So where do we go in 2016?
Our main effort must be to re-wheel both the locomotive and the tender underframes; the former is now planned for 18 March. We can then reinstall the cab and complete it as well as prepare to start work in earnest on the pistons, rods and cylinders, as well as the valve chest components, subject to funding. Work should also start on the tender superstructure, the steel for which is already paid for, subject to the availability of our welder. As to the superheater header, we are now closely engaged on an R & D project with a number of companies over its manufacture using sand mould printing, a large scale, but similar version of 3D printing on a PC. Again subject to funding, we hope to be able to reactivate work on the external motion and consider ordering the extension bars and valve rods. We will be getting quotations for the Lot 354 pattern smokebox saddle and we also intend to order the front tube plate, the smokebox wrapper and the two sections of the boiler barrel in 2016.
As far a recruiting is concerned, we are still very interested in talking to potential volunteers who have transferable skills such as fitters, machinists, welders or CAD design competencies.