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More progress as locomotive goes together

as the following photographs illustrate, both the pistons and valves are now in the cylinders and the end caps fitted. Also the brake rigging is on.

‘The boiler is making progress too with the large tubes now on site and the ‘bottle ends’ are being fitted. Finally the superheater elements are being manufactured.

Member’s Day

on 29th October the Society held the annual Member’s Day at Llangollen,

addressing the meeting was our ambassador Mark Evans visiting us to see for himself the progress on the locomotive.

work on completing the ‘bottom end’ of the locomotive continues whilst work on the boiler continues at Tyseley. The Boiler Fund has now reached the amazing total of £219,000 a remarkable achievement. Les than 10 Granges remain to be adopted raising £70,000 through this initiative.

Getting ready for AGM weekend

This past weekend we were preparing for the 6880 Betton Grange Society AGM on Sunday 23rd July, giving her a really good clean after her trip to Tyseley Locomotive Works. Many thanks to Chris, Lynn, Quentin, Paul N, Maverick, Bill, and Martin for doing their bit and making her look great! Looking forward to seeing our members and showing the progress so far at the weekend

Boiler Cladding being Fitted

Busy 4 days on the loco this weekend! A Superb Team, as ever, led by Chris who pulled out all the stops!, Many thanks to Quentin, Lynn, Robin, Paul N, Bill, Maverick, David, Richard P, Paul E. The start of the Boiler Cleating sheets, cleaning of the ConRods, fitting of the reverser and more painting! All in all making good progress for her next public outing at Tyseley Locomotive Works…

Progress Update January 2011

On Sunday 9th January the AGM was held at Llangollen. Fourteen members were present. The formalities completed, three new Board members were voted in. We now have the following people in position on the Board and a group of people designed to carry the project forward at an increased pace.

Quentin McGuinness –  Chairman and a founding member. Also the Treasurer

Richard Cadge – Membership Secretary

David Huntbatch – Sales and Marketing

Paul Appleton – Publicity.

Pete Thomas – Engineering.

Alan Naylor – Company Secretary


Meanwhile at Llangollen, the cab is being erected onto the rear of the locomotive, with the detailing of the running plate curvature now apparent. The hornguides are being fitted and the front four are nearly fixed. The Extension Frames are now on order and below is a photo of the two profiles as delivered to our supplier, Stones of Street. They will shortly be machined to our drawings and are expected at Llangollen in March.

Extension Frames
Hornguides fitted

Finally, we are planning a General Members Day this Spring. There are over 150 people to invite to what should be a lively day with the extension frames fitted, progress on the construction of the locomotive will be there for your inspection. The date is to be announced.

Progress Update, April 2010

We have now had all the riveting completed to attach the cab steps to the main frame, and the completed the fitting of the rear dragbox, rear bufferbeam and buffer plates including the riveting. 6880 volunteers have marked up and drilled out all the holes over the last 12 months.

The saddle plate has also been successfully riveted into place after being built and marked out by Ian Massey last summer. 6880 now awaits the arrival of the extension frames which will be riveted in front of the saddle. It is hoped for these will arrive later this year.

Jonathan Kerr, 25th April 2010.

Progress Update, August 2009

6880 news

Well it’s been a while….

But at last we seem to be out of the coma called the “Steel Steam & Stars II aftermath” it is time to get back into the groove, namely building 6880. We will again be spending time adding to what has been built so far.

There will be a full gala report in the next newsletter, and a web update, but I can say, yes it was successful, yes it raised a significant amount of money and without doubt raised the profile of Betton Grange and Llangollen Railway even further. The downside  is lack of real progress on the construction of 6880 due to the Gala taking up so much time, but now we are in possession of a healthy bank account we can now make some progress, as I  will now explain;

We are in the process of placing orders with Llangollen engineering to:

  • Fit the dragbox permanently along with the back buffer beam, rubbing plates and the two pressed steel brackets. This will all be riveted, but all the parts have been trial fitted and drilled.
  • Fit all the Hornguides, Hornties, rear stretcher tie bolts, pins etc to the requires standards.

The extension frame drawing has now been finalised by Pete Simpson. Discussions are due to take place on methods of construction during the next few days. The original was a forging, and to adhere to the original it is is the correct method, but at a cost. Cutting it out of high-grade steel and fabrication may be a better present day alternative.

As soon as we have a clear path on the best route the order will be placed, but to assist with the speed of construction most of the components that fit round the extension frames have already been made or are about to be ordered.

We are putting together an order with Angle Ring in Tipton for all the curved sections of footplate angle (eight in all), also the last two pressings for the front dragbox. There are also  a few other components on the list.

With a bit of luck we should have enough cash to finish the frames front to back, albeit without wheels cylinders or bogie.

Not a bad achievement considering it is ALL new.

As mentioned a while back now the NRM has given up all its drawing secrets we are in a much better position to be able to order what we need, when we need it, something that was not always possible even a short time ago.

We are looking to step up the progress at the working weekends as there is much input we can now make.  No doubt I will be cracking the whip and requesting sick notes for lack of attendance!

The last working weekends have seen the cab dismantled as it is now in the way and needs to be in dismantled in order to be fitted. There is quite a bit of preparation work ready for September.

The sales and promotion stand is visiting the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry Great Garret Gathering, with Quentin, Phil Macey, Jon Kerr, Mick, Emma, Richard Cadge and myself. There is also a planned Members Weekend on October the 10th, more details to be announced as we put this together.

I hope this post addresses the balance of news, without a Gala to plan, run, and organise it leaves us with time to concentrate on what this project is all about, building the 81st Grange

Thanks for you patience and support.

Will Naylor