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A Collection of B17 models

The Trust has received a legacy of model railway locomotives, rolling stock and other items. The Trust is now in possession of these items which includes superb collection of 61 B17s. Each model has had the splasher nameplates and numbers repainted professionally, and includes the vast majority of the B17s that were not converted into B2s. The models are a mix of Bachmann and Hornby and are in 'out of the box' condition. Some are professionally weathered and some have extra details such as air brakes.

The B17 collection is for sale complete and expressions of interest are welcomed, via the email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

 Legacy B17s reduced

This picture shows the entire set of B17s mentioned in the text above.

Photo courtesy of Tony Brzosko


A Historic Meeting – a new way of working!!

A meeting with Ricardo Rail - 26th January 2022On 26th January 2022, The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust attended a meeting called by Ricardo Rail along with 5 other new Build Projects – namely the A1 Trust, the Patriot Group, the Clan Project, the G5 Group and General Steam Navigation projects. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the nature and demands of Risk Assessments required by Ricardo Rail for Main Line Certification. This is, we suspect, the first time all of these Project Teams have sat around the same table and discussed mutual concerns and problems. It represented a changed mood in the sector and is to be welcomed. Note that the B17 and A1 Trusts have worked with Ricardo Rail consistently checking design work and manufacture at every stage of their builds.

The immediate topic for discussion were the Risk Assessments to be submitted to Ricardo Rail and we all readily accepted the desirability of using a common format. This will make it easier to ensure that all submissions contain the relevant information, speed up the process and ultimately make the process cheaper. We had the opportunity to work through an example and it was clear that we all faced similar problems.

The lunch break gave the teams an opportunity to go on a tour of the factory site and see some of the larger than life renewable energy projects that CTL Seal are involved in, as well as the two locomotives based there (Spirit of Sandringham and Hengist).

Whilst the primary task was concerned with Risk Assessments, both relating to the locomotive and the decision making process involved with it, it became increasingly obvious that there was a need for the ongoing sharing of information on all aspects of our work – Suppliers, Contractors etc; it was decided to continue holding these meetings every 6 months or so.

Our thanks must go to CTL Seal for their hospitality and for inviting us back next time.

And the Official Press release

Press release New Main Line Steam Builders Group starts work

Six high-profile steam project groups with the common objective of delivering their respective locomotives fit for UK main line running have agreed to meet and cooperate with each other on a regular basis.

While the groups all have their own technical and project management challenges to deal with,many of the present day safety certification and related requirements are to some degree of a generic nature, applicable to all new orrestored steam locomotives. Group members can also build on the collective knowledge in the new build sector, and the significant experience / expertisegained by the A1 Trust through the previous approval ofTornado;helping each other by sharing information and experience. While the main focus will be on meeting the risk management and network compatibility requirements of the rail industry safety certification standards, other directly related issues (for example supplier assurance, technical solutions) will be under discussion. Sharing third party costs where appropriate can ease pressure on individual project budgets.

Founder Group Members are:

The B17 Steam locomotive Trust
Class G5 Locomotive Company
General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society
LMS-Patriot Company
P2 Steam Locomotive Company(A1 Steam Locomotive Trust)
Standard Steam Locomotive Company (72010 Hengist)

The Group decided to come together as the benefits became clear through their individual projectexperiences.

Aninaugural meeting was held on 26th January 2022 at the premises of CTL Seal Ltd, a large bespoke engineering company in Sheffield that is now the home of the B17 and Hengistprojects.With the expert guidance of Graham Nicholas from P2 and the Railway Safety Standards Board, along with representatives of Ricardo Certification Ltd, the group studied theevolution of rail industry certification requirements up to the present day, before starting worktogether on a hazard identification exercise for heritage steam locomotive design and manufacture / restoration.

A forward work programme has been agreed for the group, with meetings envisaged at 6-monthly frequency.

Against the backdrop of a changing railway, the members believe the collaboration will establish a pathway for existing new build main line projects and those that may come in the future, helping tosecurethe long-term future of main line steam in the UK.

The group welcomes interest from other new build groups with ambitions to run on the main line railway.

