The six-wheel drive of the 5551 The Unknown Warrior steam locomotive needs to be replaced


The LMS Patriot project has sent RailAdvent a new update on construction work on LMS Patriot 5551 The Unknown Warrior.

Most of the riveting of the 5551’s combustion chamber has now been done by Heritage Boiler Steam Services in Huyton.

Around 1,500 rivets have been set to date, while the assembly of the transverse shrouds must be completed afterwards before the assembly of the crown and fin shrouds later.

The all new boiler, featuring a copper combustion chamber, is the first standard gauge boiler to be built in the UK since the 1960s, according to the LMS Patriot project.

After faults in a drive wheel were discovered during repairs, it was decided to test all six-wheel drive.

After shot peening, the inspection was carried out by UK Engineering Services using magnetic particle testing at Riley and Sons.

Three members of the LMS Patriot project attended the inspection.

The report confirmed that the five-wheel drive suffered from widespread cracks and it was decided after discussions with Ricardo Rail and The Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust that the six-wheel drive should be replaced.

An investigation is ongoing, but the cracks are believed to have originated from the casting of the wheels at the Boro smelter in 2010/11.

A meeting at the end of the month will be held to find a way forward with the new wheel drive.

If you would like to become a member of the LMS Patriot Project or donate to the construction of 5551 The Unknown Warrior, please visit LMS Patriot project website.

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About Jun Quentin

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