The Baby Deltic Project

The Project in greater detail -

a commentary on the press release

The Baby Deltic Project today announced its intention to create a replica of an EECo Type 2 (Class 23) ‘Baby’ Deltic, using its test-bed loco 37372 as the starting point.

 

The project, which has sought and been granted the patronage of the following august organisations;

 

• National Railway Museum - the power unit was bought from the NRM some years ago, we have maintained a close relationship with the museum ever since and are very pleased that they are willing to lend their support to us as we move into the next phase.

• Transport Trust - the Transport Trust is one of the country's premier transport heritage organisations.  Its interests cover all aspects of mechanised transport; rail, marine and road.

• Napier Power Heritage Trust - originallty formed in 1993 to bring together former employees of Napier but now  serves in a wider role as an ambassador for all products of D. Napier & Son Ltd.

• Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust - a large organisation formed to preserve and promote the heritage of Rolls-Royce.  We are delighted to include R-RHT as a patron because of the link to R-R Distributed Generation Systems who maintain and overhaul 9-cylinder Deltic engines for the Royal Navy 'Hunt' Class MCMVs.

 

will be formally launched at the forthcoming ‘Model Rail Live’ event to be held at Barrow Hill Roundhouse on 25/26 September 2010.  We will have a display and information point within the wider exhibition.  37372 will be also be dressed up for the occasion - come and see us and have your questions answered directly.

 

The decision to build a replica of this long absent locomotive type follows the presentation of a detailed feasibility study to Project members at a meeting in early July.  The study investigated the options available for conversion, the engineering processes required, the facilities required and the likely cost of conversion.  This is clearly a large engineering undertaking and the decision to go ahead has not been taken lightly.

 

In brief, the Project intends to shorten the nose and body length of 37372, restyle the body and mount the loco on Class 20 bogies so as to reproduce, so far as reasonably practicable, the appearance of a Class 23.  We are as certain as we can be that a Class 37 can be modified to look like a Class 23.  It is not as simple as it seems, the apparantly simple act of shortening the nose ends involves more work than the shortening of the body section for example.  To mount Class 20 bogies onto a Class 37 underframe requires the modification of the entire centre casting, pivot members and side-bearers as well as all the bracing and load concentration points.

 

The bogies (a fundamental part to the recreation) have been acquired already while the heart of the loco – the sole remaining Napier T9-29 engine – has been rebuilt from a ‘seized solid’ hulk to an operational unit by Project members over the last two and a half years.  This is a well-told story, especially so in our book.....

 

The conversion will be undertaken within the Deltic Preservation Society’s depot at Barrow Hill, Chesterfield where the Project will maintain a display and periodically offer the opportunity to inspect the work in progress.  We are a separate body from the DPS, although the links are clearly strong.  That they have allowed us to undertake this work within their Depot is testament to their faith in us.  We expect the work to be undertaken in five phases, i.e;  1 - strip out of loco body (power unit, nose end equipment, fuel tanks, auxiliary equipment), 2 - underframe mods for bogie change, 3 - noses shorten, 4 - body shorten and cosmetic modifications, 5 - fit out.  The practicalities of these different phases means that the loco will be moved around within the Depot.  Whenever possible the loco will be in a state suitable for viewing and, from time to time, we will hold 'private tours' of the work in progress.

 

The timescale for the conversion will be almost entirely determined by the funds available; the Project has sufficient funding to undertake the underframe conversion work for the bogie change and to begin the loco shortening but not, at the time of this release, to complete the work.  The conversion will not be started in earnest until the funds are in place.  This is where you come in, all of the costs of all of the work undertaken to date have been met by the six individual members of the Project.  The sum shown below required to complete the project is realistic, the vast majority of the work will be done by volunteers and this is the key to keeping expenditure low.  However there are some things that we cannot do, and there are things we have to buy in - this is where the money will be spent.

 

With an estimated £30,000 required to complete the project, an appeal for funding will be launched on 25 September, for details of how you can help the project please;

 

• Write to The Baby Deltic Project, c/o Barrow Hill Roundhouse, Campbell Drive, Staveley, Chesterfield, S43 2PR

• E-mail the Project at infoATthebabydelticproject.co.uk

 

 

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