27 October 2022
Name for new-build of Gresley's final 2-6-0 steam locomotive design revealed, following consultation with supporters.
Main image: Painting of No. 3403 in Scotland by Chris Ludlow, presented to the A1SLT at its most-recent convention. A1SLT
The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust (A1SLT) has announced that its next new-build steam locomotive project will be called Highlander, following consultation with its supporters.
At its Silver Jubilee Convention in October 2015, The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust revealed that it would follow its Peppercorn Class A1 60163 Tornado and Gresley Class P2 No. 2007 Prince of Wales with the construction of further extinct LNER steam locomotives – a Gresley Class V4.
A1SLT Chairman, Steve Davies MBE, commented, “The name Highlander perfectly matches the history of the V4 class, and we look forward to enjoying an emotional and spiritual rapport with Scotland’s railway scene and with the country’s proud people, as well as operating in all other parts of Great Britain”.
Following the tradition of its locomotives having military links, the A1SLT is looking forward to a strong relationship with the Highland Regiments, which have responded positively.
Previously described as ‘Gresley’s Rolls-Royce’ the V4 will be able to travel almost anywhere on the UK rail network, which its other locomotives can't do due to their size. A versatile and economic locomotive, No. 3403 Highlander, will be the third LNER V4 Class locomotive, Sir Nigel Gresley’s last design, and will be adapted to run on today’s railway.
The A1SLT's locomotive, No. 3403 Highlander will benefit from:
- Roller bearings on all axles
- Air-braked with vacuum capability
- All-welded boiler
- Electrical system as per other locomotives
- Increased water capacity
Original drawings have been scanned to enable 3D computer aided design to start, and the Trust has started to acquire materials for the project. Subject to review by the Council of Trustees, it is hoped to officially launch the new project with a Founders Club in Spring/Summer 2023.
Although there is currently no specific appeal open for Highlander, donations made towards it will be ring-fenced for the project. The next step will be to launch ‘The Founder’s Club’ to fund the early stages of the project. More announcements will be made over the next few months as the project is expected to progress.
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