Management Of Project

The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust (B17 SLT) was established as an organisation with charitable status in 2011 and is managed by a board of trustees/directors.

Current Trustee / Directors

Brian Hall

Brian retired in 2011, after a 47 year career in production engineering, production management and works management roles starting in instrument making, but predominantly in the defence industry based in Hertfordshire. Previous experience in steam preservation during the late 1970s was associated with 92 SQUADRON (BoBLPS). Brian was an original subscriber and founder member of The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust from its formation in April 2011 and was appointed Chairman in 2012.

Brian is responsible for the engineering aspects of the project.      

Nick Illingworth  

A Middle East specialist who joined the railways in 1990 to specialise in IT, Nick works as a sales lead and IT architect for a global software vendor, tasked with delivering large, complex implementation projects for major banks.  Nick’s passion for LNER steam stems from watching Gresley Pacifics and other steam locomotives at work on the East Coast Main Line in the 1960s.  

Area Lead for Yorkshire and the North East since 2021, Nick joined the Board in 2023 and is increasingly involved in publicity and marketing activities for the Trust.

Alan Lusby

Alan, who joined the Engineering Committee in 2023, has accepted a post on the board. Alan brings to the board his experience of having worked on new-build A1 Tornado, as part of its Quality Control team.

Henry Mullens FCA

Henry is a practising chartered accountant and partner in a business specialising in farming and agricultural accountancy, and tax management covering the eastern part of the country. Henry joined The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust as a member and was appointed Treasurer in January 2012.

Henry is responsible for the group's finance reporting.                      

John Pearson

John developed a practical skill set in Information and Computer Technology (ICT) from a career involved with computer programming, systems management and software whilst working as a Research Physicist in the Photographic industry, and later, whilst working for a multnational computing company moved into Software Consultancy and Sales Account Management. This experience was utilised later in a career move into teaching ICT to secondary school students. Retiring in 2015, he joined the Trust in 2017 through his shared interest in garden railways with another B17 member and is an active B17 volunteer.

John is responsible for the website, membership, coordination of the area groups, IT and Data Protection, as well as aspects of Engineering. 

Alan Warren

Alan qualified as a member of the Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors in 1976 working in Cambridge before moving to the Architects Dept. of British Rail E.R. York in 1979. Alan spent six years travelling thousands of miles by train courtesy of BR before returning to private practice in Cambridge in the mid 1980s, to specialise in the capital investment programme for the rollout of new hospital buildings for the NHS across England. In his spare time, Alan became a glider pilot and authored a number of railway books and articles whilst also editing house journals for the North Norfolk and Mid Norfolk Railways. Alan emigrated to Canada in 2012.

Alan is responsible for the editing of our own journal 'The Spirit' and overall coordination of the group's publicity, marketing and is key to our efforts to apply for grants.

Peter Wright 

Peter retired in 2011 after 37 years as sole proprietor of the news agency at March Railway Station. With a life long interest in railways, Peter is organiser of a local group raising funds in aid of railway preservation and researching railway history. Peter joined The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust in 2012 as a member and was appointed project historian in 2015.

Other Key People

John Peat

John retired after a 46 year career in engineering and project management roles associated with the defence industry in Hertfordshire. He became a member and subscriber of the B17 Steam Locomotive Trust from January 2012, following the provision of support services to the Sandringham project. John was instrumental in setting up the management tools for the Trust, establishing links with the rail and local media.

John remains involed with the board through his activity on the Engineeering commitee, and also helps some aspects of our product design and the catalguing of archive photographs.

Laurence Sampson

Larry spent much of his professional career teaching in secondary education through to Head of Department in Science. In this final position he established a specialist science college, obtaining sponsorship funding annually over the first 5 years from commercial sources in return for substantial government funding which was successfully achieved. Experience with students, parents and teaching staff helped develop an interpersonal skill set to identify, motivate and develop everyone’s full potential leading to the creation of successful teams.

He was jointly responsible (with four others) for implementing GCSE as the national examination across the UK, helping write the national curriculum. His interfaces with the public, teaching staff, education specialists and politicians required sound project management techniques including good people skills and marketing skills to handle and implement this large national project with its stringent timescales.

Larry was responsible for setting up all the Education aspects of the project, including leading the STEM project in Schools and Colleges and working with the University of Sheffield and remains involved with some aspects.

Areas of Specialism / Focus of the Trust

Technical Aspects

  • Technical baseline established for the locomotive will generally be in accordance with the build standard of 1935, equivalent to the batch of ‘Footballers’ constructed by the LNER at Darlington. Note that some changes will be necessary to meet current legislation requirements as well as technical development to improve performance, reliability and maintenance of the locomotive.
  • The majority of drawings have been identified and are being sourced on a phased basis from the National Railway Museum, York in accordance with the programme and available funding.
  • Preserve and restore the GE tender and the LNER Group Standard tender owned by the Trust for use with the locomotive to maximise operating opportunities and conditions.
  • Employ modern materials, manufacturing techniques and processes during the life of the project.
  • Design, Construction, Inspection, Test and the Project Record System must comply with the Vehicle Acceptance Body (VAB) requirements, in accordance with Railway Group Standards.

Financing the Project

  • The prime source of funding is based upon an ever increasing number of contributors making affordable gifts/donations on a regular basis, including automatic membership at no extra cost. Charitable status enables the Trust to reclaim income tax from HMRC for every donation received from a UK taxpaying resident which provides for a considerable enhancement (currently 25%) in value toward creating the locomotive.


  • The Trust is actively seeking sponsorship and support from the best of British businesses and professional individuals representing both the commercial and industrial sectors associated with either matched funding arrangements, interest free loans and donations of benefits in kind and work at concessionary rates. 

Work Opportunities

  • During the life of this project the Trust will actively seek to create training and job opportunities for young people and adults to specifically participate and preserve scarce skills. Benefits may also be obtained from the adoption of modern materials, effective use of old and modern techniques and processes associated with steam locomotive design, component manufacture, fabrication and construction disciplines, in order to further preserve this sphere of railway heritage. The use of appropriate facilities and equipment is planned and will be encouraged in partnership with specialised institutions, training establishments, schools, workshops and businesses existing as part of local communities. From the combination of old and modern technology an improved locomotive will emerge compared to the original B17 technical baseline, to deliver enhanced safety, reliability, strength, performance and ease of maintenance to meet the stringent requirements for railway operations in the 21st century. 

Operation and Maintenance

  • Following running, the eventual operating base is planned to be located at a heritage railway site with a connection to the mainline.
  • The locomotive will be maintained in accordance with mainline operating standards and is intended for regular service hauling special chartered trains on the national network. The Class B17 has excellent route availability, capacity for high speed running and range which will make this locomotive a popular choice to operate on the modern railway.
  • In between mainline duties, there will be opportunities for the locomotive to operate at railway heritage sites around the country where the public may enjoy a nostalgic day out or observe the engine close up.
  • Revenue earned will support the upkeep of the locomotive in service and also provide for planned maintenance periods and future overhauls.


How To Support The Project