterloo as we travelled up from Devon to London on the Southern on a regular basis. Oddly enough my Father was building a model railway based on the Cambrian, and the first engine that was purchased was the Triang-Hornby 82, No 82004, this has now gone the way of most model railways after several house moves and has been long since been disposed of.

It first dawned on me way back in 1975 when the Locomotion replica was built for the Stockton and Darlington 150, I remember thinking that maybe one day some one would build a BR Standard, little guessing what would happen some 23 years later. The whole idea behind building 82045 started during 1997 when it became clear to me that there was a shortage of suitable motive power on most heritage railways. By taking a piece of paper and listing the main requirements of the average railway in this country, it soon became an outline specification list for the ideal locomotive.

Back in 1973 it was brought home quite forcible to me when 4472 “Flying Scotsman” was running on the ‘Paignton & Dartmouth’ railway that a big engine whilst granted brings in the crowds also plays havoc with the track. After running for 7 weeks every day (apart from washout days) in one direction without any turning facilities was starting to side cut the flanges on some of the tighter curves. This lead to her being withdrawn from traffic and our having to reprofile the flanges with a tool mounted on the brake hanger (this was in the days of there being wheel lathes immediately available).

At the same time 4588 a 2-6-2 was working as well as 6412 a 0-6-0 on the main service trains with out any problems in fact 4588 was better than 6412 in this respect. I can well remember the old charge hand ganger saying that a smaller engine also gave less wear and tear on the track bed as well as the track its self, the main advantage being in the leading and trailing trucks leading the engine into the curves. Looking at the operating cost a large engine consumes far more coal, oil and water to do the same task. Why else did branch lines use small engines? Apart from one or two lines in this country most is an average of 9 miles and for the most during the week (not weekends) a 2-6-2 is the ideal size.

Okay we have now established why a 2-6-2 is a good idea, so why don’t we start from scratch and build a brand new design. Before I started working on 82045 I seriously looked at doing just that but quickly came up against problems. If we built a new design it would have to have a new design safety case, don’t forget all heritage railways come under the transport act the same as Railtrack. This would need very expensive design work and would in all probability have to have forward facing cabs at both ends not unlike the Bullied ‘Leader’s’ (like the failed USA deigned ACE 3000). It would also have limited functional use in this country apart from the novelty value, which would soon wear off, as it would be inconceivable that EWS or any one else would ever buy one. This can be got round by building an existing design as it would then obtain approval on ‘Grandfather Rights’

While it might be seen to be staying in the past to keep to the typical arrangement of Stephenson type boiler with fire tubes, any too radical design changes would become expensive to both build and maintain on a one off set up. Fuel would have to be coal as to do the job properly an oil fired design would have to have a designated fuel oil designed boiler as the requirements for oil firing differ to traditional fossil fuel. Crewing would have to again be for a two man crew unless the engine was going to be permanently coupled up to an auto trailer, as don’t forget that the Fireman also helps keep a look out, especially when running smokebox first when the boiler obscures the view forward. I know that in Switzerland there are one man engines, these are oil fired but are set up for rack operated mountain climbing with a flat cab back and permanently running ‘bunker first’ with a driving trailer at the other end.  From the operational point of view there is nothing to be gained in having more than two cylinders (both on the outside) as well as with a high running plate giving easy access to all the relevant parts for servicing. Inside cylinder engines are a pain in the neck (literally!) when a piston and valve exam is due, as the front end has to be dismantled to withdraw the valves for examination.     

Right by taking the above points into consideration we come out with the following constraints, a modern design is required for the following reasons.


Add to the above certain improvements

As is now becoming increasingly clear, many loco’s that have come out of Barry scrap yard are costing more and more money to rebuild after standing around in open sites since they were purchased. Add to this the fact that metal deteriorates over a given period of time by the time these engines are put back into traffic there is apart from the frames, wheels and boiler little else left of the original loco. Taking into consideration that some loco’s boilers have had so much cut out and replaced in some cases it is now possibly only slightly more expensive to build a new boiler than repair the old one. After all when locos went through the works before for a heavy general the boilers would be changed for a spare. No new boilers had been made for mainline locos in this country for about thirty-five years; many locos are running today with boilers that are at least forty years old or older.

When taking all the above into account it starts to make sense building a new locomotive. So in the end after much thought rather than sit around waiting for some one to win the lottery I decided to do something about it. As the saying goes “The race of a thousand miles starts with the first step” At the time, I made a start there was considerable talk in the railway press regarding the need for new locomotives to operate. After much thought I decided to write a letter to “Steam Railways” just to see what sort of response I could generate, this letter appeared at first as an appeal to form a group to design a class 3 type. By the time the letter had been printed it had become clear that this was going to become a BR class 3 82000 and not a hybrid.

