The GCR 567 Locomotive Group has been formed to construct a classic Victorian express steam locomotive using original designs and modern techniques. Once combined with the carriages of the Great Central Railway Rolling Stock Trust it will re-create a typical Edwardian train from the early years of the Great Central Railway’s London Extension.
The locomotive willl incorporate some minor changes, the new 567 will be externally indistinguishable from its predecessors.
Investigations undertaken when creating the design for the new frames showed that these locomotives were structurally weak at the front end . The majority of their service life, these engines would have spent coupled to their trains via the tender – for use on preserved lines, the locomotive needs to be able to run Smokebox to train. The GCR567 design team will utilise the later Kitson & Co (1892) build for the frames – these later engines being built with slightly deeper frames
With the weakness being addressed by creating a new front Dragbox – this and other modern updates to improve ease of maintenance, will not be seen from the outside, and will not detract from the visual re-creation of this Victorian Locomotive.
The project is well underway at its base at the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) (GCRN) site in Ruddington just south of Nottingham. The frames have been constructed and the project has benefited from major donor components including a cylinder block, GCR tender and coupling rods. It is estimated it could be complete in ten years at a cost of around half a million pounds.
It is the intention of the 567 Loco Group to build a Great Central Railway Class 2 4-4-0 express steam locomotive that used to haul passenger services out of Manchester.
The locomotive chosen to replicate (as near as possible) was 567 first built at the Gorton Works in Manchester in December, 1890.
By September 2017 the progress made on completion of the frames prompted the view that there would be a complete set of frames ready for wheeling by early 2019.
The target date for steaming the locomotive is 2025.
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