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Bluebell Railway Atlantic Group
November 2004 progress

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Locomotive Frames Ordered

A major step forward. See the drawings of the locomotive mainframes. The most difficult part was finding a firm who could put the one-inch 'joggle' in the mainframes, but the search ended with R.K. Pridham who have the ex-Crewe Works 700-ton upstroke press. We have ordered the complete 'frame pack' comprising the 2 mainframes (at 34-ft length each), the bogies frames, outside frames for the trailing wheelset, strengthening plates and front and rear buffer planks. Delivery of mainframe pack (apart from mainframes themselves) is expected on Dec 20th, just in time for Christmas! The mainframes, after bending, should be ready in the early spring.

Driving Wheel Patterns sent to Foundry
The driving wheel castings have been ordered. The trailing wheels together with the tender wheels we already have, and the bogie wheels have already been cast. Our volunteer pattern maker has meanwhile been kept busy with various patterns for bogie castings, some of which are already being cast, and is now working on the pattern for the fiendishly complicated central bogie casting.

Atlantic Building Funding Agreed
The need for the erection of a building to house the components for the locomotive has been obvious for some time if we were going to make significant progress. Plans have now been agreed by all interested parties on the Bluebell, and a Planning Application was submitted to Lewes District Council in early October.

The building is estimated to cost up to £60,000, given the uncertainty over the cost of the foundations. The majority of the funding is being provided by the Bluebell Railway Trust, with costs being split 20%: 80% between the project and the Trust. This will also leave the railway with a very useful building at the end of the project.

We are extremely indebted to the Bluebell Trust which has again demonstrated its faith in the construction of the locomotive and the skills development potential within the Railway which it represents. It also demonstrates the enormous value that gifts and legacies to the Trust can have in making a significant difference to projects on Bluebell.

Hot Riveting Work progressing on Tender Chassis

Hot riveting of the dragbeam of the tender chassis was used as a training excercise for newer workshop recruits a few weeks ago. The photo on the right shows the hot rivet in place, with the pneumatic expander (used to hold it in place while fixing) behind, ready for attention from the pneumatic hammer.

Photo: Nick Beck

The full news report is available as a newletter to donors to the project.

We are as always extremely grateful to our donors and regular contributors without whose continued support this project would not make progress. However I make no excuses for the fund raising drive we are now making. We have been very careful in spending money over the last 2 or 3 years knowing that big expenditure will need to be made. That point has now arrived. We have in the last few weeks committed £40,000 of Atlantic funds and whilst we have this money (just) we need to raise more urgently to make full use of the facilities and potential now becoming available.

You can help us in 3 main ways:

  1. We need more regular contributors to the £5 a month (£15 a quarter) scheme which is so valuable in bringing in regular funds. So please go and twist your friends' arms to join and support us. Any doubts about the seriousness of the scheme should now have been dispelled!
  2. We are starting a new 'SPONSOR A COMPONENT' scheme which we hope you will be able to support. We will need to make or purchase a very large number of individual components in order to build the locomotive. These will range in price and I hope provide something affordable to most pockets. The idea is that each issue we produce a list of component parts available to be sponsored with their prices. If you, your friends or your company would like to sponsor a particular item then contact our Treasurer with a cheque made out to the Bluebell Railway Trust (and of course a Gift Aid form if you have not already filled one in). You will in return receive an attractive Sponsorship Certificate (designed by Matthew Cousins) detailing your particular sponsored item. These will be suitable for framing should you wish. Each item on the list is individual so no one else will be sponsoring the same item. The first component list is here. You may prefer to use the combined Sponsorship and GiftAid form available as a pdf.
  3. Sponsor our building. Our new permanent building will absorb about £15,000 of our funds. It will give us about 2100 square feet of covered space. The Trust has generously agreed to provide the funds for 1600 sq.ft. That leaves 500 sq ft available for sponsorship at £30 a square foot. If you can sponsor one or more square feet we would be very grateful. Again you will receive a sponsorship certificate.

We do very much hope you will be able to support us.

