THE GCR Class 2 - LNER D7: 4-4-0 - A NEW LOCOMOTIVE FOR THE GCR
GCR Rolling Stock Trust Member Mike Fairburn launched the D7 (LNER) project to the press last August. Significant interest has been expressed and he now wishes to move onto the next step an appeal for an individual or group to take this project forward. Mike is available to advise in the short term and support more fully in the long term.
In addition there is also a need to research and secure as many drawings as exist of the GCR class 2 (LNER D7). The NRM's search engine will be functioning at full speed shortly and this poses an excellent opportunity to move the project forward.
The D7 group will no doubt have its own website shortly, however, in the interim the GCR Rolling Stock Trust is happy to put some details on line.
Built for and by the Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway, an archetypal GREAT CENTRAL RAILWAY passenger locomotive for the 21st century. The project plans to re creating a long extinct class of engine, once the pride of the MSLR and GCR.
The last 10 years has seen the establishment and in some cases completion of a number of ‘New Build’ projects. The most prominent and technically complex of these, the construction of a new Peppercorn pacific ‘Tornado’ is within sight of completion, but others projects have demonstrated the viability of the construction of replicas. The broad gauge ‘Iron Duke’ and ‘Firefly’, narrow gauge ‘Taliesin’ and ‘David Lloyd George’ are completed projects, and current projects in progress include the Great Western Society Saint, County and steam rail motor projects as well as the Llangollan Railway based Grange project.
Locomotives in operation in preservation include only one 4-4-0 of the period 1890 to 1910, the famous ‘City of Truro’. This project will create a new loco, externally indistinguishable form the Class of D7 locos built between 1887 and 1892 by Kitsons of Leeds and the Gorton works of the MSLR. Whilst the loco will include parts of historic interest, it will be a modern construction, not subject to some of the constraints associated with the conservation of historic locomotives built over 100 years ago.
The D7 is not a technical complex locomotive type. The heart of the locomotive, a pair of 18inch bore 26inch stroke inside cylinders, fed by flat face slide valves, drive four 6ft 9 inch diameter wheels, a non superheated boiler provides steam. The fundamentals of the design have much in common with later day large industrial locomotives, but the classic 4-4-0 wheel arrangement and large driving wheels distinguish the late 20th century work horse from the front line express locomotive of the late 19th and early 20th century.
From the same roots at the Brighton Atlantic project, building a replica of ‘Beach Head’, the D7 project has been germinating amongst interested individuals, to the point where it is now time to launch the project. The viability of the project is enhanced by the availability of key components. These components will enable a kick-start to the project with immediate availability of substantial parts of the locomotive.
The boiler comes from the same source as the boiler that will be part of the Brighton Atlantic. It is of Midland Railway origin, and of dimensions that vary by less than one inch in any important dimension from the original. The boiler survived for many years after the end of its first railway career as a stationary boiler in a timber yard in Maldon Essex, until rescued for preservation some 20 years ago. It has been a static exhibit at the Mangapps Farm Railway Museum at Burnham on Crouch, since it was rescued.
Cylinder Block & Tender Chassis
A suitable 18inch bore, 26 inch stroke cylinder block has been obtained. This block is a new un-used item manufactured as a major spare part for an industrial locomotive, but never fitted. The cylinder block is currently located at the GCR(N) at Ruddington.
The chassis of a Great Central 4,000 Gallon tender has been obtained. This chassis survived as part of a snow plough and can be converted back to the correct specification for a locomotive tender.
The construction of a ‘New’ D7 is an exciting and ultimately very rewarding project. The opportunity to display the construction work in progress and provide interpretation of the construction will enable a story to be told to visitors about how a locomotive is constructed, and what the inner workings of the locomotive consist of. Unlike almost all other current projects, the D7 is an admirably suitable example around which to tell this story. It is mechanically simple, containing the same elements as Stephenson’s Rocket, but in its final form before the introduction of piston valves and superheating, which took development forward from the basic elements of what history records as the first embodiment of the successful steam locomotive. When complete the locomotive will be available to operate on Heritage Railways and when accompanied by authentic period rolling stock will portray an era in rail transport, now long gone. It is not planned to seek operation of the locomotive on Network Rail, though the locomotive will be constructed to appropriate national standards and accepted steam locomotive engineering practice.
Organisation and Fund Raising & What you can do?
Organisation and Fund Raising
As part of a living exhibition, telling the story of locomotive construction, it is expected that the project will take in the order of 10 years to complete. A display, including key parts of the locomotive will be updated in approximately 10 stages, each showing important elements of the construction process. Poster board displays, video and other audio-visual media recording the process of construction will provide interpretation. Funding for the project will be sought from a number of sources, covenanted subscription, grants and donations will all be sought to fund an estimated project budget of £450k.
What you can do.
The project is seeking to establish a team to manage and deliver the construction of the locomotive. Expressions of interest by individuals are sought for the establishment of the team.
Managers & Researchers needed, could you help?
Contact: Andrew Horrocks-Taylor or Mike Fairburn
Great Central Railway (Nottingham),
Or you can join the new Group on yahoo as listed above for more information, pictures, drawings etc
Or find the group on FaceBook (search for GCR567Loco),
Or via website listed above