New Steam Locomotive 82045 – January 2022 Progress Report

The 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust has released its latest update on the progress being made in building a new member of the defunct Riddles BR 3MT 2-6-2 82000 tank class.

There are many new construction projects underway that aim to recreate larger mainline types, but this project aims to build a locomotive intended specifically for heritage line use. The success of this project will also open the door to the recreation of a Riddles 2-6-2 77000 class, another long-lost type that is well suited to service on today’s heritage lines.

The engine of the project is the conviction that the days of steam work are numbered without an initiative of this kind.

The main task recently has been a test assembly of the reversing shaft. Careful scraping of the white metal bearings was required as it was found that once the bearing caps were tightened the shaft was a little tight to move.

Shaft movement is now easier, but will need to be removed again to allow mounting of the arms at each end, which will involve shrinking the shaft ends in liquid nitrogen.

Left end of countershaft temporarily in place. Photo: Tony Massau.

More work has been done on the tilting grate mechanism and the rear head of the outer combustion chamber has been drilled for stays.

82045 Outdoor fireplace
Stay hole drilling in progress on the back head of the outer firebox. Credit: Jim Norman

Neil Taylor, head of engineering services at Severn Valley Railway (SVR) until his retirement in early 2021, has been appointed trustee and director of the trust. While on the SVR he transformed the Bridgnorth operation and was largely responsible for the excellent working relationship that now exists between the 82045 SLT Trust and the SVR.

On 27 January the trust had a meeting in Kidderminster with Helen Smith, MD of Severn Valley Railway, and other members of the railway management. The meeting was just a prelude before a locomotive deal was struck between the SVR and the Trust.

Jose P. Rogers