June 18th, 2024

Engineering News June 2024

Despite the delay with pending wheel sets, engineering continues unhindered. Elliot Powick CME continues to develop CAD drawings for various items including the horn guides.

Recently delivered items include the cylinder covers and brake shaft brackets.  Graham Rowland researched the latter and assigned FSE Foundry of Braintree, Essex, UK. The brake shaft brackets support the brake shaft that runs across the frames beneath the cab. Refer to CAD detail below.

Graham Rowland is currently investigating machining costs of the brake shaft brackets plus seeking quotes for the brake shaft and associated levers. The Trust extends its thanks to Elliot Powick CME, Graham Rowland and FSE Foundry of Braintree, Essex, UK.


Machined cylinder covers.


Brake shaft brackets


CAD detail: Brake shaft brackets and brake shaft. CAD by Elliot Powick CME



December 31st, 2023

Engineering End of Year Report 2023

Wheelsets Update

All the materials have been ordered and 80% have arrived at Riley & Sons workshop in Heywood. Once the tyre’s have a arrived assembly can commence on the assembly of firstly the leading and trailing wheelsets and then on to the driving wheels. Although this is later than we’d have liked, getting the right materials in from the right businesses worldwide takes time and we’d rather get the right materials in now and be confident the engineered items will stand the test of time, especially giving the environment they have to work in.

Crank Axle. 

As from the March update, we were using the J15 crank drawing as a baseline for the design for our axle. The original locomotives ran with 1 piece forged crank axles that, although manufacturable still today (see the superb job the G5 Locomotive Group did with theirs) we preferred the built up type so Bob Meanley kindly drew up the necessary drawings for getting the individual part materials ordered for the axle component, crank pins and webs.


Radial Guides and Ancillary Parts

Costings for main castings were procured in September but these were turning out to be prohibitively expensive, so an alternative approach has had to be employed. I’ve been redesigning the casting to a hybrid casting/fabrication design (similar to that employed by the P2 trust to manufacture their cylinders). This means that there’ll be one small pattern required for the axle box sections for which we can cast 4 identical patterns from, these will then have basic machining added to the castings to allow the rolled centre sections to be added and the complete design welded. Once completed then welded assembly will have its finishing machining added and ready for fitting. The radial guides, sadly, are still to be finished machined. Being a specialist machining process there are few companies out there who can accommodate us and sadly, the supplier chosen has since stopped trading so we’re currently on the hunt for a new machinist who can complete the job for us.



Patterns have been put out for quotation and the castings should be well underway in the first half of 2024, these along with the front and rear radial guides are the last pieces of the fixed frame jigsaw and, once fitted means that they’re ready to receive and fit the new wheelsets from Rileys.



The front and rear wheelset axleboxes are built into the large castings but the main wheelsets require their own. There are two of each the driving and trailing axleboxes required (the driven wheelset has a larger design to cope with the extra forces exerted), the CAD work for which is about 80% completed, once finished the 4 bronze axlebox patterns and castings will be put out for tender early in 2024. Below shows the drawing for the larger axlebox required.

Springs & Spring Gear

TLW have been diligently working through the manufacture of all the additional spring gear required to get the loco on its feet. As of the end of 2023 about 85% of these parts have been manufactured and all hanging bracketry has been bolted/riveted to the frames to accept them.


Suspension components manufactured by TSLW. Image courtesy of Elliot Powick CME

The springs themselves require specialist manufacture and we will be getting quotations from Owen Springs in the new year for quotation for all the main springs (seen below)



Along with the main wheel springs, the radial trucks require special side control springs, we will need to of these manufactured for both front and rear trucks (shown below.)


These along with the addition parts needed for the radial trucks and keeps should give us everything needed for when the wheelsets are ready for fitting.


Pistons, Rods & Crossheads 

TLW are currently putting together a quotation for the manufacture of the piston heads and rods, the CAD model for the crossheads is complete and patterns and castings will be put out for quotation early in the new year. TLW are in receipt the front cylinder cover pattern, they will be cast at the same time as the crossheads. The rear cylinder covers have been manufactured and all the glands are currently been made for it. Once all these are in place with the slide bars, the “motor” side of the locomotive will completed and fitted.



2023 hasn’t been as advancing as I’d have liked due to many factors, one of which is my own current workload and personal life. I can only apolgise for this but things have been moving along even if at a speed less than I would’ve liked. 2024 is looking a lot brighter though and things should be more than back on track progress wise and we look forward to exciting times to come.

Elliot Powick CME.

