Steam engine part donated to Sheffield plant will play key part in multi-million pound project

A huge railway tender was delivered to an engineering plant in Sheffield and will play a vital part in a multi-million pound project to build a steam engine.

Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 10:03 am

Yesterday, (December 1) a low-loader truck delivered a massive 28 ton tender from Surrey, to the CTL Seal factory in Ecclesfield, Sheffield in a bid to repurpose the rail vehicle.

The tender, a coal-car which carries fuel to power a steam engine and is hauled by the locomotive, was winched off the low-loader and onto a special stretch of railway track alongside two other tenders.

It will play a key part in the £3.4million project to construct a B17 steam engine, named Spirit of Sandringham, at CTL Seal, which it is hoped will one day be in use on Britain’s railways.

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B17 tender arrives at CTL Steels yard in Ecclesfield.Picture Scott Merrylees

Brian Hall, chairman of the B17 Steam Locomotive Trust, said: “It is a massive project to build one of a class of express engines that were once the pride and joy of the former LNER, the London and North Eastern Railway. But we are on track for it to be running again and pulling special excursion trains around Britain by the end of the decade.”

The tender was planned to be part or a similar project in Woking to rebuild another B17 locomotive which would have been called Manchester United, following the tradition of naming many of the original B17s built in the 1920s and 30s after football teams. A Sheffield United B17 was built in March 1936, and a Sheffield Wedesday model followed shortly after, being built in June of the same year.

But when the group behind the Manchester United B17 appeal ran out of money, their project was wound down and they agreed to donate the tender to the B17 Trust, ensuring that the tender is still put to good use and will ride the rails again.

The Trust are currently working on Grant Applications which will enable them to strip the existing tenders, identify what can be re-used and start building a refurbished tender. This work will be carried out by apprentices under supervision and will be an integral part of their training.

The tender will be used in the multi-million pound B17 Steam Locomotive Trust project. Picture Scott Merrylees

The donated tender is a real LNER pattern tender which was originally coupled to a B17 steam locomotive in the 1930s, and later to the B17s replacement, the B1.

The tender was used to carry fuel for steam locomotives. Picture Scott Merrylees
B17 tender arrives at CTL Steels yard in Ecclesfield.Picture Scott Merrylees