57XX and 8750 Pannier Tanks
They all arrived at Heathrow Airport at the end of September and we took delivery of then at the beginning of October. Since then we have been checking them to ensure that the builder has correctly followed all the modifications made in September. On 180 engines this is quite a big task and Ros and I have spent hours logging what has been done and what needs to be done to get the engines ready for delivery. Generally we are very pleased with the quality and the running performance. The engines run really well especially after a short running-in period.
For those of you who ordered engines early (about 40% of the orders) we have the correct number plates on the locomotives and there is relatively little to be done before delivery. However, most of you ordered engines late and we still have to get the number plates from Severn Mill Nameplates and then have them painted and fitted. Some of you have ordered plates that are not available and most of you have been notified of options where a new choice is required. Severn Mill Nameplates are not able at present to add any new numbers to their extensive range, even for us! The number plates are being ordered this week and then have to go to our engineer Colin Dowling for painting, after which they will be fitted to the individual locomotives.
Of the 180 engines, 91 have been ordered so far. That means engines are still available in many categories, so there is a reasonable choice of welded tank versions. There are only a few of the Kerr Stuart engines with riveted tanks (mainly BR), very few BR engines with top feed, and not many Scale7 engines left. There are also a few lined black BR engines – an attractive livery used on the Paddington empty coach stock workings. We have made the decision to apply numbers to the engines and we will publish a list of available types and numbers shortly on the website.
If you would like a Pannier I would advise you to contact us soon as your choice later could become much more restricted.
We recently emptied the factory of all the remaining 45XX/4575 Prairies that made up an extra lot so we have about 25 engines still available for sale with choice of at least one engine from all the broad categories. We will put a notice on the website of the available types including a good choice of Scale 7.
We recently repainted one of the ‘Type 1’ early locomotives into lined GWR green livery with Indian red frames which is now believed to have been a possibility by some experts when these engines were first put into service. Ian Rathbone carried out a superb job which transforms the locomotive. For your interest have added a picture of the locomotive to the slideshow on the website home page.
68XX and 47XX Production
The builders are busy finishing off the engines which we expect to inspect in November.
49XX and 28XX (Last Chance for Engine Choice)
We have reduced the 49XX Hall build to only 50 engines most of which have now been reserved. We can still offer you a choice of 49XX, 59XX or 69XX models, but not for much longer as we will have to freeze the production programme in November. So if you want a Collett Hall this really is your last chance to choose your engine.
As part of the overall ‘Hall’ build we are now including 12 ‘Modified Halls’. As this is a complicated build we have already selected the 12 engines to be built. The following six engines are still available for sale:
6990 Witherslack Hall: Hawksworth Tender GWR Lined Green G Crest W
6999 Capel Dewi Hall: Hawksworth Tender BR Lined Green Totem
7900 St. Peter’s Hall: Collett 4000 gallon Tender BR Lined Green Totem
7902 Eaton Mascot Hall: Collett 4000 gallon Tender BR Lined Green Totem
7911 Lady Margaret Hall: Collett 4000 gallon Tender BR Lined Black Lion-over-Wheel (mechanical lubricator)
7915 Mere Hall: Collett 4000 gallon Tender BR Lined Green Totem (mechanical lubricator)
On the 28XX we will also need to freeze the production programme in November. Our current programme is to build only 60 locomotives, comprising 35 curved frame engines, 15 ‘2884’ Collett side-window-cab engines and 10 earlier square-frame engines. Please make your reservations soon, as when the programme is fixed there will be very little flexibility for change.
Class 52 Western Diesel
The components are now being produced for the build. We have asked the builders to incorporate the final changes that we require and the front end is having further small revisions carried out to ensure complete accuracy.
BR Standard Class 5
We hope to have a sample model ready for December.
Rebuilt 6P/7P LMS/BR 4-6-0s
We are working on getting all the drawings and information ready for the CAD work. These engines will follow on from the 49XX and 28XX.
24 October 2018. T