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New Fowler 'Patriot' Locomotive 45551 'The Unknown Warrior'

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:20 pm
by 34053
I see that I only briefly first mentioned this Project back in April 2009, under the Topic 'More New Build Locomotives'. So I thought it is time to give you an another Update.

Here are my previous Updates:

PROGRESS REPORT No 1 (20th May 2009): History was made in March this year, when the Frames were cut for this new locomotive (44 years after the last of the original Class was withdrawn). The steel was provided by Corus Steel's Plate Processing Centre at Cradley Heath, near Birmingham. These were profile cut, using Corus' Plasma Cutting facilities and the result was a pair of 39 ft long Frame plates, around which No 45551 'The Unknown Warrior' will be built. (A locomotive always takes its' identity from its' Frames).

PROGRESS REPORT No 2 (6th Sept 2009):.
The frames for this 'new-build' loco have now been drilled (two months after they were cut). This involved drilling more than 300 holes in each of the two main frame plates! A completely new set of drawings had to be produced for this exercise, which then had to be checked against the original LMS drawings, for accuracy. The Project Team is now turning its attention to the driving wheels.

Now for the latest situation:

The decision has recently been taken for the new Boiler to be manufactured at LNWR Crewe (Pete Waterman's Company). This is highly appropriate as Crewe is the 'spiritual home' of this 'extinct' Class of Steam Locomotive (none were saved for Preservation). A total of 12 Locomotives were built at the LMS Works in Derby and 40 at Crewe Works (all between 1930 and 1934).The Boiler will be constructed in the 'traditional' way, with a copper Firebox, riveted seams and screwed stays.

As always, the success of this Project will depend upon public financial support. The 'Patriot Boiler Appeal' is expected to be launched in 2011. There is a 'Target Date' of 2018 for Completion, to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the 'Armistice' that brought the First World War to an end. The completed Locomotive will then become a National Memorial Engine, to serve as a permanent Memorial to the men and women who fought and died in 'The Great War' and in all subsequent Wars and as a reminder to all future Generations.

This Project is officially endorsed by The Royal British Legion.

For more information visit

I will keep you updated from time to time regarding progress of this important 'New Build' Project. To date, the New Frames (which give a Locomotive its identity) have been cut and drilled (see above) and the first Driving Wheel was cast in September this Year.


Re: New Fowler 'Patriot' Locomotive 45551 'The Unknown Warri

PostPosted: Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:19 pm
by Xplumberlives
Thanks P.W.

Re: New Fowler 'Patriot' Locomotive 45551 'The Unknown Warri

PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:19 am
by 34053
I was most surprised to see that it is almost 3 years (!!) since I last posted about this Project, being carried out at the Llangollen Railway. An 'Update' is long overdue, so here it is.


Work has been progressing steadily. The Frames are complete and 'in situ', with the new Smokebox, Numberplate, Shed Plate, Chimney and Smoke Deflectors fitted for a 'front end' publicity shot (see the latest 'Steam Railway Magazine', No 418, pages 6 and 7).

- The newly machined inside cylinder block is awating installation (this was cast, using polystyrene patterns, which has made considerable savingsto the Project).
- The Springs and Hornguides have been fitted to the Frames.
- The 6 new (6'-9'' diameter) Driving Wheels were cast by Boro Foundry in 2011. They were then taken to the South Devon Railway (SDR Engineering) where the Axles, Tyres, Crankpins and Balance Plates were fitted. Last month, the Wheels were delivered to Tyseley Locomotive Works for the Tyres to be turned to the required finished size.
- The large items for the Motion are mainly 'secondhand' (acquired from other Locomotives) apart from one new, outside Connecting Rod.
- The new Boiler/Firebox (the first to be built in the UK since 1960!) is being manufactured by Pete Waterman's LNWR Heritage Ltd at Crewe.
- All the parts for the Front Bogie have been manufactured and will be assembled at Tyseley Locomotive Works. The 4 wheels will be 'secondhand', from a couple of '8F' Locomotives.
- The Tender will be made from two, ex-Barry Scrapyard Tenders. (The plan being to make one 'good' Tender from these two).

With the Project now roughly half way through, it is anticipated that (with sufficient funds coming forward) the Locomotive could be ready in 2017 (ahead of it's originally planned 2018 date).

Just to remind you that the completed Locomotive 45551 'The Unknown Warrior' will become the National Memorial Engine, to serve as a permanent Memorial to the men and women who fought and died in 'The Great War' of 1914-1918 and in all subsequent Wars and as a reminder to all future Generations.

For more information, please use the link below:


Re: New Fowler 'Patriot' Locomotive 45551 'The Unknown Warri

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:49 pm
by 34053
It has been quite a while since I last posted anything on this important Topic. The current situation on this 'new build' Project is, as follows:

- The Locomotive Frames have now been permanently 'wheeled', complete with the Cab and Buffer Beam/Buffers.
- Construction of the Boiler has now officially commenced, with the fabrication of the Firebox now underway at LNWR, Crewe.
- The last of the three Cylinders was cast, at the Coupe Foundry in Preston, on 3rd July. All three will now be sent for machining to Harco Engineering, in the West Midlands. The finished Cylinders will then be fitted to the Frames, together with the Motion Brackets and Girders.

The 'Patriot' will be exhibited, on a Low Loader, during the 'Great Dorset Steam Fair', near Blandford Forum, from 27th to 31st August 2014. (Swanage Railway resident 'West Country Class' Locomotive 34028 'Eddystone' will also be at the Steam Fair, on static display, following the expiry of the 10 year Boiler Certificate that month).

For more information on this 'National Memorial Engine' please visit:


Re: New Fowler 'Patriot' Locomotive 45551 'The Unknown Warri

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:42 pm
by 34053
it's been quite a while since I gave you any further information on the progress with the construction of this, the National Memorial Locomotive.

- The construction of the Boiler continues at LNWR Crewe and work has started on the copper tubeplate and throatplate.
- There have been problems in obtaining the, hoped for, spare pony truck wheelset from Turkey (from a Group dismantling an '8F' over there) for the Locomotive's Front Bogie. The other wheelset is already available, having been 'rescued' from ex-Barry Scrap Yard Stanier '8F' No 48518. The decision was therefore made to cast a new set of 3'-3 1/2'' dia wheels. All other parts have been ready since July.

For more information, please use the link below to the 'Latest News' Update (October 2014): ... tober-2014

The Project is still working towards the 2018 completion date, to mark the Centenary of the end of the First World War.