Dismayed by the extinction of classic locomotive types at the end of the steam era, enthusiasts have formed groups to build new examples of lost engine types with an aim of filling the gap in the modern-day steam fleet.
The most famous new-build locomotive of them all is £3 million A1 Peppercorn Pacific No. 60163 Tornado, dubbed the Flying Scotsman of the 21st century, and which since its official launch by Prince Charles six years ago has drawn huge crowds wherever it goes.
But it is not merely to recreate past glories that new steam locomotives are now being built. Some are being built to provide motive power on today’s heritage railways. Others are created for educational purposes. One project aims to build a new LMS Patriot as a National Memorial Engine, honouring British servicemen and women who fought in both world wars and subsequent conflicts. Smaller ‘new builds’ are needed to haul trains on pleasure lines such as seaside miniature railways. Steam is still big business in modern ‘digital era’ Britain.
This new publication looks at all the major projects and many of the smaller ones, and looks at what groups are planning for the future.
Robin Jones is a widely published and highly respected journalist who specialises in heritage transportation and industrial archaeology subjects.
Robin contributes news and feature material on a regular basis across a wide range of railway titles and has written many books on Britain’s railway history. He is currently the editor of Heritage Railway Magazine.
By the same author: The Rocket Men: George & Robert Stephenson, Mallard 75 - Celebrating Britain's greatest steam moments, Brunel's Big Railway - How the GWR stretched from Paddington to Penzance ... and New York!, Beeching – 50 years of the axeman, Beeching – The inside track, Beating Beeching - Britain’s railways fight back from the axe, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, West Coast - The 175th Anniversary of Britain’s busiest steam line.