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.

Working on the cab

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.

Sales Stand

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