A new boiler firm, based at the Midland Railway – Butterley, has been awarded the contract to build the boiler for new-build ‘Patriot’ No. 5551 The Unknown Warrior.
Heritage Boiler Steam Services, set up by Robert Adamson and Andrew Wilcock - a pair of former LNWR Heritage chargehand boilersmiths – will construct the vital pressure vessel for the Fowler ‘5XP’, after LNWRH announced in May that it was suspending third-party contract work (see SR468).
With assembly of The Unknown Warrior’s inner firebox completed at Crewe, both it and the boiler barrels will move to Swanwick for work to recommence in December. It is anticipated that the boiler could be completed in 14-16 months’ time, with No. 5551 steaming for the first time in early 2019.
Although other possible contractors were explored, LMS-Patriot Project Chairman David Bradshaw said: “The most obvious were too busy, some were too expensive and some couldn’t deliver in a decent timescale. We believe we have a good deal from guys who know the job and are fully committed.”
Also due to move from Crewe to Swanwick, initially for storage, is the firebox for the Great Western Society’s replica ‘County’ No. 1014 County of Glamorgan (originally from ex-Barry ‘8F’ No. 48518), although formal agreement has not yet been reached for HBSS to assemble this engine’s boiler.
The £250,000 ‘Raising the Pressure’ appeal to complete the ‘Patriot’s boiler has passed the halfway mark, with over £125,000 raised since its launch in August (SR471).
For more information, visit: www.lms-patriot.org.uk/raising-the-pressure.
Read more in the latest edition of Steam Railway, on sale December 1.