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LMS Patriot Project Updates

Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Gav106, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    No we don't have the funding direct to hand. We do however have enough forecast coming in to cover bills as and when. We have 3 groups that have been taking money which have been the boiler build at Crewe, loco work at llan and the tender work at llan. We could pause one area such as work on the tender if we were to start struggling. Last year we had an income of £427,000 which was our best yet but we do need to push harder as our aim is to raise £498,000 this year.
    To do this we obviously need to push as hard as possible for donations. If anyone reading this can help financially the please visit http://lms-patriot.org.uk/sos-appeal and make a donation towards the boiler. As you say having extra income now would seriously help in negotiations with what ever our engineering team decide.
     
  2. Copper-capped

    Copper-capped Active Member

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    Could someone please give a quick explanation as to what it is that makes new boiler construction for locomotives outside the capabilities of a decent sized engineering firm.

    Seems to be a gap in the market for the servicing of the steam preservation movement.
     
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  3. estwdjhn

    estwdjhn New Member

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    Most boiler making is actually quite easy if you know how to go about it, the problem for a typical engineering firm will be that they don't!

    Working out how to build a boiler more of less from first principles without experienced knowledge would likely prove an extremely costly exercise (but would be great spectator sport for those of us who have half an idea).

    It's the combination of how to:

    Set up and mate up complex pressed plates
    Work with heavy copper plate (mistakes are very expensive, and the number of people with relevant experience is small)
    Rivet
    Stay up
    Understand how to actually get the thing watertight without welding the joints (caulking and fullering will be pretty alien concepts to most engineering firms).

    It also involves a bit of specialist kit (riveting tackle, stay taps etc) some of which is no longer manufactured and can be difficult to come by (knocking rivet back jammers for instance).
     
  4. Jimc

    Jimc Well-Known Member

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    Trouble is the market is about the size of a marble, and its a very specialised area, and I bet it requires a lot of specialist equipment. I suggest that the very fact that LNWR are apparently happy to discard external business rather than expand to meet demand may be an indication of how valuable they consider such business to be.
     
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  5. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

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    Makes it very clear why the A1 trust went the way they did.

    Sawdust.
     
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  6. Eightpot

    Eightpot Part of the furniture

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    Agreed, but I'd also add lining the bits up so they fit together at the required dimensions, and when it is complete, without any welsh vegetables.

    Our local model engineering society had a talk about this project by one of the group's members a few months ago. The thing that stuck in mind was that the then intended completion date would be 11.00 a.m., on November 11th, 2018. Sad that it is unlikely to happen now.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  7. estwdjhn

    estwdjhn New Member

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    I'd kind of mentally included that in my first item on setting up plates...
     
  8. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    Not really, Gav did mention that they have approached a dozen UK firms who are capable of doing the job.
     
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  9. Argus

    Argus New Member

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    A rather contradictory statement to your earlier post. You said Crewe were expecting to have the boiler finished for January, but were awaiting the throat plate for completion. Surely if you have not got the funds to enable completion at this point in time, then funds were not available for a January completion date anyway? Is this a factor in their decision?
     
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  10. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    No. Finance was not a factor in the decision.

    We have spent money elsewhere while the periods have been quite regards the boiler. Those of you who are members and read the Warrior magazine (or those who download older copies via the website) will read Neil Collinsons finance report and understand that he is constantly juggling the finance. As you can see on the last engineering update we have done more work on the tender than was expected as we had the money to do so. In addition we run our project very differently to others as we are particularly focused on publicity and fundraising. We have always found that when big news pieces happen more donation's come in. So as the work progresses on say the boiler we would expect to see an upturn in donations to help us get this project finished and over the line.

    I have no idea regards who can do boiler work to what standard etc, I can only repeat Kevin's word from his press release that a number of suppliers have been contacted. Not much else can be said about that until they have spoken, quoted etc and made a decision. Meanwhile I'll keep going about my normal process and help with the fundraising as much as possible.
     
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  11. S.A.C. Martin

    S.A.C. Martin Well-Known Member

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    I thought that earlier today too.
     
