Construction Progress 2018


Static Chassis Manufacture

The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust (B17 SLT) is pleased to be able to report further significant progress on the static chassis. All the components of the static chassis are now on site at Llangollen Railway Engineers Services and the assembly is virtually complete.

On Thursday 29th November, the B17 SLT hosted Ricardo Rail at Llangollen (see the earlier report of the B17 SLT appointing Ricardo Rail, the accredited Independent Assessment Authority) and their Principal Consultant– Eddie Draper B.Tech, C.Eng, MiMechE, MIDGTE and Senior Consultant Alistair Leach M.Eng, C.Eng, MiMechE, for a review of the progress so far.

The meeting reviewed our processes covering engineering design and control, procurement, manufacturing control and non-conformance management. Each were backed up with examples of the documentary record held for all parts that make up the Static Mainframe. The work package for steel castings was selected by Eddie Draper for particular scrutiny from start to finish and was fully representative of our model.Each of the steel castings and fabrications were checked to relate back to the documentation audit earlier. This brought into focus our use of 'Sheet Technicals', which is a design document fulfilling the need to specify information not present on LNER drawings from the 1930s, and also our own particular requirements as the job evolved - so that was clearly understood. The Inspection concluded that all was well up to the point reached and would reconvene when the chassis is virtually complete to witness the torque tightening of fasteners including torque setting/measuring equipment and supporting calibration records – a matter of only weeks.


The photo shows Eddie Draper inspecting and pointing at the Combined Brakeshaft Carrier and Spring Hanger Bracket and Cross Stay (a steel casting) made by William Cook Cast Products Ltd of Sheffield, weighing approx. 18cwt. It fits across the bottom of the frames in front of the leading wheels. The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust acknowledges the advice given by Eddie and Alistair to the project on behalf of the Independent Assurance service provided by Ricardo Rail Ltd.




Static Chassis Manufacture

The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust (B17 SLT) is pleased to be able to report significant progress on the assembly of the static frame at Llangollen Railway Engineering Services. All the cast and fabricated frame stays have been delivered to Llangollen and started to be assembled as shown by the photographs below taken at the workshops in early June.

Independent Assessment

The Trust has also contracted with a new rail industry approved independent assessor, Ricardo Rail of Derby. Ricardo Rail has carried out an initial audit at Llangollen Railway Engineering Services of both the B17 SLT engineering management and design processes, along with the Llangollen Railway Engineering Services manufacturing processes and competencies. The audit was agreed as being successful, giving the Trust confidence in the way that we conduct our design and manufacturing activities and to continue in the same way for the rest of the project.

Rolling Chassis

Design work is well underway on the sub-assemblies and components that are required to progress the static chassis to a rolling chassis. Currently the detail design is being created for the manufacture of the wheels, roller bearings and axles including the necessary 21st century improvements for reliability and maintainability over the working life and duty cycles that will be required. Owing to the peculiarities of a B17 rolling chassis layout, each axle requires a different design for the pair of hornblocks. There is a level of commonality with other LNER new builds that provides the confidence in these necessary design improvements.

Rolling Chassis and Boiler Assembly (C.A.D.image courtesy Mr. David Elliott)

Boiler Design

A Defining Specification for the boiler has been created and discussions are being held with potential manufacturers to create a detail design and to obtain indicative costs.

East Anglian Manufacturing

The Trust has been successful to date in meeting its objective of placing contract with UK manufacturing companies and facilities wherever possible. However, to achieve meant that it is dependent on their being companies in the UK having the necessary new build steam experience or the physical capacity to create heavy engineered parts. Going forward many of the components to complete the rolling chassis and design and manufacture the boiler and firebox will also fall into this category of specialist capability and/or heavy engineering capacity.

To more align the B17 SLT project with its East Anglian heartland, the B17 SLT management team are now exploring the possibility of using manufacturers based in the B17 East Anglia area for more general engineering design and manufacture requirements.

If any reader knows of any East Anglian based engineering establishments that may have the necessary experience and capability for casting, forging, machining and fabrication/welding techniques for detail parts or restoration of existing large fabricated rail vehicles please contact the Trust. Typical examples of suitable components could be the chimney casting and the machining of the whistle. 



Static Chassis

With the completion of the frame stays and delivery to Llangollen the next major activity is to complete the building of the static chassis which will be starting shortly.


Rolling Chassis

Work continues creating the design definition for the parts and sub-assemblies to transform the static chassis into the rolling chassis. Key items include horn blocks,  axles, roller bearings, cannon axleboxes, wheels and tyres inclusive of part assembly into axle sets to be fitted under the frames.

Boiler and Firebox

Work continues preparing a requirement specification and costing for an all steel fabricated round topped boiler and firebox based upon the LNER diagram 100A. Discussions have been started with potential manufacturers on the technical details and costing.