A case of mutual benefit between the 61662 Appeal and 61673 ‘Spirit of Sandringham’ - 19th December 2021

The 61662 Appeal (Manchester United) project is being wound down. The 61662 project is a B17 locomotive “mock up” with tender No. 4166, once coupled to Class B1 No. 61176 – one of the Vulcan batch. It is located ‘outside’ at The Mizens Railway, home of the Woking Miniature Railway Society in Surrey, owners of the 10-acre site who granted space for the 61662 project. 

After consultation with the Appeal club members, the favoured outcome, supported by the vote of members of the 61662 Appeal, was to offer the ex B1 tender as a donation to B17SLT for the Spirit of Sandringham project. The cost of its removal and transport from the site will be a B17SLT responsibility. 

The tender’s frame structure both outside and underneath is sound with the dragbox, couplings and rear buffers all in place. Wheels, axles and axle boxes appear sound, although appropriate testing and new tyres will be required. A full set of bearing springs and hangers are available, which will require overhaul/test; full replacement brake gear will be required. All are a common factor with our own comparable tender, now in Sheffield. Importantly, the frame structure is in better condition than our own tender, which is devoid of dragbox, couplings and brake gear. Parts of the coal space have rusted away. A replacement tank and coal space will be needed, which is the same for our own version. This ex B1 tender will provide a benefit to The Trust where this variant would be the preferred choice for mainline running, although a thorough strip down, assessment, test and rebuild with replacement parts as required will be needed. Ownership of both LNER tenders will provide an extra set of wheels, axles and axleboxes as a valuable spares asset. 

Space is available for the tender at the Sheffield site. Assembled track of sufficient length from beneath the “mock up” locomotive has also been agreed as part of the donation arrangement. Similarly, the front pair of buffers are part of the donation. A full size cab fabricated in aluminium with wooden window frames is fitted to the “mock up” locomotive. This is owned by Mr. David Buck who has kindly agreed to loan it to the Spirit of Sandringham project for display purposes which is gratefully acknowledged. The Trust will continue to conclude the transfer arrangement for the tender. 

The Trust is making an offer to the 61662 members of a reduced subscription to The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust for their first year.

MP visits Spirit of Sandringham in Sheffield – 22nd October 2020 

Two days after the new build B17 had arrived at its new home of CTL Seal Ltd, in Ecclesfield, Sheffield, Miriam Cates, Member of Parliament for the local constituency of Penistone and Stocksbridge including Ecclesfield, made a private visit to the company, as guest of the Managing Director Andy England. 

During the brief visit to view the Spirit of Sandringham project, Chairman Brian Hall explained that the next phase of construction was to manufacture parts, to ultimately see wheels fitted to the mainframe structure. Local engineering companies within the city and the surrounding area would jointly contribute as part of the supply chain to the project. Further funding would enable the manufacture of cylinders, motion, bogie and the boiler in the years ahead with the aim of achieving an operational locomotive in 2029, to mark the centenary when the first B17s entered service.

Public benefit information delivered by The Trust, highlighted the successful two-year education programme themed upon the B17 project, conducted in conjunction with STEM at five trials schools in Essex. This involved GCSE Science (250 students) and ‘A’ Level Design and Technology (50 students.) The repeat of the second year was emphasised with prior approval of the Education Authorities, to validate the Assessment Module as a consequence of the cancellation of examinations, at the March lockdown. It was explained that a good level of interest and participation had been demonstrated by the students, teaching staff and even the parents where advanced technology and modern engineering techniques applied to a late 1920’s design provided a variety of problem-solving tasks relevant to a new build steam locomotive project in the modern era. This learning initiative may also enthuse and stimulate a desire by the young people, to pursue career opportunities in the fields of engineering and manufacturing. The Chairman also explained that discussions with appropriate departments within the Engineering Faculty at Sheffield University had commenced, to explore opportunities for cooperative working and mutual benefit associated with the Spirit of Sandringham project.

Finally, the service life of B17s was shared with our visitors and inevitably covered East Anglia and Sheffield areas. Mr. Cates (who also attended) indicated that he had some knowledge of B17s having originated from Suffolk. This related to names of stately homes located in East Anglia carried by the locomotives for which relevant information had been handed down by his grandfather. Recognition of Wolferton Station was also highlighted derived from previous visits to West Norfolk. 

