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The London Model Engineering Exhibition 2019 is now finished but many thanks to all the volunteers on the stand and the visitors who made it such a busy 3 days - full report on Event Reports page. 

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Members Page - now showing a Streamlined OO gauge model.

2019 - Help celebrate the 90th anniversary when the first ten class B17 locomotives entered revenue earning service in 1929 - numerous events.

For latest manufacturing progress, see Construction ProgressUpdated November 2018.

** Work on the Rolling Chassis has now started **

For news of the Trust's involvement in a STEM pilot for schools, the latest project news involving tenders and a report on the September 2018 AGM, go to See Our Latest News. Updated December 2018.


The B17 Steam Locomotive Trust is building an LNER Class B17 4-6-0 express passenger locomotive to be known as 'Spirit of Sandringham', in compliance with Railway Group Standards for operation on the mainline network and heritage railways in this country. Improvements in performance, reliability and maintenance are planned by the careful introduction of design changes to the original technical baseline.

The project aims to capture an era of world class engineering and national pride of "built in Britain", to also provide opportunities for educational and skills training for people in apprenticeships and other schemes associated with engineering, science and manufacturing activities.   

The engine will be capable of operating with either the GE tender or the larger LNER Group Standard tender normally used by B17s, both of which are owned by the trust. Appropriate certification will be progressively obtained in conjunction with the relevant Railway Authorities.

2019 Celebrates the 90th Anniversary of first 10 Locomotives

By the late 1920s the LNER had recognised that the fleet of existing engines which had been in service from the start of the 20thcentury was in need of replacement with more powerful locomotives to cope with the introduction of heavier and faster express passenger services. Restrictions to axle load and physical length could not be satisfactorily resolved by the LNER design teams. As a consequence, the LNER placed an order for the detailed design and production of the first ten locomotives with the North British Locomotive Co. (Glasgow) in early 1928, to be delivered by the end of that year.

All 10 locomotives were delivered within the contract time to the LNER’s Eastfield depot in Glasgow from where running in trials were conducted. These engines were then allocated to depots to commence revenue earning service. First of class No. 2800 was named 'Sandringham' following the consent of King George V and in honour of the monarch’s country home in Norfolk. Within the first few weeks of 1929, the new locomotives, named after prominent country houses in East Anglia, hauled the first services to Cambridge with demonstration runs to Norwich and Southend. Other regular duties involved the boat trains, the Hook Continental and the Flushing Continental between Harwich (Parkeston Quay) and Liverpool Street and the long-distance boat train between the same port and Liverpool Central known as the Continental.


Currently LNER class B12 and B1 locomotives are operational in preservation, but none of the B17s survived the cutter's torch. The B17 is the missing link between the two and is the only 4-6-0 locomotive designed by Sir Nigel Gresley. Supporting The Project.


Help fulfill the project aim to construct a new B17, to recreate again those exhilarating sights and sounds of a ‘Sandringham’ hard at work on the mainline at the head of its train and re-introduce something of our past heritage, for greater public benefit in years to come.


Some photos are courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press Archives.

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