December 3rd, 2023

Engineering News December 2023

Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works in conjunction with our CME Elliot Powick continues to develop and manufacture suspension components as seen below whilst  discussions continue with Ian Riley regarding the manufacturing of the crank axle and other associated items. An announcement by our engineering team is pending.

GER 789 suspension components. Elliot Powick.

June 24th, 2023

Intermediate engineering update June 23

Riley and Son (E) Locomotive Engineers of Heywood, UK has been awarded the contract to supply the following for GER 789

  • Materials, forging and machining of three plain axles
  • Materials, machining  and assembly of modular crank axle.
  • To assemble all wheelsets.
  • To supply and fit tyres. 
  • To manufacture crank pins.

A more detailed engineering report will be published soon.

To survey how you may further progress the build of GER 789 please click on “How you can help.

April 2nd, 2023

Engineering Report 2nd April 2023

Wheelsets Update

As previously reported, all our wheel castings have been delivered to Riley & Son for assembly. As the original design had a one piece forged crank, it was decided that a fabricated crank was the best option for manufacture and cost, this meant an expensive one-piece forging was not required and subsequent expensive machining/grinding wasn’t required. Our design will be based around the J15 style crank axle and, along with the expertise of Riley’s, a suitable design will be quoted and constructed.


View of the J15 crank used as a basis for our design. CME Elliot Powick.

Once the crank axle has been verified, all additional material will be ordered and Rileys will commence work starting with the leading and trailing axles as these are the quickest sets to attack to enable getting the loco on its wheels. Once these are done they will be closely followed be the driven and trailing drivers.

The radial guides are still at the machinists and are due to be delivered some time in April, once they have arrived they will accurately set up fitted into the frames.

The design for the main radial truck casting has been finished and will be put out for quotation for manufacture. These are quite complex castings and the trust is looking at utilising some modern 3d printed patterns to produce high quality castings, the process that has been successfully used to produce some very complex castings for several other preservation groups. This isn’t a cheap process but compared to traditional patterns they will hopefully come in way under the cost of traditional patterns alone.


One of the big ticket items yet to be attacked are the driving wheel hornblocks. Prior to our CME’s & TLW’s involvement the frames had been cut to the original design to accept the wedge style hornblocks as shown below.


View of original design hornblock dated 1933.

It was decided that this elaborate wedge system really wasn’t required in modern preservation times so a simplified version needed to be deigned to alleviate this. The main problem was that the frames had already been designed and cut to accept it and to save welding in corners and subsequently machining, it was decided to design the hornblocks to “fill the gap”. This has meant the design of 4 different patterns (leading & trailing, left and righthand side) have needed to be created. The beauty of this design means that, as the original design would’ve needed four patterns too, we’ve reduced the number of components required considerably, thus saving a considerable cost on the final assembly, not to mention ease of maintenance once the loco goes into traffic.

The main importance for this is strength of the assembly as we build. Once the locomotive is on its front and rear radial trucks, the frames will have a lot of stress on them, increasing as parts are fitted. Naturally the hornblocks are needed prior to the fitting of the driving wheels but they also supply added tied in strength to the frames, especially with the keeps fitted too. This will all go towards keeping any undue stress to the frames to a minimum as the build moves forwards.

Shown below is one of the hornblock castings (right rear). Before manufacture full FEA (Finite Element Analysis) will be carried out on the new design and any additional strengthening added prior to manufacture.


Hornblock casting CAD model. CME Elliot Powick.

Rear hornblocks shown in place and secured with fitted bolts. CME Elliot Powick

The Importance of CAD Modelling.

There are several reasons behind producing 3D CAD models of the assembly as the build progresses. The CAD work can be used in the manufacture of patterns (poly patterns for the cylinders saving on the costs of tradition patterns) and also for the ratification of the design, especially when parts come together.

These locomotives were designed and built over 100 years ago and mistakes were a regular occurrence, especially when it cam to assembling the kit of parts. To keep manufacturing down to a minimum and to try and achieve a 0% failure rate, the design is regularly checked along the way.

The design of the hornblocks is no exception and when the design was looked at it became apparent that, once the boiler was fitted, the firebox came into close proximity with the hornblocks, not only this but you have to take into account the fact that, whilst in steam, the boiler will expand by a certain percentage. Doing the model shows that, although the assembly is very close, once assembled and the boiler fitted, there won’t be any issues with clashes between the two.


Elliot Powick CME.

This shows just how close the rear corners of the firebox get to the rear hornguides, not much wiggle room in there at all (some bolts drop within ¼” in it’s “hot” state).

