"To build and operate a standard gauge D16/2 "Claud Hamilton" steam locomotive for use on heritage railways"
The new build D16/2 will take approx 10-20 years to complete this of course depends on funding. When built the D16/2 will be used primarily on heritage railways however it will be fitted for but not with APWS and OTMR etc to enable it to go mainline more easily if Phoenix is deemed suitable, the loco will debut in LNER apple green livery and feature a copper capped chimney. Named "Phoenix" the locomotive will be numbered 8783.
The original 8783 was famed for being one of two Clauds allocated to the LNERs Royal Train and regularly took members of the Royal Family to and from the Royal Station at Wolfterton near Sandringham. Because of this 8783 was kept in an immaculate condition. On 1st June 1939 the loco crashed into a farm lorry on a crossing near Downham Market in Norfolk, three passengers were killed and more were injured in the derailment. After the crash the loco was rebuilt as D16/3 and had the decorative valancing removed along with its copper capped chimney. After nationalisation it was renumbered 62614. 8783 was withdrawn for scrap during August 1958.
The Claud Hamilton Locomotive Group is twinned with the Victorian Steam Locomotive Clubs V499 project in Australia! When complete both engines will carry the plaque shown on the right. By coincidence many of the original were built by the Phoenix Foundry in Australia.
Why Build A Claud Hamilton?
A Claud Hamilton has always been a loco that people wish had been saved and indeed several were scrapped on the brink of preservation. The class is GERs most famous locomotive design and one of the most legendary in the UK and so is a big missing link in eastern region preservation, showing how a pre-grouping design influenced the design of other later locomotives, such as the B12s and other express passenger engines for the Great Eastern and the London & North Eastern Railways.
Claud Hamilton's were a fast, powerful, elegant and popular pre-grouping express passenger locomotive design, and one which we believe never reached its full potential and should be seen running again.
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