Miriam Cates MP was thanked for her interest shown in the objectives and status of the 'Spirit of Sandringham' project. 

 MP visits CTL Seal 221020 reduced  Local MP Miriam Cates with Brian Hall.
Frames and our display stand at CTL Seal two days after arriving from Llangollen  Frames and stand at CTL Seal 221020 reduced

The Big Move - relocating operations from Llangollen to Sheffield

COMPLETE on 20th October

The Chassis moves from Llangollen to Sheffield

Planned for 19th/20th October, we held our breath as Covid-19 restrictions started to kick in in various towns and counties. Would we get out of Wales before it was locked down? Well, we made it, and on the dates we had agreed with all parties - Llangollen Engineering, CTL Seal Ltd management and the haulier

The move went as planned, with the low loader taking delivery of ‘Spirit of Sandringham’s chassis at Llangollen on the afternoon of the 19th; Llangollen Engineering had already reorganised the shed where the chassis had been and it was easily craned onto the lorry and overnighted at Wolley Edge Service. Early the next morning, saw the chassis safely delivered to CTL Seal’s premises in Sheffield, into an area of the fabrication shed that had been cleared ready for our arrival. The unloading was impressive, with the low loader being able to drive right in and the overhead cranes lifting the chassis with no apparent effort - you don't get facitlies like this in most heritage railway centres!

The chassis is now safely located in the building that will be its new home. It certainly is a sight to see two new build locomotives side by side and we look forward to the two locomotives looking more and more complete.

 Frames loaded 201020 reduced

Chassis loaded on the S.A.Smith lorry

ready to leave Llangollen - 19th October 2020

Now at Sheffield, the chassis being removed

from the low loader by overhead crane

 Frames being lifted from lorry reduced
 Frames being moved 201020 reduced

Once off the lorry, the chassis was

relocated by crane onto the shop floor

Finally, on the ground mounted on steel trestles

All photos in this sequence by Tony Brzosko

Part 3

On 30th September the two tender chassis arrived at CTL Seal's premises in Sheffield. Located at the Mid Norfolk Railway until 3rd September, they were collected by S.A Smith (Hauliers) and stored until we were ready. As already mentioned in part 2, the track panels had already been built. At 12.00pm the low loader arrived at CTL Seal's site and after careful positioning the special ramps were unfolded and positioned. Each tender was then rolled down, with the speed controlled by the winch. Because the land slopes slightly up, the lorry was only just level with the track, so a fork lift was used a couple of times to push the LNER tender onwards. Our chairman, Brian Hall, was heard to say - "Don't scratch the tender!!!".

Finally, when both tenders were in place, the fork lift pushed both tenders further back and then placed a sleeper across the tracks for safety. Our thanks go to CTL Seal management for the site clearance and the use of the fork lift during the operation, to our friends in the Clan Project for their support on the day and to S.A Smith for a superbly executed operation - the rig used is very impressive.


Tenders arrival at CTL Seal reduced Tenders ready to roll reduced GE tender on its way reduced LNER tender on its way reduced Tenders final position reduced
 Arrival at CTL Seal  Ready to unload  GE Tender on its way

 LNER Tender coming

down the ramp

 All safely in position

Part 2

Following the delivery from Cowley Rail of flat bottomed rail, concrete sleepers and all the other parts needed to creat track panels on 27th August, a team at CTL Seal put together the two 30ft panels and a 15ft panel - the 30ft panels to take the two Trust owned tender chassis and the 15ft panel for the Hengist bogie currently being manufactured.

 Completed track panels 1 reduced The team included Trust member Alan Smalley, Ashley Shimwell, Bob Ife, Alan Marshall, Keith Greenlow, Mike Sedgely, Ian Henderson all from the Clan Project, and CTL fitter Mark.

 Part 1

On Thursday 3rd September, the two tender chassis owned by the Trust were removed from their storage on the Mid Norfolk Railway. Once 2 30ft track panels have been constructed at the new site for 61673's continuing build at CTL Seal's premises in Sheffield, they will transported there the following week.