Having listed up the specification and then going through many reference books what emerged was more or less a specification the same as the BR Class 3 2-6-2T. My first idea was to set too and design a new engine, but this soon became impractical owing to the necessary type approval that would govern a new design. By building from an existing design, type approval would be granted on “Grandfather Rights”, as after all there is no point in building a locomotive if you cannot use it. So why not build the next 82000, No 82045, of which the order was placed with Swindon under Lot No 416 and thus fill the gap in the ranks of preserved BR Standards.

After the first letter appeared in the April 1998 issue (no it wasn’t an April fool’s joke!) I received a couple of encouraging comments from Paul Mercer who agreed that it was a good idea but now what? In the next issue there appeared a letter from Nigel Emery who was putting forward the same idea that I was working on. Between the three of us it became clear that the only way this project was going to get off the ground would be if we looked a lot deeper into the feasibility of building a class 3.

An approach to the National Railway Museum as to what plans they held if any on the 82000’s, produced the surprise that yes they had most of the Swindon Works Tracings on file, and yes we could acquire a copy of the list. By this time contact had been made with one or two other groups to get some help in what direction to move. We knew that with the A1 group building “Tornado” the main ingredients had been mixed if on a slightly larger engine, also by this time I had started talking to the “Clan “ group who’s long term plan unknown to us was to build other missing BR Standards. So as to gain a higher profile to attract the right sort of assistance we purchased some general arrangement plans and made the Smokebox Numberplate. Now we were committed.

So as to give us an approximate idea of costings using other projects as a guide I calculated that 82045 would work out as follows: -





Frames assembled as rolling chassis




Bunker & cab




Cab fittings & other pipework





£ 448,000.00

Quite how accurate we would be remained to be seen.


The July 1998 issue of “Steam Railways” then carried a short news article to spread the idea in a positive maner that 82045 was going to be built. Other articles also appeared in “The Railway Magazine”, “Railway World” and “Steam Classic”.

The 10th of October 1998 saw us attend the regular BR Standard Locomotive Owners Group bi-annual meeting which was held at the West Somerset Railway, this meeting was to prove extremely useful in putting us into contact with other groups and more importantly with a source of parts. At the same time we came away with a huge pile of plans to sort through, as well as a couple of brass castings and stainless steel springs for the steam heat carriage warming valve.    

One task that had to be tackled was converting all the old photocopies of original BR specification sheets to a readable format; this was done by scanning these into a computer program and enriching the text so it could actually be read. The material specification ran to some fifty pages, all of which had to be modified, the next task after this was to convert these specifications to what was currently available. Our one problem was going to be that certain materials were no longer commercially available and would have to be substituted with modern equivalents once these had been approved, something that would have to be tackled in due time.

Bearing in mind that the original build specification sheets for the 82000’s are some fifty years old and although the NRM held the originals, we could not photocopy them, this was due to the very fragile state of the original sheets. A decision was taken to use the build specification of the BR class 4 tanks. This had the advantage that the specification was put together allowing for the class to be built at Brighton, Derby and Doncaster, whereas the class 3’s were all built at Swindon and certain items were “just got on with in house” so to speak.

At the same time as all this was going on a couple of other groups who were working on the same type of replica/new build projects decided to form a joint group along the lines of BRSLOG so as to pool ideas, help and advice but more importantly so as to give all of us credibility. A member of the P2 team coined the name “NEWT”, standing for New Engine Working Team, this of course gave us a logo in addition, a rather catchy name! The first meeting of NEWT was held at the end of January 1999 and got off to a good start with the aim of putting together a common standard of procedures for all of the groups involved in building new locomotives.

At the same time the first components for 82045 were placed on order, as rather than wait for large sums of money to accumulate to manufacture some major parts like the frames, a decision was taken to start collecting some of the smaller parts together, with the eventual aim of building the cab and bunker first. Of course it goes without saying that the first items to be made were the Smokebox Numberplate and 72A Shedplate along with the Self-Cleaning plate. This had the advantage of giving us the chance to start finding the right companies or persons who would be able to manufacture components to the standards we were looking for, as well as getting used to quality checking the finished items. This also had the psychological effect of giving us something to ‘touch and see’ as opposed to looking at a pile of plans and our bank balance! Of course there were one or two people who thought otherwise, but at the end of the day we would need all of the smaller items to finish off the main parts. It also was easier to find storage at homes for smaller items than trying to store a set of frame plates in the back garden!

