The move came about because the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust wanted the chassis to be moved outside its West Shed workshop as soon as possible so that the wheel drop on number 1 road could be accessed allow repairs to be carried out.
It had also become very clear that the availability of space in its workshop museum capacity and availability of resources were a a major challenge in the medium term, especially since Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust had stopped all work on The Unknown Warrior last July.
Tyseley Locomotive Works is currently unable to accommodate the chassis in its workshop, and will not be in a position to do so until next spring. However, a meeting was held at Tyseley last month to discuss the possibility of transferring the chassis and the many associated components stored in containers to the Works for storage.
Before the frames could be moved outside the workshop the frames needed to be painted, and a volunteer group was organised to carry that out during the last week of November. Once that has been completed, there will be no advantage in staying at the West Shed until the The Unknown Warrior's new wheelsets become available next year, which will allow the locomotive to be re-wheeled.
Before the chassis could be moved a considerable amount of preparations had to be carried out as the road access to West Shed is substandard. However, after consultation with the specialist haulier Reid Freight, it was decided to proceed with removal and the help of volunteers the chassis was secured for transport, which took two days. Loading started at 11:00 am on Tuesday, 5th December, and the chassis was delivered to Tyseley early this morning, Wednesday, 6th December.
Colin Hall, LMS-Patriot Company Chairman, said “I am delighted with the cooperation we have enjoyed with our new Tyseley partners, the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, and indeed our own volunteers in organising all this at quite short notice. The transport itself was a challenge because of very poor road access at West Shed, but was professionally handled by Reid Freight. We are now much better placed to go on to rewheeling at Tyseley when the new wheelsets are delivered by Riley and Son of Heywood, Bury in 2024”.