DESIGNER'S WIDOW STARTS CONSTRUCTION OF NEW STEAM LOCOMOTIVE
A1 Project gets helping hand from BSD Plate & Profile Products
The project to build the first new mainline steam locomotive in Britain since 1960 took a major step forward today when the new locomotive's main frames were profiled at BSD Plate and Profile Products' 38-acre site in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
The CNC Plasma and Oxy fuel profile cutting system which cut the main frames from steel donated by British Steel was started by Mrs Dorothy Mather, the widow of the locomotive’s 1940s designer, Arthur H Peppercorn. The profiling of the main frames involves cutting 25mm and 30mm plate with consistent high quality finish.
David Champion, Chairman and Project Manager, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, commented,“After more than three years of careful preparation, it was a marvellous sight to see Mrs Mather start cutting metal for the new Peppercorn class A1 steam locomotive - the 50th to her late husband's 1940s design. The main frames of a steam locomotive are the parts upon which everything else is built, and so the importance of this announcement to the Trust cannot be understated. It's ironic that only a mile from this works in Leeds is the site of the former Copley Hill Shed where many of the A1s were based in the 1950s and 1960s to work express trains to London's King's Cross Station.
“We are also very grateful to BSD Plate and Profile Products, not only for the profiling of the frames but also for enabling us to do it in such style in the presence of Mrs Mather. We certainly look forward to working with the company again as construction of the locomotive progresses towards completion in Summer 1998.”
Stuart Cross, Regional General Manager, BSD Plate and Profile Products, Leeds, added,”BSD is delighted to be associated with such a splendid project as the one to build a brand new mainline steam locomotive in the 1990s. Our agreement to profile the new locomotive's main frames is one that is of great benefit to both parties. The finished locomotive will be a tribute to both the dedication and vision of The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and the quality of BSD’s workmanship.
“This is an agreement that will enable us to demonstrate the variety of uses to which our plant, equipment and skills can be put and one that shows that the UK still leads the world in this branch of steel technology. We look forward to working with the Trust on this and other aspects of the locomotive's construction.”
David Champion, Chairman, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, concluded, “The addition of BSD Plate and Profile Products to the list of great British engineering companies - including British Steel, William Cook plc and Macreadys - already helping the project, is a major advance for the Trust. With the locomotive's main frames underway, the
tender started, the cylinder patterns under construction and the driving wheel patterns ready for delivery, no-one can now doubt that we really mean business. 1994 will see further major announcements as the construction gathers pace. We are now appealing to those who want to be a part of this exciting project to become covenantors, sponsors and volunteers to help us maintain this momentum.”