Fitting of the springs to the coupled wheels is complete and they are supporting the weight of the chassis. Attention then turned to the brake shaft under the cab and this has been trial fitted. We just need to make the fitted bolts for the support brackets before this job can be completed. Most of the other components for the braking mechanism are in various stages of manufacture with the aim of having a working handbrake in due course.
The driver’s reversing mechanism is now bolted down in the cab although there are still some finishing touches to be done to this component at the time of writing.
An initial trial fitting of the slide bars has taken place.
The four atomisers for the lubrication system have been cast and await machining.
Our 2019 calendar is now ready and may be purchased from Barbara at a cost of £7.50 (includes P+P). The calendar is a pictorial memento of the wheeling of 82045 in April 2018 and we are grateful to our friend and supporter Steve Harris for his coverage of the days events and for allowing us to use his images.
Please send a cheque payable to “The 82045 SLT “ (£7.50 per calendar) and your address to Barbara who will post your order to you.
Well, this really did set the hare running! I've had getting on for a hundred replies since the subject was first broached in the May updates and then featured in the last-but-one issue of Steam Railway and I would like to thank all those who responded: whatever the views expressed, they were almost without exception courteous and well-argued. The majority opinion (though it was not a huge majority) was that this is not the direction in which we should be heading, and that the idea on which the project was predicated should be adhered to, i.e. that 82045 is intended first and foremost for use on preserved railways. Others argued that the prospect of the engine running - at least on a limited basis - on the national network is one that is worth pursuing.
I have tried to act as an honest broker throughout, and my personal view (not without regret) is that the majority opinion is correct. However, I do think that the subject might well come up for consideration again when 82045 is heading towards its first ten-year overhaul, by which time any novelty value will have worn off. Of course (and it's probably just as well) none of us knows what the next decade has in store, but I still like to remember the advice I was given many years ago by a friend from the Stanier Mogul Fund: "Never say never!"
To my eternal regret I have the engineering know-how of a baboon (some of my dear colleagues would probably say that's an insult to baboons) and, suspecting that I am a danger to myself and to everyone else, I have seldom taken part in weekly working parties in recent years. You all know expressions such as "chocolate tea-pot" or "chocolate fire-guard" - well, that's about the size of it, and I decided some time ago that I should acknowledge my limitations and that the best and safest contribution I could make to the project would be from behind my desk. I can only admire from afar the skills of the 82045 team, and these came home to me most vividly on a recent Wednesday visit to our Bridgnorth base.
The first jolt I received was the sight - glimpsed above the sandstone wall you see on your right as you drive up the station approach road - of the perfect front end of a BR 3MT 2-6-2 tank, evidently awaiting the guard's tip before proceeding towards Shrewsbury. The rest of the loco appeared to be obscured by intervening machinery, so that the only thing needed to complete the illusion was the required plume of smoke.
The second moment of epiphany came later in the day as I watched the gang trial-fitting the reverser and saw John Pagett winding the characteristic BR Standard bacon slicer into and out of forward and reverse gear, and the shining screw moving sweetly to and fro. Of course, what it needed was some linkage and valve gear to operate, but you had the feeling that these could not be too far behind.
What a lot has been achieved since those early days, when we were so often the butt of ridicule, sometimes of the most uncalled-for kind. I was astonished earlier this year when Treasurer Alan Brighouse told the AGM that more than a million pounds had been raised during the life of the 82045 project so far: I knew it was a lot, but this was more than I'd ever imagined. I had started to hope that my job was done and that I would soon be able to throw all that remains of my energy into starting a project to build my favourite locomotive of all time*.
Alas, that illusion was shattered when I was told that we need to raise several hundred thousand pounds over and above what our established income streams will bring in over the remainder of the build time in order that more work can be contracted out to speed completion. After questioning this amount - after all, as the bloke primarily responsible for raising the ackers I have to have some reasonably concrete figures to work with - I have concluded that 82045 needs about £150-£200,000 still to be raised to do the job.
As reported in the June updates, I now have an enthusiastic publicity team and we are scratching our heads as to how best to go about this. We have a number of ideas that we are working on, but I am now going to ask if there is anyone out there who would be prepared to help us with a loan of the order of the figures quoted above to be taken on a draw-down basis as required. If you think you can help, please get in touch, in confidence, on 01928 787255, email@example.com. While I cannot promise you a nice financial return on the investment, I can promise that we will repay your loan as quickly as we possibly can and that we will be eternally grateful to you: how you would like to be recognised would be entirely up to you.
*Stanier/Ivatt "Duchess" Pacific no. 46256 Sir William A. Stanier, FRS. I'd die happy!
Two pictures of the reversing mechanism in the cab. Photos: Tony Massau.
The initial trial fitting of the slide bars on the driver’s side of the loco. Photo: John Pagett.
Our 2019 calendar.