7D2 4149c 7D2 4160b 7D2 4172b 7D2 4178b 7D2 4179b
LNER Tender Rear of the LNER Tender GE Tender The entire unit with the load On their way!

Sir Rod Stewart CBE to become patron of the B17 Steam Locomotive Trust

It is with great pleasure that the Trust is able to announce that legendary singer, songwriter and entertainer, Sir Roderick D. Stewart CBE (known as Sir Rod), has very kindly accepted an invitation to become our Patron. 

Sir Rod has a long history of being a railway enthusiast and has actively been creating his own model railway layouts for many years. To have the support of a high-profile personality like Sir Rod is a great boost at this time!

It is possible that he may have some personal memories of the B17s, as he spent his early years in London. For many years he has lived in Essex and it is therefore great to have a local personality supporting a local engine!!

A number of the B17 Class were named after football clubs and were known as 'Footballers'. Sir Rod is also a fan of the game and so his interest in these locomotives is even more appropriate. He lived three miles away from Highbury Stadium and was an Arsenal supporter in his early days, when playing for London Schoolboys. He is now a passionate Glasgow Celtic Fan. Their football ground is within four miles of the North British Locomotive Company (NBL) Works in Glasgow, where the B17 design was completed, and the first ten locomotives were built in 1928.

The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust is delighted to welcome Sir Rod as our Patron and we look forward to meeting him in the future to share a common interest in railways as we progress with Spirit of Sandringham. Link to Fans website.

Grimsby Town Football Club - Home Ground Blundell Park in Cleethorpes - visit 6th August 2019

The only football club in the Football League who play all of their home games away from home!

During the 1935 - 36 season Grimsby Town were a well respected First Division team and began their FA Cup campaign in the 3rdround of the competition on 14thJanuary 1936 by beating Hartlepool United 4 -1. Victories followed in the fourth and fifth rounds against Port Vale (25thJanuary) and Manchester City (15thFebruary). For the quarter final played on Leap Year Day, Grimsby Town with ground advantage ran out 3-1 winners against Middlesbrough. Grimsby Town then played the mighty Arsenal in their semi final match on 21stMarch at the Leeds Road ground of Huddersfield Town, to lose by the only goal 0-1. Arsenal went on to triumph 1-0 over Sheffield United at Wembley on 25thApril to win the FA Cup. It was that these results set the scene for the names to be allocated to the first four new B17s out shopped from North Road Works, Darlington during March 1936 - to herald the first of ‘The Footballers’.

2848 Arsenal (FA Cup Winners)

2849 Sheffield United (Losing finalists)

2850 Grimsby Town (Losing semi-finalists, Winners - Quarter Final)

2851 Derby County (Losing Quarter Finalists to Fulham who were outside of the LNER area)

No. 61650 Grimsby Town was withdrawn and broken up at Doncaster in 1960. Fortunately, one of the original nameplates was presented to the football club soon afterwards, where it has been faithfully preserved and is displayed at the Blundell Park ground.  

More recently, and through the interest and help from Stephen Marley, a new member who joined us this year from Grimsby, the trust prepared a framed photo and a summary of the service history of 61650 Grimsby Town, to be presented to the football club for display next to the nameplate. Brian hall (chairman) and Tony Brzosko (member) visited Blundell Park on 6thAugust to meet John Fenty who is the major shareholder of the club and Stephen Marley (Director) to make the presentation. Stephen kindly conveyed us to Blundell Park from Grimsby Town station where we were introduced to John Fenty. This was followed by a ‘whistle stop’ tour of the ground hosted by John and covered every inch of the seating and facilities in each stand including players and officials changing rooms, the match day control and media commentary centres and of course the pitch itself which was in tip top condition. En route, John introduced us to each member of staff busily pursuing the many and varied activities that continue behind the scenes each day of the week in support of the club. Educational facilities provided for young people were also demonstrated and many illustrations and charts were evident on the tour to celebrate the many footballing highlights, achievements and personalities from previous seasons, which created a sense of pride and heritage for the benefit of the club, the ‘home’ supporters and visitors too. John Fenty excused himself at this point to attend an important Town Council Meeting after first being thanked for permitting and conducting this visit.

