The 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust has released its latest update on progress in building a new member of the extinct Riddles BR 3MT 2-6-2 82000 tank class.
Many of the current new-build projects aim to recreate larger main-line types, but this project is looking to build a loco intended specifically for heritage line use. Success with this project will also open the door to the recreation of a Riddles 2-6-2 77000 class, another long-lost type that is well suited to service on today’s heritage lines.
The driving force behind the project is the conviction that the days of working steam are numbered without an initiative of this kind.
The main task recently has been a trial fitting of the reversing shaft. Some careful scraping of the whitemetalled bearings was required as it was found that once the bearing caps were tightened down the shaft was a little tight to move.
The shaft movement has now been eased, but it will have to be removed again to allow the arms on each end to be fitted, which will involve shrinking the shaft ends in liquid nitrogen.
More work has been completed on the rocking grate mechanism and the backhead of the outer firebox has been drilled ready for the stays.
Neil Taylor, Head of Engineering Services at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) until his retirement in early 2021, has been appointed as a Trustee and Director of the trust. Whilst on the SVR he transformed the Bridgnorth operation and was in large measure responsible for the excellent working relationship that now exists between the 82045 SLT Trust and the SVR.
On January 27th the trust had a meeting at Kidderminster with Helen Smith, Severn Valley Railway’s MD, and other members of the railway’s management. The meeting was a prelude before a locomotive agreement is reached between the SVR and the Trust.