Steam-Scratch

Author: Robin Jones

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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.