Here is our progress report for July 2023.


Chassis Recovery

July saw most encouraging progress. William Cook delivered the new driving wheels at the beginning of the month, after completing the rectification work identified in their quality inspection at the end of May. We made two inspection visits and now have all the necessary certification documents.  The wheels have been shipped to Riley and Son at Bury for the assembly of the driving wheelsets. Meanwhile Riley and Son have completed the rectification work identified on a range of chassis component defects identified in our MPI testing programme earlier in the year – we negotiated a 25% price reduction. Meanwhile, our competent volunteer metallurgist Mike Ames, re-ran some final hardness testing on some of the chassis components with no issues identified. This means that all the chassis mainframe components removed for testing and not requiring replacement can now be refitted to the frames.

At West Shed chassis reassembly has already picked up pace this month. The smokebox components, the cab frame, the horn guides, ties, and keeps, and the vallance have been refitted to the frames., The sale of scrap metal has been arranged, with scrap loading performed by our volunteers, which we much appreciate.

PRCLT Contract

While all the above was happening there were unexpected developments at West Shed. On 27th July we were formally notified by PRCLT that West Shed is withdrawing from third-party contract work (at present ourselves and the LSL 9F No. 92212) to focus on the development of their own locomotives.This followed the news a week or so earlier that Simon Scott, PRCLT’s Chief Mechanical Engineer and our Lead Engineer, has accepted an appointment as General Manager of Wyvern Rail (the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway) at Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

PRCLT is undergoing major change, with the loss of many Trustees, employees and volunteers since 2020.  Chris Powell, PRCLT’s new interim chair told us that “PRCLT is very different to what it was three/four years ago, and that they are in the process of rebuilding what the Trust was and is all about, which is their collection of locomotives and related artefacts”.

 At its regular quarterly meeting on 29th July, our Trustee Board noted steps taken to safeguard the 5551 chassis and all components with volunteer help, and agreed on actions now under way to determine the way forward for our Project. Simon Scott is a keen supporter of our project and will continue to act as our Lead Engineer, as a volunteer, during the transitional period. That is a major plus for us and we wish him well in his new role. We have been assured of an orderly transition by the new PRCLT management. 5551 will remain at West Shed for the time being and accessible to working volunteers. What ends with immediate effect is the services under the existing contract. Communication will continue with PRCLT on the next steps. We will keep you updated, with more in the next edition of The Warrior.



Good news! Sales in the first quarter were up 30% on last year, whilst in July alone they’re ten times what they were last July. This is due to event stands at Buxton and the open day Heritage Boiler Steam Services (HBSS) held at their Huyton workshops on Merseyside on 15th July. Members were able to see our all-new boiler and get an update from HBSS Directors Andy Wilcock and Rob Adamson on the plans for the final stages of construction.


We met with our accountants on 20th July to review last year’s provisional accounts. They commented that whilst we were marginally down on the previous year’s figures, there were no major issues in their examination; details will be sent out to you as usual with the AGM notification.




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