The quarterly financial review of progress and outstanding budget required to complete 31874 has found the project to be on track. The projected final costs have remained steady with an increase of only £2,000 over the last review 3 months ago. That’s just a half of one percent increase from £395,000 to £397,000. The budget and fundraising target remains at £400,000.
The project is subject to a quarterly review of its budget where cost of work completed is compared to the expected cost of that work and estimates for the outstanding work and materials are re validated. The costs of any new work required are added in together with a contingency based on the remaining risk.
Now that the locomotive is being reassembled the estimated cost at completion has stabilised as there is not to many places left for nasty surprises to hide. The initial budget was based on as detailed an inspection as possible without removal of the boiler and was completed whilst the locomotive was in open storage on the Mid Hants Railway. During the early stages of the project however, the cost estimates increased substantially as the locomotive was stripped and the full extent of additional necessary work – particularly on the boiler – was revealed.
In 2014 we discovered that corrosion on the tender frames would make any repair and reuse less safe and less cost effective than manufacturing a complete new set. The consequence is that a new set of frames need to be cut and constructed with parts salvaged from the original set at an additional cost of £12,000. Specialist white metalling and machining of the tender axle boxes added to this cost, but it was agreed to limit any further costs by ensuring completion work on the tender was carried out by Swanage staff at Herston Works.
It is the increase in boiler costs that have had the biggest impact however. We always understood that the firebox required new half sides but with the boiler tubes removed the condition of the front tube plate, throat plate, inner and outer backhead was such that they may not last for the full 10 year boiler ticket. A decision was made to replace them at this time when the boiler was under repair in Adam Dalgleish’s specialist boiler works to be confident of getting trouble free service from the locomotive. This will also safeguard against loss of revenue by having to remove the boiler for unplanned repairs once in traffic. The additional work unfortunately increased the costs of the boiler overhaul by £84 000.
What we will have at the end of this is a robust locomotive that will provide reliable service on its home railway and we know, based on recent hires of 31806 (and prospective enquires from other railways for 31874), that any of the Moguls will be popular for spot hire. Being BR class 4P 5F, the loco is economic, versatile and well suited to many heritage railways.
Although the good news is that the cost estimates have stabilized, the bad news is that we still have a funding shortfall. With £371,000 committed to the project so far we still need to raise around £29,000 to complete the overhaul. We urgently need your help. Donations of any size are welcome and there are a number of easy ways you can give.