The first components for The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust’s third new-build project, the £3 million Gresley V4 2-6-2 No. 3403, have been ordered.
The trust has placed a £4320 order with Unilathe of Stoke-on-Trent for 12 tender spring hooks from a closed die forging in BS970 070M20 material to original LNER drawing No. 159010.
This order is part of a much larger one placed by Network Rail for replacement components for its LNER 4200-gallon tender-based snowploughs, which has been ‘piggybacked’ on by the trust for its new Gresley class V4 and one of the two separate projects to build a new Gresley B17, therefore considerably reducing the unit costs.
The mixed-traffic V4 was Gresley’s last design for the LNER before he died in April 1941. The class V4s had similarities in their appearance and mechanical layout to the V2s, of which pioneer No. 4771 Green Arrow is preserved as a part of the National Collection.
Two locomotives were built at the LNER’s Doncaster Works in 1941, No. 3401 Bantam Cock and No. 3402, known unofficially as Bantam Hen.
At its silver jubilee convention in October 2015, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust announced that it would follow A1 4-6-2 No. 60163 Tornado and Gresley P2 2-8-2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales with the construction of further extinct LNER steam locomotives – a V4 2-6-2, a Gresley V3 2-6-2T and a Gresley class K3 2-6-0. The trust has scanned the original drawings for the V4 at the National Railway Museum in York so the design book for new locomotive could be created within 3D Computer Aided Design.
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