1014 The G.W. County Project
November - December
Some good news to start! The loss of Keith Gilbert was obviously the low spot of the year. Keith produced hundreds of CAD drawings for 1014 (and other locos) besides being a great source of wisdom and ability. However, the services of a chap called John Williams in Norfolk who is a very able CAD designer have been secured. Furthermore, Dicky has been in contact with Chris Hoskin, a very capable engineer. Unfortunately for the Project, he lives in York, but he has already visited NRM on the Project's behalf to look out some drawings. 

Many will be aware that the majority of our budgeted finances for 2017 were swallowed-up by work (some unexpected) on the firebox and boiler barrel, consequently the funds are in the 'red'. To cap it all the LNWR works at Crewe announced in May that they were stopping all work on outside contracts with immediate effect. As a result, David Bradshaw has been working hard to find a new contractor. An alternative has been found by the Patriot Project, in which David Bradshaw was fully involved, as a few of the Crewe staff have started their own company at Butterley. Their first contract is the Patriot boiler, with the possibility of 1014 following. So, for the next year our firebox and barrel is going into store. Thus any income will be going to pay off the overdraft and work on 1014 in 2018 will be subject to a controlled spend. 

To overcome the difficulties encountered, David Bradshaw used an article in the November edition of Railway Magazine (thanks due to editor, Chris Milner) to raise awareness of what is necessary to complete the County Project to complete the set of GWR 4-6-0 classes (anticipating completion of 2999 and 6880 in the next year or two).
Spear-heading his main objective to achieve this is the matter of sponsorship (also considered in 'Getting Involved'):

Boiler

  • Palm Stay Pattern £1,000
  • Palm Stays £165 each
  • Palm Stays - Casting £100
  • Palm Stays - Machining £500
  • Rivet £5 each (thousands required)
  • Bolt £1 (Many required)
  • Superheater - Pattern £2,500 (1 required)
  • Superheater - Casting £2,000 (1 required)
  • Superheater - Machining £2,000 (1 required)
  • 324 Crown Stays £50 each
  • Main Steam Pipe £3,000 (1 required)
  • Transverse Stays £300 each (30 required)
  • 2 Fusible Plugs plus 2 spares £50 each
  • Outside steam pipe casting £288 each
  • Tubeplate £7000

Locomotive

  • 6 loco coupled axle springs £800 each
  • 6 crank pins at £750 each (4 still available)
  • 2 connecting rod forgings £3500 each
  • 2 connecting rods machining £6700 each
  • 2 coupling rod forgings trailing £2652 each
  • 2 coupling rod trailing machining  £7252 each
  • 2 coupling rod forgings front £3200 each
  • 2 coupling rod front machining  £7440
  • 3 Piston rod casting complete with piston rings £3702 each
  • 3 Piston valve rod complete with piston rings £4638 each
  • 2 Pistons £320 each
  • 4 Slidebars £1,200 each
  • 2 Crossheads £2000 each

Tender

  • Pullrods (2) £1800 each
 
Donations, both one-off and regular payments will also be welcome (see 'Getting Involved').

David also suggests the small volunteer team supporting 1014 is no longer adequate on its own, thus the GWS is looking to strengthen it in a number of areas: marketing/publicity, attending galas, and in engineering. if interested in lending a hand in this contact Richard Croucher – richard.croucher@ntlworld.com

As indicated, an appeal for funds to complete County Project being extended beyond GWS membership,  starting with an appeal for £130,000 to complete the boiler by the end of 2019. 

To date 1014 estimated to be 75% complete.

Locomotive Progress:
The boiler issues have dominated, without having much to show for it. The firebox is almost finished, remaining work to be completed is to rivet-up the foundation ring corners before leaving Crewe. Thereafter, the firebox will be placed in store:

Front view of firebox

29/12/2017 - front view of firebox at Crewe (Gavin Shell)

Firebox rear view

29/12/2017 - footplate view of firebox at Crewe (Gavin Shell).

The boiler work is likely to be undertaken by a new firm Heritage Boiler Steam Services (HBSS), established by Robert Adamson & Andrew Wilcock, former chargehand boilersmiths at LNWR Heritage of Crewe.  Robert Adamson started there as an apprentice, while Andrew Wilcock served his apprenticeship with Ian Riley. They are renting part of the Princess Royal Locomotive Trust’s West Shed at Swanwick Junction. 
It was reported in Steam Railway (no. 474) that 1014's firebox is due to move from Crewe to Swanwick, where it will be stored, although formal agreement has not yet been reached for HBSS to assemble 1014's boiler.

Work on the chassis continues. After a year trying to get the axlebox links, they have now been painted and are ready to fit. In the meantime, a couple of problems have emerged regarding clearances between the wheels and frames and wheels and motion bracket, which will have to be checked with the likelihood of work being required.

While the wheel-frame clearance can be sorted out relatively easily, the motion bracket is a different matter. Designed for a Hall with 6’ wheels, there is a noticeable overlap for the County's 6’ 3” wheels, which may mean a redesign.

Tender Progress:
Having fitted the tank base-plate (temporarily) work on the tender continues with efforts to complete the brake system, before commencing welding of the tender tank plates, presently in store at Didcot.
Website Matters:

The aforementioned Railway Magazine article was a culmination of a process of reviewing the Projects needs and future developments. It has been suggested that the website needs a re-vamp, a view shared by the web manager. However, having looked after the website for around ten years, when website construction etc. has moved on, the webmaster feels he is not the man to undertake the modernisation, as he lacks the skills to so do (his main tutor, Mrs. Helpdesk's I.T. skills have not kept-up with those needs either), his circumstances have changed since his move to the Fens seven years ago and having passed the milestone of three score years and ten, feels it is time to wind down - there's lots of other things still to do!!

Consequently, the webmaster is giving notice that he will be standing down from this important role as soon as a replacement person is found or 31 December 2018, which ever comes soonest.

Anyone wishing to take-up the cudgels, please e-mail Terry indicating your interest. If the interest is confirmed Terry (and Mrs. Helpdesk) will offer all the advice we can with regard to creating and maintaining the site, as well as helping in the transfer of the hosting arangements.

My efforts to publicise the Project will continue (see me in Newport in May?!) and I will pay the occasional visit to Didcot to keep an eye on progress. Afterall, I would like to see the fulfillment of the project!