The nameplate including the half football with club colours on each side was considered to be ‘the family silver’ and took pride of place in the boardroom. The presentation was made to Stephen Marley on behalf of Grimsby Town Football Club by Brian on behalf of the Management team and all Members of the B17 Steam Locomotive Trust, to eventually draw the visit to a conclusion. Grateful thanks were expressed to Stephen Marley for his personal help in arranging this very informative and interesting visit.

MVI Grimsby TFC 2a 06Aug19

Special thanks are due to B17 SLT Members: Geoff Eldridge for preparing the framed photos, Peter Wright for researching the service record of 61650 and Tony Brzosko for his photo record of the visit.

Owners of 'Helmingham Hall' nameplate is announced - February 2019

The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust are pleased to announce that one of the original nameplates from Class B17 61647 HELMINGHAM HALL was recently donated to them by the original owner Berwyn Stevens who once lived in Halstead, Essex. The nameplate was purchased from British Railways Doncaster Works soon after disposal of the locomotive for the staggering sum of £7 & 10 shillings, which represented the scrap cost of 75lb of brass at that time.

HH plate on fstay brake reduced 'Helmingham Hall' nameplate took pride of place on the mainframe structure of 'Spirit of Sandringham' at Llangollen recently, as shown here. The face of the nameplate is to be restored to the original colour and finish.
The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust wish to acknowledge and thank Berwyn Stevens for this most kind gesture, which demonstrates his personal interest and support in the 'Spirit of Sandringham' project by donating the nameplate and entrusting its ownership to us.

Manufacture of new Spring Hooks

We are informed that Network Rail is to place an order for new spring hooks for its LNER Tenders used as snow ploughs. The A1 SLT have been invited to add to this order for their P2 and V4 Tenders, and we have also received an invitation to add to the order, as have other owners of LNER locomotives. This would result in a considerable saving to all concerned because of the number involved. The Trust have decided to add to the Order and make an appropriate saving, particularly as this does not pre-empt a decision on any one clear solution to our final Tender design.
Members preferences will be considered when assessments have been conducted and we hope that Members appreciate the opportunity to make savings, even if a little out of order.
Directors visit P2 Project at Darlington - 15th October 2018

Several directors were involved in a visit to The P2 Steam Locomotive Trust's premises at Darlington, where they had a guided tour of the new build P2 by David Elliott, chief designer of both the A1 'Tornado', and the P2 to be named 'Prince of Wales'. Progress is impressive on this magnificent locomotive; the directors were shown aspects of the design learnings that can also be applied to 'Spirit of Sandringham' - remembering that our drawings are produced by David Elliott.

Whilst at the works, a conversation was had on locomotive tyres whilst looking at a spare set of Tornados tyres; at 6'8", these are the same size as a B17's tyres!

Our thanks to David Elliott and The P2 Steam Locomotive Trust for hosting us.

P2 visit

Brian Hall and Richard Taylor listening to David Elliott. Photo by John Pearson.

2018 Rail Art Calendar

The January Illustration of Malcolm Root's 2018 Rail Art Calendar features ''Sandringham at Home'', a view of pioneer B17 61600 on a passenger train at Royal station Wolferton.

Other illustrations in the area which B17s operated are:- April, a pre war scene with B4 5181 approaching March station with a local passenger train from Lincoln. June, a portrait of the Great Central war memorial engine ''Valour'' at Neasden shed. October, a 1950s scene at Wrabness with a J15 performing shunting duties and finally December, a very atmospheric scene on a foggy day at Norwich with 'Claud' 62564 arriving with a local passenger train. Other views around the country feature a 'Bullied' on the turntable at Weymouth, a local train in the lake district, the Nith Valley, Sonning Cutting, the narrow gauge Lynton and Barnstaple Railway, an A4 at Gleneagles and Duchess of Sutherland. The 2018 Rail Art Calendar is in the shops now.

Full size prints on good quality art paper of ''Sandringham at Home'' are available from The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust at £65 each + £5 postage and packing. The ideal Christmas present for the discerning Art or Railway enthusiast.