The project to build a standard 3MT 2-6-2T started in the late 1990’s although there was no real progress for some years.
The 82045 Locomotive Fund (as it was then known) maintained a fairly low profile, though a great deal of hard work was being done behind the scenes in order to put the project on a sound footing. The Fund has built up a rapidly growing nucleus of enthusiastic and supportive members and is quietly confident of success with this comparatively simple, practical new build scheme.
The driving force behind the project to build 82045 has been the belief that with many of the existing steam engines being at least 50 years old that maintenance costs and repairs will be increasingly more expensive and thus a major problem for locomotive owners. Those involved in the 82045 project believed that the answer was to build new locomotives that could operate efficiently on heritage railways and help to extend the lives of existing engines.
The group considered that the SVR was an ideal home for the new locomotive as it has a sixteen-mile operating length, is historically correct for this locomotive since examples of the class worked over the line throughout the 1950’s and early 1960’s and there was a very good pool of engineering knowledge.
The latter point has enabled many jobs that would otherwise have had to be put out to contract to be done in-house, and continues to many thousands of pounds. The plan was thus to do as much work with volunteer staff as possible with other work being done by the SVR at Bridgnorth under contract.
The 82045 Locomotive Trust (as it subsequently became) also believed that significant costs could be avoided as many of the required cast parts could be made from patterns held by fellow members of the British Railways Standard Locomotive Owners Group (BRSLOG) including the pattern for the Pony Truck Wheels.
- By Autumn 2004 approximate costing of the major components had been produced and an estimate of the cost of the boiler and firebox work was awaited. The main priority was to recruit new members to the 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust and attract additional funding.
- In the Spring of 2005 the centre pair of driving wheels from Standard class 4 2-6-0 76080 were acquired. This has not been used for 82045 as it was discovered that the wheel had 16 spokes whereas the Standard class 3MT tank had 17 spokes despite being the same size.
- By Spring 2006 further drawings of the frames, driving wheels and axles had been purchased.
- During 2006 the emphasis continued to be on fund raising.
- Early in 2007 the two main frame plates were made and some machining work undertaken at a cost of approximately £10,000. The next phase identified was the construction of the frame stretchers, Smokebox saddle, buffer beams, horn guides and horn stays which could then be fitted to the main frame once this was suitably drilled. Consideration was also given to the creation of the leading and trailing driving wheels and axles.
- In June and July 2007 the Severn Valley Railway suffered a lot of damage due to freak storms which severed the line north of Bewdley which prevented the frames being moved to Bridgenorth.
- In early 2008 an order was placed with The Boro’Foundry Ltd for the drilling of the frame plates. Work was also commissioned to reinforce the concrete apron of the site at Bridgnorth in order to accommodate the frames when drilled.
- By September 2008 the membership of the 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust had increased to 81 but it was recognised that additional members were required along with further funding. In November 2008 the drilled frames were returned to Bridgnorth.
- The front and rear buffer beams were produced by Corus and drilled at Boro’ Foundry Ltd.
- The castings of the horn stays, pony truck centres and buffer beam gussets were made by Trefoil Steel & Co to SVR patterns.
- The order was placed for the copper for the inner firebox and firebox tube-plate was placed with the SVR.
- The Fund became a company limited by guarantee.
- Effort was concentrated in completing the work on the frames rather than progressing components of the boiler and firebox.
- The Trust was granted charitable status.
- Funding was secured to enable the work to complete the frame assembly.
- The two pony truck stretchers were completed.
- The fabrication of frame stretcher/pony truck pivot centre supports were manufactured.
- There was a break-in at Bridgnorth which resulted in the theft of copper including that for 82045.
- The fabrication of the smokebox saddle was completed.
- Plans were drawn up to raise the estimated £150,000 to wheel the chassis.
- The motion brackets were cast.
- An order was placed for the pattern making and casting of the cylinder assemblies with Cerdic Foundries Ltd.
- The front footplating was completed
- The motion brackets were bolted to the frames
- Much time was spent on preparing the manganese liner plates and fitting them to the horn guides and horn blocks.
- The arrival of the forgings for the two connecting rods marked the first stage in the acquisition of the various components of the Walschaert’s valve gear.
- An order was placed for casting the brackets which support the driving wheels.
- The driving wheel pattern was completed and the wheels cast by Boro’Foundry Ltd.
- A regulator casting was made at the same time as one for Standard class 4 locomotive.
- An order was placed with the South Devon Railway Engineering Ltd for the axles and tyres for the driving wheels together with all the machining and fitting work including the crankpins.
- An order was placed to cast the cylinders at Cedric Foundries
- Casting of the axleboxes for the driving wheels was undertaken.
- The second cylinder was cast.
- The tyres for the driving wheels arrived from South Africa and were fitted to the driving wheels at Buckfastleigh.
- A contract to fabricate the bunker was awarded to the Ffestiniog Railway at Boston Lodge Works.
- Stephenson Engineering manufactured the brake shaft.
- The pony truck wheels were cast by Boro’ Foundry Ltd.
- The cylinders were delivered to Bridgnorth.
- The fabrication of the ashpan commenced
- The bunker and smokebox door arrived at Bridgnorth
- The cylinders were attached to the chassis.
- Orders were placed for items including the smokebox wrapper, patterns for the chimney and superheater header and patterns for all the end covers on the cylinders and steam chests.
- Approval for the construction of the boiler to a traditional design was approved by the relevant authorities.
- An orderwas placed for casting the rear cylinder covers.
- Various parts of the cab structure arrived at Bridgnorth from the laser profiler in flat pack form.
- An order was placed for rolling the boiler barrel sections with Barnshaws.
- An order was placed with the South Devon Railway for pressing the various plates into shape to make up a Belpaire firebox.
- A chimney and vacumn exhaust ring were produced by Boro’Foundry Ltd.
- The driving wheels were delivered to Bridgnorth from the South Devon Railway.
- Work continues swaging the ends of the taper section of the boiler barrel.
Early in 2017 it was expected that by the middle of 2017 the rolling chassis, firebox and boiler are planned to come together. It is hoped that the shell of the boiler will be completed at Bridgnorth by the end of 2017.
The construction of the steel tanks is to be undertaken at Dinas on the Welsh Highland Railway.
A programme for the boiler assembly was agreed with the Severn Valley Railway with a target completion date of June/July 2018. The target date for the first steaming is 2019.
In April 2018 the frame of the locomotive was lowered onto the its coupled wheelset.
In order to have the locomotive in steam as soon as possible it was decided to put more work out to contract. The SVR wish to see the locomotive in service six months after the work on the boiler is completed.
Whilst the locomotive may steam in 2021 on the Severn Valley Railway it will not run on the main line until at least after its next boiler certificate.
It was announced in January 2019 that the locomotive had been lifted onto the tracks at the Severn Valley Railway. This enables work to continue in the erecting shop.