Why Build a Clan?
A common question that we are asked is why we have decided to build a Clan 6MT pacific locomotive. The existing steam locomotive fleet as used on the main line and on heritage lines is now getting quite old. Maintenance costs are rising. A large number of these engines have spent a long time in the sea air at Woodhams scrapyard in Barry, South Wales. Although these locomotives can continue to be repaired, we believe that it is more cost effective to manufacture a new locomotive. This will ensure that steam locomotives can continue to fascinate for the foreseeable future.
So why pick the Clan as the locomotive? Cecil J. Allan, the doyen of train performance, said that the Clans were "One of the least distinguished in their performance of all the British standard locomotive types". Yet to crews who were prepared to adapt to them and to the operator, they were solid, reliable machines. We know that the draughting was not right - again Allan states "They can steam, providing they are worked fairly hard". We also know that the Standards did not employ modern draughting systems. 71000 Duke of Gloucester has shown what can be achieved if the draughting is improved and our aim is to provide an improved system for our locomotive.
The major reason for choosing a Clan is that it will provide a relatively modern, low maintenance, locomotive. It will have a go-anywhere capaboility as it has a higher route availability than other Pacific locomotives. A minor point is that we will fill a gap in locomotive history as none of the Clans were preserved.
Standard Steam Locomotive Company Limited
British Railways built the first 10 Clan lcomotives which were built in 1951 and 1952. BR did order a further 15 Clans under Crewe Works Order Lot 242, however, this order was subsequently cancelled.. The Standard Steam Locomotive Company Limited (parent body of THE ‘CLAN’ PROJECT) has been set up to build the 11th ‘Clan’, using the original British railways design drawings. The company is also a registered charity no 1062 320.
The company is a private company limited by guarantee and has no shareholders. The company is run entirely by volunteers with a Council of Management elected at the Annual General Meeting by the membership. The council meets every month to manage the project. A specialist engineering team forms the Engineering Committee.
The engine is being constructed as a continuation of the original British Railways design sequence, adopting all the improvements outlined in the Lot 242 order and taking the name & number of the next locomotive scheduled on the original 1954 Crewe works itinerary: 72010 ’HENGIST’. We also aim to tackle the fine tuning that was not completed in British Railways time.
In November 2017, the project entered a new and exciting phase. CTL Seal Co Ltd, based in Sheffield, have been contracted to start assembling the frames. The picture below shows members of the Council of Management and the Engineering Committee at CTL Seal's premises to view the start of the frame assembly.