hra fb twitter

News Archive entries for February 2018

Here are the diary entries for this month. You can use the forward and backward links to see the next or previous months. Most photos taken before 2018 are small size. From 2018 onwards, most photos you see below will have a link to a full size image by clicking on the photo.

la Previous Month uparrow Return to 2018 Next Month la
Innovation and Modern Technology Come Together in Building a New Steam Railway Locomotive
  An innovative approach to the task of building a brand new, full size, steam railway locomotive has been taken by The Standard Steam Locomotive Company Limited, parent body of THE ‘CLAN’ PROJECT, in their endeavour to build the 1000th British Railways Standard design for future use on Britain’s main line railway network, and this new approach looks set to provide some unexpected benefits for Sheffield.

The group, all volunteers from a variety of backgrounds, have set themselves the task of building, what would have been, the 11th B.R. Class 6 ‘Clan’ Mixed Traffic locomotive, no: 72010 ‘HENGIST’, had British Railways not taken the decision to scrap steam in favour of diesel & electric traction back in the 1950s.

THE ‘CLAN’ PROJECT are fortunate to have, as Patron of the organisation, The Hon. Sir William McAlpine Bt. who is well known for his love of all things steam and, of course, for his rescue of ‘Flying Scotsman’ from its ill-fated tour of the U.S.A..

They are ably represented, in the form of an active and enthusiastic President, by James S Baldwin IEng. MIET, MIGPP, Dip Eng Management, film maker & author; ‘Jim’ Baldwin being well known for his books and films of the very same ‘Flying Scotsman’ mentioned above.

No: 72010, as well as being the 11th member of its class, will also be the 1000th, ‘brand new out of the box’, British Railways Standard design locomotive to be produced from scratch – the 999th being Class 9F no: 92220 ‘Evening Star’, the last steam locomotive built by British Railways, at the end of steam, and which is now preserved at the National Railway Museum in York.

Using the original B.R. drawings and incorporating modern design technology, along with improvements in engineering & manufacturing methods made over the intervening years, the group are setting out to build a much improved, cleaner, more efficient and more powerful version of a class of locomotive which, in their day, were well loved by those who worked with them but, sadly, did not survive into preservation; in short, ‘a locomotive fit for the 21st century railway’. In a groundbreaking departure from tradition, they have eschewed the many heritage railway workshops and have, in a bold and daring move, partnered with a modern engineering company who will carry out the locomotive build on their behalf.

The company chosen, CTL Seal of Sheffield, have already been involved in the production, to highly exacting standards, of many of the component parts which go to make up the chassis of the new locomotive and have already commenced on the building of the chassis itself.

CTL Seal, based in the heart of Sheffield, are a well-respected engineering concern, boasting a highly skilled and experienced team, working within outstanding facilities and with state of the art equipment, they are renowned for producing engineering work of the very highest standards.

The company is accredited to BS EN ISO 9001:2008, ISO 1090-1 (EX1-EX3) and ISO 3834-2 and offers services and products to serve a diverse range of market sectors including: power generation, oil and gas exploration, off shore and mining industries, steel and construction and transport & rail.

The company has fully and enthusiastically bought in to the prospect of building the locomotive, regarding the task as both prestigious and historically significant, and are delighted to be associated with the project’s aim of creating the new ‘Clan’ for future generations to enjoy and marvel at. Following a visit, to assess the competency of CTL Seal to carry out this build, by the Vehicle Acceptance Body engaged to ensure that the locomotive, and it’s constituent parts, comply with all current and forseeable Rail Industry standards & legislation, the company were deemed to be eminently qualified to construct ‘HENGIST’.

The decision, by THE ‘CLAN’ PROJECT, to depart with tradition and to use a modern engineering company was, in part, brought about by the decline in the traditional main railway workshop centres, and the associated loss of the skilled workforce and engineering capability that built the great steam locomotives of the past.

There is, also, a burning desire, within the team and the wider membership, that the locomotive should be, wherever possible, a true ‘Made in Britain’ product.

The closure of main works, such as Swindon, Crewe, Derby, Brighton et al, dealt a blow to the rail production industry from which it is only now, very slowly, recovering and the Clan’ team perceive the high quality of workmanship, exhibited by CTL Seal, to be a vital asset which needs to be nurtured for the future prosperity of, not just Sheffield but, also, of Great Britain as a whole and are proud to be a part of the resurgence of the British Engineering Industry.

Originally started in the 1990s, the project to build the locomotive progressed slowly until, in 2011, it faltered and would have failed, had it not been for the courage and vision of a small core of the members who, despite all the odds, rescued and, with the backing of the entire membership, revitalised the project, rebranded it as THE CLAN’ PROJECT, formed themselves into a Council of Management, took over the reins and breathed new life into the company.

In an effort to further strengthen their management team, THE ‘CLAN’ PROJECT are currently seeking to add both a Media / Publicity Officer and Legal Officer to the Council of Management and invite applications from suitably qualified and interested persons.

Applicants for the post of Media / Publicity Officer should, ideally, have a background in mainstream media, preferably with press / radio / tv reporting or editorial experience.

Applicants for the post of Legal Officer should, as the title suggests, have experience in Business /Charity Law. Both positions are, of course, voluntary and would require membership of the organisation as a pre-requisite.

