The LMS-Patriot Company Announces New Contractor to Complete 'The Unknown Warrior'

The LMS-Patriot Company Board is pleased to be able to announce that it has reached a decision as to who the contract to complete 'The Unknown Warrior' is to be awarded. The successful bidder is the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust (PRCLT), based at West Shed at the Midland Railway - Butterley, in Derbyshire. The Board concluded that PRCLT were the best fit for our Project to complete the loco in the timescales discussed.

(L-R) Steve Blackburn, LMS-Patriot Company Engineering Director; Andy Collinson, Chairman of LMS-Patriot Enterprises (Patriot Trading Company); Simon Scott, CME of the PRCLT; Kevin West, CME of The LMS-Patriot Project and Nigel Barber, from the PRCLT stand in front of 5551 'The Unknown Warrior' at Crewe Heritage Centre on 10th July. Photo by Bob Sweet

The LMS-Patriot Company would like to thank the other bidders, Riley & Sons and Railway Forgings & Castings, for their patience and understanding as we arrived at our conclusion. The decision is one which is not a criticism of their ability to do a first class job, rather a recognition that the PRCLT bid better met our unique requirements. The three bids received were excellent and the decision to award the contract to PRCLT was because they scored most highly on our set criteria which comprised: Capacity, Continuity, Main Line Preparation and Operation, Volunteer Input, Capability, Resource, Inspection and Preparation, After Support, Warranties, Relationship, Culture and Safety.

The decision was based around our ability to establish a good working relationship with the contractor with the clear understanding that it has to be a flexible arrangement to meet all the challenges the Project faces. The LMS-Patriot Company recognises that the communication between our Chief Engineer, Kevin West and the PRCLT has to be absolutely first class and that free and open dialogue is a vital key to making the project a success. Given our experiences with our previous contractor, our other concern is one of assessing the risk to the Project of not being able to have access to the engine in the event of financial issues or disputes until any such issue or dispute is resolved. In effect, we have entered into a partnership with PRCLT who will supply an agreed level of manpower, technical management, support and facilities but will allow our volunteers to assist wherever possible in the completion of the locomotive and permit the involvement of an on-site Project Engineer.

The final stage of the construction of 'The Unknown Warrior' is essentially an assembly job, with most of the large components having been sourced, manufactured, delivered and already fitted. The boiler is the final outstanding and largest assembly to be completed, with work continuing on this by another contractor.

The The LMS-Patriot Company's involvement in this process is absolutely critical in assisting the PRCLT. As this is not an overhaul job but a new build, it requires a very different approach to most other steam locomotive projects. The Engineering Team looks forward to working with the PRCLT with the aim of completing 'The Unknown Warrior' to the highest possible standards and for mainline running.

To date we have raised in excess of £3 million, but we still need to raise funds to finish the locomotive, the tender, main line running gear and purchase a support coach. We are continuing to push hard for funds to complete 'The Unknown Warrior'.

To help us ‘finish the job’ please donate to The LMS-Patriot Project. Click here, or send a cheque to: The LMS-Patriot Company Ltd. at: The Hub, 17 Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LZ, or call our office on 01785 244156.

The LMS-Patriot Company Ltd. • The Hub, 17 Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LZ
Registered in England & Wales No. 6502248 • Registered Charity No. 1123521
Tel: 01785 244156
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