  12. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    They made what they believed to be the right decision at the time, and it probably was the right decision, but since then several organisations in Britain have demonstrated their ability to build or rebuild various parts of big steam locomotive boilers and/or to assemble the parts into a complete boiler. The plan for the Patriot's boiler was sound except possibly (we don't yet know) in the details of the contract or other arrangement with the people at Crewe.
     
  13. W.Williams

    W.Williams Member

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    small high value markets are fun when you establish yourself as the leader... I think I said this already, but I speculate LNWR are going to be doing a lot more of this for others.
     
  14. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Doing a lot more of what?
     
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  15. class8mikado

    class8mikado Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know if the loss of Capacity at LNWR was due to Leavers or Retirement ? Its an awkward situation, the demand outstrips the supply, but because the demand also outstrips the funding - the supplier cant just 'name his price' so the industry itself is unattractive. Wondering if its too late to train as a Boilersmith ...
     
  16. W.Williams

    W.Williams Member

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    Trading commodities and financial futures options I imagine...

    Its never too late to train as anything, go for it!
     
  17. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Ah, thought so.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
  18. Gav106

    Gav106 Well-Known Member

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    How much does a boilersmith actually earn? And would those same skills earn more at another engineering location none railway?


    What skills/qualifications does a boilersmith get that could be used elsewhere?
     
  19. Kempenfelt 82e

    Kempenfelt 82e New Member

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    Having read up on the past few days discussion's I'm afraid I can completely see where LNWR's decision has come from and don't think they've done anything unjust, infact I'd go as far to say as they've been very accommodating.

    • LNWR were announced as the preferred bidder to build the boiler back in 2010 at the AGM.
    • LNWR agreed that the boiler would be complete and ready for delivery by Dec 2016 (this date had been agreed pre Oct 2015), however they have not had the parts delivered to meet this date due to delays from the Patriot Project's sub contractors.
    • The Patriot Project has been aware that LNWR has not taken on any further work for some time, so its been made obvious that LNWR wants to focus on their own projects.
    • LNWR have given the Patriot Project an additional 3 months beyond the expected completion date before taking the decision not to take on any additional work and agreed to finish all work in progress.
    Taking all the above into consideration, LNWR have been trickle fed the work, with small milestone contracts issued as and when funds and components allow. They have and will meet all their contractual agreements and have continued to progress work for the Patriot Project when they've turned down almost all other outside work. The Patriot Project has been aware that LNWR want to focus on their own business which already has a backlog and do not want to dilute their resources to outside projects and they do not need the outside business. I'd assume that there has always been a risk identified by the Patriot Project that if they ran out of time, then the work would have to be moved elsewhere to be completed, or at least it should have been recognised.

    I appreciate that this news would've come as a disappointment to some, but unfortunately to me it would appear that it just hasn't been possible to manufacture all the parts and let the contracts within the allotted time frame. It may have been assumed that LNWR would continue to do the work as and when required, but if the work hadn't materialised, then you can't blame LNWR for taken the decision to stop taken on any future work after the agreed completion date.

    Gav, with regards to the boiler, there does appear to be a large proportion of the complicated work complete, with all the major components to hand. Does that mean its effectively only an assembly and certification job left to do? Or are there still components still to be acquired and machined, such as the dome, regulator and tubes etc?

    Good luck with the search for a new contractor and remainder of the build. And for those who want to see 5551 completed for its intended completion date, this can only add incentive to get behind the project and support it.

    Best Wishes

    Paul
     
  20. Kempenfelt 82e

    Kempenfelt 82e New Member

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    Gav,

    With regards to your questions about boiler smith's and transferable skills, I believe the majority will be on or close to minimum wage. Boilerwork although relatively simple, is very time consuming. Any decision to increase salaries will unfortunately result in the additional expense being passed on to loco owners, societies and charities.

    The transferable skills, particularly coded welding will be in demand in the ship building industry. My last 9 years has been spent working for the MoD on both Subs and Ships with coded welders very much sought after and with already several years heavy investment in the recruiting and training of these skilled workers.

    Paul
     
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