To get to the point that they have now reached has taken many years of hard work and fundraising, with many tens of thousands of pounds worth of parts acquired, and the last 6 years have been spent in manufacturing and machining the outstanding chassis parts and collating them in one place, ready for work to commence.

The engineering team consists of 8 members, who collectively have nearly 300 years of engineering experience between them. Among the team are 5 registered professional engineers. Two are members of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, two are members of the Institution of Engineering Technology and the team’s Engineering Director is a member of the Institution of Engineering Designers.

Not only that, they can call upon the expertise of a welding engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Weld Engineers and a metallurgist, who was the Manager, Engineering Metallurgy, at British Steel/Corus/Tata Steels.

The engineering team are already looking beyond completion of the frame structure to the next phase of construction. To this end they have recently placed the order for the bogie wheel centers, made possible by the generous donations of members who donated funds specifically for this purpose. They already have other components for the front bogie in the parts currently stored and are thus on the way to the first stage of wheeling the chassis, which, when the rear truck is also completed, will give the first rolling chassis of a Standard Class 6 ‘Clan’ locomotive to be seen in Great Britain since the 1960’s.

The team have been keen to embrace modern design & manufacturing technology, transferring original B.R. drawings into state of the art CAD models, to ensure the highest standards of manufacture and, in early 2016, scored a first, in the history of British Steam Locomotive engineering, by having the exhaust steam manifold for the new locomotive, a particularly large and complex cast component, produced by means of a sand printed mould, as opposed to the traditional wooden pattern method.

Some of this CAD work was undertaken for them by The Advanced Manufacturing and Research Centre (AMRC), who work with the University of Sheffield, providing both practical and academic training to engineering apprentices, and, in this way, they are fulfilling one of the objectives of THE ‘CLAN’ PROJECT, in providing educational benefits through helping to train the engineers of the future.

CTL Seal have an apprenticeship scheme in place, and go out to the local schools to promote engineering as a good career choice. Some of the recruits from this initiative will in time be able to work on ‘HENGIST’ as part of their training. THE ‘CLAN’ PROJECT will be proud to be associated with the furtherance of training and education for these apprentices.

Until recently, the newly manufactured parts of the locomotive were scattered across several sites, but THE ‘CLAN’ PROJECT are now in process of moving all current components to safe storage in Sheffield as, if the locomotive is to be built there, it makes sense to have all manufactured components to hand; with further components being manufactured by CTL Seal, and previously made parts assembled by them, ‘HENGIST’ will truly be “Made in Sheffield” – the Premier ‘Steel City’ manufacturing a truly magnificent steel product.

As has been briefly mentioned, 72010 ‘HENGIST’ will be the 1000th locomotive to be completed to a British Railways ‘Standard’ design, first started at Crewe Works in 1953 but cancelled in 1954 as a result of the then worldwide shortage of steel and BR’s subsequent decision to cancel all future building of Express Passenger types of steam locomotive, in favour of a move to Diesel and Electric motive power as laid out in their ‘Modernisation Plan’.

Once ‘HENGIST is completed, the 11th B.R. Standard Class 6 ‘Clan’ (and 1000th B.R. Standard design) locomotive will finally take to the rails, over 60 years after first being started; probably the longest gestation in locomotive building history.

The total cost of building the locomotive is expected to be some £2.5 to £3 million pounds, the largest and most costly items being the boiler, expected to cost some £750,000, and the tender, to carry the coal and water supplies, estimated to be £250,000.

The most immediate financial target they face is to cover all the costs of the chassis assembly. They expect this to be in the region of £100,000. They have agreed with CTL Seal that the work be split into five (5) stages. They have finance for stages one and two, plus part of stage 3. A new Appeal, ‘Genesis... A ‘Clan’ is Born’, has now been launched, in order to raise the funds needed to complete the chassis assembly.

Full details of the Appeal, how to contribute and, how to become a member, are available on the project’s website , by e-mail at or, by contacting the project at 31, Jackdaw Lane, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire WR9 7HE.
All donations to the Appeal will be gratefully received and acknowledged.

With the cooperation between CTL Seal and AMRC, with input from the University of Sheffield, the city is not only training the engineers of the future, with both theoretical and practical skills but, will see the fruits of that training in the birth of the most up to date steam locomotive ever built in Great Britain.

The Standard Steam Locomotive Company Limited and CTL Seal – two companies with one vision: To build, in Sheffield, a brand new steam railway locomotive, fit for the 21st century railway.
Media officer vacancy
  With the construction of the mainframes of Hengist having recently commenced, we have a need to effectively promote the achievements made so far, and the vision that we have for the future.
With this in mind, we are looking to strengthen the Management Team of our organisation, and are looking for individuals that are interested in new build steam locomotives and would like to join us as we press forward.

In the first instance we are looking for an individual that would have the knowledge and skills to perform the role of Media Officer. This role, we envisage, would encompass the following duties:
• Liaise with railway press
• Establish links with daily newspapers and general interest magazines
• Continue the process of establishing good relations with radio and television stations, already begun.
• Provide articles/updates to all of the above, as required.

This is not an exclusive list, and may be amended as needs of the business dictate.

Would applicants please be aware that this a voluntary position, as are all other positions on the Management Team, and no remuneration is to be expected, other than verified expenses, which will be reimbursed.

Membership of the ‘Clan Project’ is a perquisite for all positions on the Management Team.
Railway books sale!
  We have a vast selection of books currently available covering all aspects of railways. You can see the books in our shop section.