Addition Parts

 Whilst the aforementioned parts have been addressed, TLW has been continuing in manufacturing all the associated suspension gear whilst waiting for the radial guides to return from machining, all these parts will go together to assist in getting the loco “on its wheels” for the first time.

To survey how you might be of assistance to the rebirth of GER 789 please click on “How you can help”



November 18th, 2022

Engineering News November 2022

GER 789’s machined wheels have been delivered to Riley and Son (E) Ltd, Premier Locomotive Works, Sefton Street, Heywood, Lancashire , OL10 2JF. The move has been made in conjunction with the Churchward County Trust.

Further information relating to the assembly of GER 789’s wheel sets will be published soon.


Image courtesy of Elliot Powick CME.

September 20th, 2022

Engineering News September 2022

As you can see above, work is continuing on the CAD files needed to produce the tanks and cab for the locomotive. This will be cut as a flatpack design (think Ikea just a lot larger) and then welded to form the individual parts. Careful thought has had to be used as the F5 was a cab/tank/bunker configuration of several locos so a lot of research has gone in to the design to ensure a faithful reproduction of the original is achieved. Once we’re happy with the design the fabrications should come together relatively easily.

The radial guides were originally pressed but as this would’ve involved expensive tooling we’ve reproduced 789’s as fabrications. Below shows three out of the four guides finished just awaiting final machining and fettling before being mounted in the frames.


Fabricated radial guides. Elliot Powick, CME


Fabricated radial guides. Elliot Powick CME.

Also well under way are the cylinder covers, the pattern has been made for the front covers and will be cast in the next few weeks.


Cylinder front cover pattern. Elliot Powick CME

The rear covers are also almost finished and just require all the relevant bushes machining and fitting to complete the assembly.

Semi machined front cover. Elliot Powick CME




Semi machined cylinder front cover, Elliot Powick CME

Once these have been fitted along with the pistons and rods which are currently under production the main thing left to do is the crossheads. These are currently awaiting initial quotations for casting. These along with the large radial truck castings and axle boxes will be the next castings done to enable the front and rear sections to be readied for the leading and trailing wheelsets, once completed.


June 12th, 2022

Engineering Appraisal June 2022

GER 789 courtesy of Owen Hayward.

Recently Heritage Railway magazine (issue 293) published an excellent article produced by Owen Hayward the magazines Staff Writer regarding GER 789’s rise from a lighthearted exchange between Chairman Stephen Cooper and CME Graham Rowland in the early 2000’s to the advance state of the build in May 2022.

Image courtesy of Owen Hayward.

July will see further contracts being awarded for the horn guides, axles etc. A detailed report reflecting contractual engineering matters will be published once terms have been agreed.

Image courtesy of Elliot Powick CME.



May 16th, 2022

Engineering News 16th May 2022

Brass bunker number plate. Elliot Powick.


Image courtesy of Elliot Powick.

Procast Ltd has delivered GER 789’s brass bunker plates.  The castings are the product of  L D Brooks of The Great Eastern Railway Society, Graham Rowland GER 789’s researcher, our CME Elliot Powick whilst not forgetting the skill and craftsmanship of Stephen at Procast Ltd.


Axlebox keep/spring links. Elliot Powick.

Tyseley continues to manufacture components ahead of the fabrication and fitting of front and rear radial trucks. The above image is of the axlebox keep/spring links.


Front & rear radial truck keeps. Elliot Powick.


The above image is of the front and rear radial truck keeps.

E16 raw materials. Elliot Powick.

The round bars depicted above are the raw E16 materials for slidebar bolts.


April 2nd, 2022

Engineering news April 2022

Radial trucks

Accurate Section Benders Ltd. of Kingswinford, West Midlands has delivered radial truck components to Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works.

The process of accumulating sufficient detail for the radial trucks has involved much research and consultation by our researcher Graham Rowland, our CME Elliot Powick and  CME of Tyseley Steam Locomotive Works Al Meanley.

Originally the radial trucks would have been cast however due to the unavailability of some drawings and resultant missing detail, our engineering team considered it prudent to fabricate the assemblies instead. A logical and commonsense approach rather than run the risk of wasting donations on castings and subsequent machining of components that could be unfit for purpose.

A detailed engineering report on the machining and assembly processes will be published soon.

Formed steel components for the radials

Formed steel components for the radials

NR radial truck. Image courtesy of Graham Rowland and the EARM

Brass bunker side number plate casting

Procast has cast both brass bunker side number plates. Detailed specification was kindly provided Lyn D Brooks of The Great Eastern Railway Society.