77021 Loco Group update


Just a quick heads-up to bring attention to latest developments with new build 77021.
The outer section of the smokebox door has been completed and a mock up of the locomotive’s ‘face’ has been arranged as shown above.

The group is also grateful to Matt Stoddon, restorer of EE Type 3, No 37175 for his provision of a set of BR Standard buffers which are of a type suitable for 77021.

In the near future, as finance permits, we are looking to produce fabricated frame stretchers as the next component of the engine.

For the latest in-depth information on the progress of the project, please visit the official website at http://www.77021.org.


You’ve seen the model, now meet the real(ish) thing.

Hot on the heels of the 1/76 Bachmann model comes the 10000 group with their on-going quest to build a full size operational replica of this pioneering British diesel loco.
The project is progressing well and I genuinely do wish them luck; I’d love to be around long enough to see it standing beside 77021 on one of our heritage lines!
Follow the loco’s development through the link below.



Full size scratch-building.




Regular followers will know of my involvement with the 77021 Loco Group.

Since our modest beginnings just four short months ago, we’ve been starting on the way to having our first parts produced. Here you can see the first fruit’s of the group’s efforts, focused on the ‘face’ of the engine, the smokebox door. Here you can see our first part, the smokebox hinge pin, three smokebox door ‘darts’. A batch jointly produced; one for our group, one for the 82045 group and one for Ivatt 2-6-0, No 46428 which is also undergoing restoration.
Last but not least is our current piece de resistance , the outer skin of the smokebox door.
This is the first truly recognisable locomotive part and for the first time people can see that there truly is a locomotive taking shape here.
I know my fellow members are very proud and excited with this new development.
If you are as excited by the prospect of a 3MT 2-6-0 returning to existence in the heritage railway world then please follow our progress at http://www.77021.org.
Or better still join us; we have a special December-only membership deal where you can join for £10, valid until 31st August, 2014. Full details at the website.


Variety week.

I’ve had a very varied and interesting week for very many reasons. Last Sunday, I visited Expo EM north with Jamie, my regular accomplice in such expo ‘raids’!
Held in Manchester this year instead of the traditional recent venue at Slaithewaite, the show struck the right balance between size and friendliness. My phone/camera didn’t have the legs for the entire course, but I did manage to whang off a few shots of the superb Stainmore layout, a long term favourite railway of mine. I was able to acquire a host of very useful small parts for current projects and others planned for the immediate future.



I’ve very recently returned to active cycling, in no small way due to the increased profile the sport has gained due to the current crop of riders from this island such as Chris Frome, Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins. I was privileged to see a host of world class cyclists last Monday as Stage 2 of the Tour of Britain blasted off from Carlisle. The turnout to see the riders off was a real credit to the Border City and I was lucky enough to catch a grab shot of Wiggo as he passed the foot of the castle. I’m still not right up there with names and faces so some of you might recognise some of the other guys here!



Since Thursday I’ve been off for some leave and on Saturday I took a trip to Edinburgh where I spent an interesting afternoon on top of a slightly chilly Calton Hill with at least 20000 other Scots folk, pondering the future of our wee country.

In between all this gallivanting I’ve also been running amok with a paint brush as I start to get the house looking fit for sale next year but having spent all of yesterday and half of today on the job, I took the afternoon off and headed up to Whitrope to give myself and Abi a good walk since I wasn’t cycling today.
I’ve not been up for a bit and the volunteers have been busy laying e few extra panels from Bridge 200 to the lease limit at the head of the cutting.
It will be a while yet before the section can be used as ballasting is required and in any case no vehicle moves are permitted over Bridge 200 until a Transport and Works order is in place for the structure.




Physical change is coming to the Whitrope landscape too as the monoculture of Sitka is being harvested and the clearance returns the hills to the east to something resembling their ‘railway era’ profile. Unsightly for now but in a year or two when the lower vegetation has taken over it’ll look much better.
The change of seasons has manifested itself early in the roadside trees which are becoming quite spectacular in appearance



Having had a check around the site, Abi and I headed up the footpath over Sandy Edge, through which Whitrope Tunnel passes. I love the view from the top here with the S curve of the railway still clearly visible as it climbs through Shankendshiel to the north portal. What a sight it must have been on a clear winter’s day here fifty years ago, watching a southbound freight service slogging its way round the curve trailing a white wraith of condensing steam behind.
On the way back, at Shankendsheil, I
came across an old BR1 baseplate spike which had somehow escaped the vultures of 1971.
It’s got a new home now, though I’ve not really though what use it can fulfil.
Paperweight’s looking likely!
Well, after that packed programme, you’ll be wondering where the modelling projects are?
Don’t worry; there will be new stuff up in the next few days.
Be seeing you…



77021 Loco Group


A brief introduction to an embryonic group in which I’m involved. You will probably already be aware that despite several BR Standard steam designs having been saved from the slaughter of the 1960s, there were some gaps in the surviving classes. Some of these are being plugged by the Standard Locomotive Group with 72010 Hengist and the 82045 Group but that left the small class of class 3MT 2-6-0 locos out on their own. Known in the North East of England and West of Scotland as useful, if unspectacular little engines, the class never exceeded twenty in number and was extinct after1967.
Until now.

The 77021 Locomotive Group has been formed in order to address this final gap in the ranks of the BR Standards.
Being a relatively lightweight design, the 3MT would be an ideal heritage line machine and would look perfectly at home on such erstwhile haunts as the Stainmore or Aln Valley Railways for example.
It is still very early days for our group and we are literally just finding our feet but it is heartening to see the goodwill and offers of assistance that are coming in from the ‘New Build’ fraternity. For this we are truly grateful.
Whilst we don’t underestimate the enormity of the task before us, it is hoped that through time, we will reach our objective. This trail has been blazed by pioneers such as the A1 SLT and the G5 group among others and it is exciting to see such classes return from the fiery grave of the furnace.
It is our group’s hope that the 3MT 2-6-0 will also return before too many years have passed.