First new components ordered for the new V4


We are delighted to announce that we have now ordered the first new components for our third new steam locomotive, Gresley class V4 No. 3403. The Trust has placed a £4,320 order with Unilathe of Stoke-on-Trent for 12 Tender Spring Hooks from a closed die forging in BS970 070M20 material to original LNER drawing No. 159010. This order is part of a much larger order placed by Network Rail for replacement components for its LNER 4,200 gallon tender-based snowploughs which has been piggybacked on by A1SLT for its new Gresley class V4 and the project building a new Gresley class B17, therefore considerably reducing the unit costs.

In January 2018, the Trust revealed that it had acquired and taken delivery of a complete set of fully-certified tyres for the new Gresley class V4’s pony, Cartazzi and 5ft 8in driving wheels. They were purchased from David Buck, owner of Thompson class B1 4-6-0 No. 61306 Mayflower, along with a chimney, two BR class 08 shunter speedometer drive generators and two two-stage single spindle air pumps of Finnish origin, including lubricator pumps and check valves for use on No. 2007. The tyres were originally manufactured in South Africa in the late 1990s for Malcolm Barlow, a Doncaster scrap dealer who launched the Gresley V4 Society in 1994 to build a new example of the class. David Buck acquired the parts six months earlier in a job lot of items that Malcolm Barlow had salvaged from Doncaster Works on its closure – including a number of class B1 components. The Trust also acquired over 500 original class V4 drawings from the same source.

In September, the Trust announced that it had formed a new subsidiary, The V4 Steam Locomotive Company Limited and set up the charitable bank accounts, to carry out the building of the yet-to-be-named No. 3403 as part of its preparations for the formal launch of the project.

 Mark Allatt, Trustee, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented, “We are now in the pre-launch phase of the project to build our third new main line steam locomotive, the yet-to-be-named Gresley class V4 No. 3403. The opportunity to order the Tender Spring Hooks at such an advantageous price was too good to refuse even if it is at least a year sooner than planned.

 “We want to be ready to start assembling our new Gresley class V4 as soon as our new class P2 is completed. If we’re in our new and much larger base at Whessoe Road by then – and there’s a good chance we will be – we could even start work on No. 3403 before No. 2007 Prince of Wales steams in 2021. We anticipate the project costing around £3m and taking around five years subject to the pace of fundraising. Our new Gresley class V4 is an ideal locomotive for regional main line tours, repeat main line itineraries and the longer, main line connected heritage railways.

 “Unlike the class P2, where we have had to do a considerable amount of development work to complete the job that Sir Nigel Gresley started in 1934, there will be very little redesign work needed as there were no known problems with the Gresley class V4s.

 “Although there is no specific appeal open for No. 3403 yet, any donations made towards it will be ring-fenced for the project. The next steps will be to launch a website for the project and The Founders Club to fund the early stages of the project. More announcements will be made during 2018 as the project builds up steam.”