82045 becomes a 2-6-2 for the first time! Monday 6th December. Photo: Jim Norman.
By Tony Massau
The morning of Monday 6th December found 82045 already positioned over the wheeldrop in the erecting shop with the pony trucks awaiting fitting. There followed a very slick and professional operation by a team of full-time staff lead by Will Marsh in fitting the pony trucks under 82045 culminating in a movement down the yard in the rain and a return to the erecting shop, whereupon the sun came out.
With the pony trucks now in their rightful place attention can now turn to other matters of the construction of the loco, some examples being continuation of lubrication pipework, fitting of slide bars, reversing shaft and more.
Firebox work continues and Mendip Steam Restoration Ltd. have manufactured a steam dome for the boiler barrel. This is currently in two sections and arrangements are progressing for the SVR's contract coded welder to weld the two sections together to complete the job.
Pictured here by grandmother Josie at Bridgnorth on November 21st is eight-year-old Tristan Edwards with his dad.
Following a visit to the SVR Gala in September, Josie wrote to us to say that steam-mad Tristan had been fascinated by the idea of a completely new steam locomotive being built, and so Chris arranged for three generations of the Edwards family to return to Bridgnorth in November and have a good look at progress on 82045. Thanks to Martin White for giving us permission to visit the mpd, and to Duty Shedmaster Dave Ward for making us so welcome. In addition to getting up close and personal with the Riddles tank, Tristan also went up aloft on to the footplate of Standard 4 75069 and was given a very rudimentary first lesson in how to fire and drive a steam loco.
Tristan lives with mum and dad, Ally and Tom, in Cleobury Mortimer, nice and strategic for a future on the SVR? Let's hope so: our hobby will expire with us if there are not sufficient young folks to take our place. Welcome to the 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust, Tristan!
By Chris Proudfoot
It is horrifying the way that time seems to fly faster and faster with every year that goes by. I've just looked at the notes for 2020 and can hardly believe it's one day short of a year since I wrote them. I think we were all hoping for a better year in 2021, but alas it hasn't really turned out that way: in many ways it has been a bloody awful year, and with no one putting money on the fact that we won't be subjected to yet more lockdowns in the new year, it is hard to be all that positive about the immediate future.
Nevertheless, the project has bucked the generally gloomy trend to a remarkable degree: our chaps have continued to meet regularly for the twice-weekly working parties for most of the year, our members remain as generous as ever (a cheque for £7,000 arrived in this morning's post - thanks very, very much, sir!), and the year has ended on a high note with 82045 becoming a 2-6-2 rolling chassis for the first time. Tony's notes for the months October-December give a full account of the three-part operation, which started on 18th October with the movement of the completed pony assemblies from our site at Bridgnorth to the yard headshunt and culminated with a flawless wheeling operation on 6th December. All concerned deserve the greatest congratulations, and it is very pleasing to be able to report on the excellent cooperation that now exists between the Trust and the SVR. The project would almost certainly never have got off the ground without having a solid and reputable base - in the very early days, when we were about as popular as a dose of scabies, Tony was for a while seriously contemplating a disused barn near Macclesfield as the build site - and the relationship is of course one of mutual benefit, as the new engine is going to be a money-spinner for the Valley, at least until the novelty wears off.
I don't want to say too much about the other areas of progress with 82045, as these belong more appropriately to 2022, but I can assure you that there's plenty to be happy about, not least the splendid work being done on assembling the boiler and firebox. Once thought of (not by us) as 'project impossible', this, the single most expensive item of the build, is fully and comfortably funded, and we should have a complete unit, ready for trial-fitting, within the next few months. We are hopeful that the delay in delivering the coupling and connecting rods - no one's fault, it has been caused by circumstances beyond anyone's control - won't last too much longer. It will be lovely to see our smart coupled wheels turning in synchro when the engine moves.
The question as to whether the Trust might undertake another loco a la A1 Steam Locomotive Trust continues to crop up from time to time. It would be great to be able to announce that there's another one on the stocks, but that isn't really on the cards, unless someone else would like to take up the baton. I'd be happy to try and raise funds again but I think our chaps will be only too glad to hang up their boiler suits (I was going to say 'tools', but that might be open to misinterpretation) once 82045 is up and running. It certainly isn't something to be undertaken lightly, and I do wonder whether - to quote the sad old song 'MacArthur Park' - we would ever find the recipe again. It's a shame that the two schemes to build a 77XXX seem to have fallen by the wayside, as this would have been the logical loco to go for: despite appearances, the Class 3 mogul is about 90% identical to 82045 and has the advantage of being able to carry twice as much coal and water. Ah well, never say never...
Well, I think it's about time to wrap up now and light a candle, put on my nightcap, mutter 'Pooh, pooh!' (yes, Scrooge really does say that after he's had a fright with the doorknocker; 'humbug' comes a bit later) and stagger off upstairs for a bowl of gruel, so may I just wish you all the very best for the season and for 2022 - well, we can hope.
And thank you all for your fantastic support down the years: please continue to stick with us,
floreamus omnes nunc semperque
The first of a series of photos from John Titlow following the proscess of installing the front and rear pony trucks, here the front pony truck is ready to be fitted. Photo: John Titlow.
The rear pony truck of 82045 sitting on the wheel drop inside Bridgnorth Shed. Photo: John Titlow.
The rear pony truck of 82045 are being lowered in the wheel drop. Photo: John Titlow.
The rear pony truck being raised in the wheel drop. Photo: John Titlow. Photo: John Titlow.
The rear pony truck almost in place. Photo: John Titlow.
Viewed from underneath with the rear pony truck in place. Photo: John Titlow.
The front pony truck of 82045 before fitting. Photo: John Titlow.
The front pony truck raised up and being fitted. Photo: John Titlow.
With both pony trucks fitted 82045 is now a 2-6-2! Photo: John Titlow.
In lashing rain 82045 as a 2-6-2 is hauled by D3586 into the daylight for the first time. Photo: John Titlow.
Members of the 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust team with their 2-6-2 loco in the yard. Photo: John Titlow.
Members of the 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust with the now 2-6-2 back inside Bridgnorth shed. Photo: John Titlow.
Meanwhile in the boilershop work contiunes assembling the outer firebox with the washout plug holes drilled and tapped in the firebox backhead. Photos: Jim Norman.
Two photos showing the new steam dome for the boiler barrel. Photos: Richard Philips.
The fitting the new pony trucks and moving from the shed captured on video by the Severn Valley Railway.