We have a suitable and realistic proposal for a locomotive to carry steam development forward into the future. The design is outlined in this issue by David Wardale and we hope to be able to illustrate an artist's impression presently.
There have been other proposals for new steam locomotives from time to time but an article in a magazine is all that's ever become of them. The reasons given to me for these failures include lack of technical expertise (this project has the expertise from the start), and diverse, irreconcilable opinions and goals (we have the basic design and the first goal is construction). Other proposals have not been followed through from the initial idea - there has been nobody to lead the project.
The A1 Trust has proved that a new locomotive can be built and they have done it with a very professional approach to the task. They have tackled not only technical matters but also the publicity, finance and fund raising that has underpinned the project. If a steam locomotive for the 21st Century is to become a reality a similar effort is needed.
David Wardale is well capable of handling the technical aspects and I can provide some publicity from this magazine but this will not be sufficient. It is up to the enthusiast community to show a will for such a locomotive - or even a series - to be constructed. We need to hear from all those with an interest in this project, whether it is to help in small ways, to support it with a personal donation, or to become active in a bigger way. We need to find out who has expertise to offer on fund-raising, finance, publicity & marketing, what resources may be on offer for manufacturing components and for assembly, and who can tie in these various tasks to lead the project forward. The next step then will be to set up a trust or company and I would value the advice of those who have had experience of doing so.
There is no reason why this project should be restricted to the UK and I hope readers in other parts of the world will make contact, perhaps with a view to seeing the design run overseas.