2017 Autumn Conference

As reported on the News pages of this website, ASTT’s 2017 Autumn Conference was a great success.  35 people attended, of whom 23 were members. It is expected that some of the non-members who attended will take advantage of the free membership that has been offered to them on the basis that the £5 half year membership fee is offset by the discount on conference entry fees that was offered to members.

A list of attendees is provided in the conference handout given to attendees, which also includes a list of “apologees” who we hope will be able to attend future conferences that we host.   Those present  included Wolfgang Fengler from the USA, Hendrik Kaptein from The Netherlands and Xavier Jiménez from Spain who gave ASTT the excuse to claim this 2017 event as its first truly “International” conference.  [Xavier Jiménez also attended our 2016 conference and we were especially pleased to welcome him back again.]

As reported previously, ten excellent papers covering a wide range of topics were presented by speakers ranging in age from 24 year-old Tom Kay who is completing a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering, to Joseph Cliffe who began his career with the LNER in 1947 and who later worked under Sir William Stanier at Powerjets Ltd. The ten speakers were (in order of presentation):

  1. Geoff Turner and Phil Yates whose presentation was titled “The Clan Project: 21st century manufacturing for a 20th century locomotive” – a most informative paper that should be of interest and relevance to all new-build steam projects.
  2. Adrian Tester (ASTT member) who spoke on “The Physiology of the Locomotive Boiler” – the title and subject of a new book that he is shortly to publish – that offered new insights into the assessment and calculation of boiler performance.
  3. Tom Kay who spoke on “Austerity 90733 Horn Guide and Frame Re-Design”, the subject of the project that he chose for his Masters Degree in mechanical engineering.
  4. William Powell (ASTT member) who spoke on “Improving small gauge live steam locomotives” in which he gave examples of how developments and experiments in the world of miniature steam may have application in larger machines.
  5. Colin Green (of Riley & Son) who spoke on “The latest restoration of Flying Scotsman”.  As workshop manager for Ian Riley & Son, Colin was personally responsible for rehabilitating Scotsman’s frames, boiler and many other components.  Combined with the tours of inspection of Riley’s workshops, Colin’s contributions to the conference were high amongst its many highlights.
  6. Joseph Cliffe (ASTT member) who spoke on “Chapelon and the Advanced Steam Locomotive” that revealed Chapelon’s thoughts about cylinder wall heating – a topic that he worked on after publishing “La Locomotive a Vapeur” and is therefore largely unknown within the steam community.
  7. Jamie Keyte (ASTT member) who spoke on “LNWR George the Fifth – Coupling rod analysis for the modern railway” in which he offered insights into the engineering processes involved in the design of the connecting rods for Prince George project.
  8. Wolf Fengler, Senior Mechanical Engineer of the Coalition for Sustainable Rail (CSR), who spoke on “CSR Biofuels Trials in the USA”, in which he offered insights into the US-based development of torrified biomass as a coal substitute for steam locomotives and other applications.
  9. Mike Horne (ASTT member) who spoke on “Update on ASTT’s steam locomotive instrumentation developments” in which he reported on the ongoing development of electronic instrumentation by ASTT members for the purpose of measuring and monitoring the cylinder and exhaust system performance of steam locomotives;
  10. Owen Jordan (ASTT member) who spoke on “A new boiler to meet the challenges of the 21st century”, the ideas on which the K3/K6 high speed steam locomotive concept was based.

In addition to the presentations, visits were made to the workshops facilities of both the East Lancs Railway and Ian Riley & Son. It is believed that ASTT’s conference attendees made up the first group to be invited to see inside Riley’s new workshop facilities.

Copies of PPT files and video recordings of presentations are available to those who attended the conference on the 2017 Conference Presentations page.   Members who weren’t able to attend but who would like to access the presentations are invited to make a £10 contribution to help make up the shortfall between conference costs and attendance fees.

If you would like to access the conference presentations, please write to info@advanced-steam.org and ask for the password to access the Conference Presentations page.

In conclusion, the conference organizers would like to extend their warm thanks to:

  • Tracey Parkinson, General Manager of the East Lancs Railway for allowing us to use the railway’s meeting room facilities;
  • Sarah Kerrison of the Bury Transport Museum and her team that was so helpful in setting up the meeting room and reception area;
  • Anna Duncan, the ELR Passenger Services Manager who arranged the provision of such excellent refreshments during the conference breaks, and whose help in the overall planning of the event was invaluable;
  • John Tate, workshops manager of the East Lancs Railway, who not only gave us permission to inspect his workshops but acted as our personal tour guide;
  • Colin Green, workshop manager for Ian Riley & Son, who not only allowed us to inspect his workshops, but acted as our personal tour guide, and who also gave one of the most interesting presentations at the conference;
  • Tracy Curtis (Director) and Bob (our driver) from Woolford Travel Ltd which provided the coach that delivered us in such timely manner to each workshop and returned us safely to the meeting venue;
  • ASTT Chairman John Hind who chaired the conference and kept everyone to what was a tight programme schedule;
  • Our ten excellent speakers listed above.