The demise of the B17 Class locomotives was greatly mourned by enthusiasts of the day and it was thought that they had gone for good. However, there is now a huge swell of support for steam railways in the UK and the incredible success of the new LNER ‘Tornado’ locomotive has encouraged preservation groups like ours to rebuild long lost engines.
In March 2008 we started research on the ‘Manchester United’ steam locomotive project and we are now in a position to move to the first phase of construction. One of the key elements to enable this decision was the recent discovery of more than 250 original North British Locomotive Company B17 drawings in the National Railway Museum at York. Without these it would have been very difficult to complete the locomotive.
On the practical front, we have located an original LNER Tender from a similar locomotive and have built a replica B17 cab to promote the project at enthusiast events. We have appointed a strong team to manage the project and now have more than 100 members to support us.
Based on the costings for the now completed ‘Tornado’ steam locomotive, the new ‘Manchester United’ engine is expected to cost in the region of £1.8M to complete.
We have identified suppliers and sourced pricing for most of the required parts and are currently obtaining competitive quotes from several major engineering firms for construction of the locomotive.
The tender (above) has been 'discovered' by our Members in a Doncaster scrapyard and we have opened up negotiations to purchase it for the 61662 project.
This is how the tender will look, once restored.