LMS Patriot – new contractor selected to complete The Unknown Warrior

The LMS-Patriot Company Board has announced that the successful bidder for the contract to complete its new-build locomotive, The Unknown Warrior, is the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust (PRCLT), based at West Shed at the Midland Railway – Butterley, in Derbyshire.

The board concluded that PRCLT was the best fit for its project to complete the locomotive in the timescales discussed.

No. 5551 The Unknown Warrior was displayed at Crewe Heritage Centre on November 10-11, 2018. GARETH EVANS

Other bidders included Riley & Sons and Railway Forgings & Castings.

“The decision is one which is not a criticism of their ability to do a first class job, rather a recognition that the PRCLT bid better met our unique requirements,” the LMS-Patriot Company said in a statement.

“The three bids received were excellent and the decision to award the contract to PRCLT was because it scored most highly on our set criteria which comprised: Capacity; Continuity; Main Line Preparation and Operation; Volunteer Input; Capability; Resource; Inspection and Preparation; After Support; Warranties; Relationship; Culture; and Safety.

“In effect, we have entered into a partnership with PRCLT which will supply an agreed level of manpower, technical management, support and facilities but will allow our volunteers to assist wherever possible in the completion of the locomotive and permit the involvement of an on-site Project Engineer.”

Final stage

The final stage of the construction of ‘The Unknown Warrior’ is essentially an assembly job, with most of the large components having been sourced, manufactured, delivered and already fitted. The boiler is the final outstanding and largest assembly to be completed, with work continuing on this by another contractor.

The LMS-Patriot Company said its involvement in this process is “absolutely critical” in assisting the PRCLT.

It added: “As this is not an overhaul job but a new-build, it requires a very different approach to most other steam locomotive projects. The engineering team looks forward to working with the PRCLT with the aim of completing The Unknown Warrior to the highest possible standards and for mainline running.”

“To date we have raised in excess of £3 million, but we still need to raise funds to finish the locomotive, the tender, main line running gear and purchase a support coach. We are continuing to push hard for funds to complete The Unknown Warrior. ”

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