Boiler – in January 2005 the Trust was in a position to sign a contract with Meiningen. The contract was with Dampflokwerk Meiningen (Steam Locomotive Works Meiningen), a workshop of the Deutsche Bahn (the German Federal Railway) , through its subsidiary DB Fahrzeuginstandhaltung GmbH (DB Rolling Stock Maintenance Company), and followed on from an initial order for the redesign of the original LNER Diagram 118 boiler for the 21st century. The boiler was scheduled to be completed in June 2006.
Frames – work continued to make and fit new sections of the front footplating over the valve gear (including lids to allow it to be oiled). The original footplate drawing shows a continuous plate from the step behind the smokebox as far as the outside steam pipes. A drawing which came to light later shows removable plates over the front sand boxes giving access to them and the valve gear immediately behind the valve chests. Further parts were delivered for the raised portions of the footplate over the cylinders. The steam pipe covers had also been ordered to be fitted at the same time as the raised footplating. With wheels out (to finish the footplate/splasher fitting) Ian Howitt honed the inside crank pin.
Tender – A start on the tender had been made with manufacture of patterns for the hornblocks and spring guard brackets (which also serve as tender tank mountings)
Brakes – HSBC Rail (rolling stock leasing company) most generously donated two sets of brake control and sanding equipment from two Class 86 locomotives being disposed of at Shoeburyness. No. 86223 was stripped on 3rd March – just about the coldest day of the winter with blizzard conditions for half the day – while No. 86209 was stripped a week later in more pleasant weather. Help was given by Anglia Group Covenantor John Smith and his colleague Tom Sharrick who assisted on both occasions. The brake equipment required overhauling by an approved brake equipment repair shop before it could be used.
Motion – Ufone continued to make progress with the outside motion machining. They completed the radius links, radius link trunnions and the union links. The radius links were case hardened and sent to Bedestone Ltd in Birmingham to have the slot and hole ground. The case hardening proved to be a problematic process as the radial slot closed up by almost 1/16″ which would have resulted in too much of the hardened case being ground away. To overcome this, the links were annealed (which softens the hard case) and jacked out with a small 30 tonne jack acquired for the purpose. They were subsequently re-hardened.
Platework – the footplating was nearing completion and the smoke deflector brackets had been made enabling the deflectors to be fitted to the smokebox. Great Northern Steam were contracted to make the outside steam pipe casings using a mock up to get the shape right.
Fittings – the drain cocks were finished, and the first of the non-ferrous fittings were finished by South Coast Steam Ltd in the form of two 3-way anti-carbonisers (atomisers) which form a mist of oil and steam to lubricate the cylinders. The anti-carbonisers were not at the top of our list of priorities. However, as we do not have a drawing and the ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ group sent one to South Coast Steam for repair, the opportunity was taken to make drawings and produce two new ones for us. The next fittings tackled were the water gauges and safety valves which were needed for testing the boiler in Germany. The Trust was also fortunate to acquire a Wakefield 7Z mechanical lubricator from South Coast Steam. This item had come off an ex-MOD diesel shunter and was in good condition. It required some modification as the ratchet drive on the front of the lubricator needed to be moved to the back to suit our locomotive.