this was due to passing Carnforth at speed. Having troughs en route it was unnecessary to stop for water, unlike with mainline tours nowadays. The Oxenholme to Grayrigg section, with the two miles of 1 in 173 on the ascent to Grayrigg shows performance one would expect of both engines, 46233 took just 8.56 compared with the 11.20 of 1662. The speeds of both engines were clocked, 47mph for 46233 and a minimum of 32mph for 1662 in passing Grayrigg. 46233 then takes 5.25 from Grayrigg to Tebay (old station) as against 5.44 for Deerhound and so passing through the Lune Valley things would have been pretty much neck and neck (and would Deerhound have been picking up water on Tebay troughs).
From Tebay (old station) it is 5.5 miles to Shap summit and not surprisingly it was here that Sutherland pulled ahead, gaining 2.08 on the George, taking 6.38 as against 8.46. So the total time for Sutherland was 37.05 for the 31.2 miles from the loop as against 39.44 for Deerhound (for the 31.4 miles Nock quotes from Carnforth station to the summit). This was a very fine performance for the George, but not one that was out of character. For the 59 ton 1662 with a comparable load shows an incredible performance from such a small engine with only 175lb boiler pressure available, but it did have the benefits of high temperature superheat and long-travel piston valves. 1662’s average speed throughout was a striking 47.3 mph and the average drawbar horsepower seems to have in the region of 950.
Taking all the factors together, it is a fascinating comparison between a quality climb of Shap on a Scottish express achieved in the conditions applicable around a hundred years ago and an excellent steam performance in today’s conditions, and the experience taken as a whole is a surprisingly close run thing – and in the absence of these plucky little Georges it is pretty clear the West Coast main line is missing something sensational." - Tom Mainprize & Paul Hibberd.
We have already made a strong start; registering considerable interest and forged invaluable links and associations and received invaluable advice from individuals involved elsewhere in new build steam. All of which we hope to announce on this site in due course.
Additionally, the trust is aware of the existence of about 60 drawings of the class and we've already studied around 20 of them at the NRM. We are also in regular contact with and have forged a close working relationship with the LNWR Society, which also has a large collection of drawings and related material in their archives. Their 700 strong membership has been very supportive of our endeavours. A company with registered charitable status has been established and donations with Gift Aid are possible through a number of platforms.
As the time of writing, thanks to a generous donation, we have procured a LNWR whistle will soon complete the smokebox door and fittings. We are in talks with prospective suppliers for the frame-plates and are the beneficiaries of expert technical assistance pertaining to many aspects of the locomotive such as the Joy Valve Gear and mainline running. We have already received considerable financial support from a number of key organisations and individuals and have raised enough in fundraising to secure the first £5,000 of 10 tranches in matched fundraising set at £5,000 increments. We are close to securing the second tranche thanks to our fundraising efforts and the generosity of our supporters. The budget estimate stands at £1.5 million for the build and associated expenses.
We are currently on the look out for prospective members with engineering expertise. We of course welcome any keen and genuine interest in the role on what will prove to be an exciting, challenging and deeply rewarding task. Indeed we welcome anyone with passion, energy, determination, business acumen, time and organisational skills to make contact with us!