Other news:
Christmas Cards.
If you have not already got your Atlantic Christmas Cards (2424 in SR livery on Imberhorne Viaduct) these are available from Matthew Cousins, 1 Sunnycroft Close, Scaynes Hill, West Sussex. RH17 7PT at £10 for 10 including postage. Each pack makes nearly £5 for Atlantic funds. Please make cheques out to Bluebell Railway PLC.

Atlantic Sales.
My thanks again to Mike Wells (and Matthew Cousins) for manning the sales stand in the Exhibition Coach at Horsted Keynes. We do need more saleable items, books, models, railwayana, paperwork etc (but no magazines please. These can be given in at Horsted Keynes when the van is open or left c/o Keith Sturt at the Loco Works Sheffield Park.

Don't forget, the value of donations through the Bluebell Railway Trust (minimum £20, or £15 if Standing Order) is increased through GIFT AID by 28%. The appeal leaflet, enabling GiftAid donations and standing orders to be set up is now available as a pdf document.
Further details from: David Jones, (Treasurer) 3 Nutley Mill Road, Pevensey, East Sussex. BN24 5PD. or e-mail David Jones.

If you wish to leave money to the Atlantic Project (or to Bluebell generally) then this is best done through the Bluebell Trust as this is deducted from you estate before Inheritance Tax calculations are made. Further information here. Please make your wishes clear in your will.

Edited from text provided by Terry Cole

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More recent news updates

  • Feb 2005 - Bogie frames arrive - site cleared for construction of the shed.
  • Dec 2005 - Loco main frames arrive - tender frames nearly completed - start of construction of the shed.
  • 2006 - Loco driving wheel castings delivered - drilling of the main frames and hornguides - building of the shed completed.
  • 2007 - Main locomotive frames erected.
  • 2008 - Components for the cylinders and valve chest delivered - frames riveted - forged billets for connecting and coupling rods delivered.
  • 2009 - First motion parts water-jet cut from forged blanks - bogie frames assembled.
  • 2010 - Cylinders and valve chests fabricated, air brake cylinders completed, bogie and trailing wheelsets completed.
  • 2011 - Coupling rods and axleboxes delivered, reverser mechanism completed, crossheads cast.
  • 2012 - Valve and cylinder liners fitted - lifting and reversing arms and axlebox crowns delivered - castings for mudhole doors, regulator and whistle valves, reversing shaft clutch, blast-pipe cap, crosshead slippers, 'J' pipe and eight eccentric halves received - Bogie and trailing axle now support the frames - Valve chest and cylinders fitted to frames, covers fitted, and pressure tested.
  • 2013 - Cylinders, valves, slidebars and crossheads completed - driving wheels completed - valve gear components delivered - lifting frames constructed.
  • 2014 - Weigh (reversing) shaft and air-clutch fitted, axleboxes metalled, machined and fitted, wheel rotators constructed, eccentric rods, valve and reversing gear, pipework for brakes and steam heat completed, locomotive wheeled, cylinders clad and crossheads fitted.
  • 2015 - Rolling Chassis completed with all motion erected. Running plates and splashers completed, along with cab sides and front.
  • 2016 - Connecting and coupling rods fitted, valves set. Superheater header delivered. Revision of boiler internal pipework completed. Cab roof riveted together and fitted. Mud-hole patches welded into boiler. Flue tubes (with screw ends welded on) delivered.
  • 2017 - Major progress on the boiler overhaul, and with the safety valves.
  • 2018 - Boiler tubes fitted, tender made mobile, complex parts of the boiler cladding made.
  • Most recent news.

Older news updates

Project Funding

A fund raising appeal for the cash required to complete the project was launched in 2000, and a combination of gifts made via the Bluebell Railway Trust, and standing orders set up to provide a steady income to the project have now made over a third of the total available. Whilst this has provided funding for the present work, more is going to be needed to complete the project, and the best way in which you can help is by setting up a small, regular, standing order to the Bluebell Railway Trust under Gift Aid, since this enables the Trust to reclaim the basic rate tax you have paid, and (if you are a higher rate tax-payer) enables you to reclaim some tax as well.

A combined Donation, GiftAid and Standing Order form is available as a pdf document.

For further details contact David Jones.

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