During the latter part of 1998 we started talking to ‘The Standard Steam Locomotive Company Ltd’ with aim of working alongside them in the building of 72010 and our own 82045, it making sense with two BR Standards being built we could help each other out. The SSLC finally found a home to build 72010 at the Swanage Railways Herston Works a meeting there on the 28th February being a confidence booster in seeing their collection of parts, which at that time numbered some two hundred. At the same time the beginning of their plans to build 77020 a class 3 tender engine was discussed, this had the obvious benefit as there was a lot of common parts between both the 77’s and the 82’s. This would help reduce manufacturing costs in particular on patterns that are common to both engines. For example a projected cost of the cylinder pattern which works out at approximately £8000.00 becomes £4000.00 per loco, if we can add some more 82000’s it doesn’t take a genius to see that costs come down and down per loco.

The end of February 1999 saw the first membership forms being sent out with a start on acquiring members along with other interested parties. On the 20th March we attended the Bi-annual meeting of BRSLOG at Llangollen where we picked up our first casting the drivers brake valve all fully machined and assembled. At the same time some more useful contacts were made concerning parts as well as plans, with the hunt for a set of buffers taking another step forward, it also is becoming clear that there is general interest in building 82045 as well as possibly others.

At last the end of March saw the hunt for buffers over, as after many phone calls all over the country M C Metal Processing Ltd of Glasgow found a set of four from off an 08 in their yard. All that had to be done was arrange for a haulage firm to collect them and deliver down to Devon; this was finally completed by the end of April. After an initial time stored at Buckfastleigh they were moved over to my home and stored in the garden to allow restoration to take place. On May the 27th Westcountry Television came and filmed me at Buckfastleigh along with all the items that I had, had made so far, this went out on prime time some few days later. 

In an effort to raise some funds a sponsored walk was held on Saturday July 17th at the Grand Western Canal near Tiverton. The day being warm and sunny, with the walk starting at 10.30am and going well accompanied by some members of my family reached Tiverton some time around 2.00pm having stopped for refreshment partway, as well as frequent stops for the younger members to catch up. The highlight of the walk was seeing a grass snake swimming across the canal and coming right up to our feet, the walk was successful in raising some £200 although only a small amount but all of this was to go towards the fund.

The other main event of 1999 was putting the drawings of the bunker components onto CAD; this was done with the help of one of my customers who had a very good drawing program. To enable us to obtain a competitive from British Steel these drawings had to be drawn up in metric as well as imperial, the down side to this was that it cost us a fair bit to get done. Having seen the rapid progress that was happening to 72010 at Herston Works at the AGM on the 11th September; I decided that the time was ripe to launch the 82045 project officially. The date for this event was set as Saturday the 20thof November the meeting to be held at Buckfastleigh on the South Devon Railway.

The meeting produced a flurry of interest in our aims as along with all the drawings I had in hand I also took all the parts I had had made (not the buffers as I didn’t have a crane on the back of my VW minibus!). The actual meeting produced one or two questions that needed looking into the main one being the setting up of a proper committee to help steer 82045 in the right direction, and to investigate the feasibility of fund raising.

During 2000 there was very little progress apart from gathering funds and moving house, which in itself was no mean task with locomotive parts to go on the removal truck! A feeler was put out for other parts and certain drawings converted to metric measurements for production.

After the lull over the preceding months by the late spring of 2001 a chance phone call from Paul Mercer tipping me of to a Standard 3 chimney for sale, lead me to purchasing this from Trevor Smith in Stourbridge. The chimney in question turned out to be off 77014 which was the very last engine to run on the Southern in 1967 when she hauled a short parcel train from Poole to Weymouth on that last day of Southern steam.

77014 was built at Swindon in July 1954 and arrived on the Southern at Guildford in March 1966 after working a LCGB special from Northwich to Guildford and instead of returning stayed until the end. 77014 was withdrawn in July 1967 and moved to Birds at Risca in the December, where she meet her end in February 1968.

However that was not quite the end for her as Maurice Sheppherd (who was instrumental in 71000 being saved by getting her moved to Woodhams from Cashmores) Newport brought the cab side along with most of the cab fittings and the chimney. In April 1991 Trevor Smith brought the chimney from Maurice with the rest of the fittings and cab sides going to a collector in Basingstoke.

At some stage between the chimney being cut off at Birds and Maurice selling it to Trevor an inverted L shaped fracture crack appeared in the outer wall of the chimney. This spread vertically to the point where the two walls of the chimney meet and this then turned left horizontally to run round under the rim. Once I had brought the chimney home I dropped it off at Northfield Foundry in Brixham who successfully cut out the crack and stitch wielded the fracture back together. Finally the chimney was collected back and unloaded at home with the help of a friendly neighbour on 5 July.

While this was going on a complete set of sand guns and traps was located and purchased, at the same time a set of gauge frames and glasses without the pedestal was offered to us.

By early 2002 I was running out of time that I could spend on the project with other commitments along with a house move again (this time with even more parts to move) and with further discussions with Tony Massau he along with Chris Proudfoot took on the project with a move of all parts to eventually the SVR.