THE Swanage Railway Trust has launched an initial £50,000 appeal in a ground-breaking bid to return LSWR T3 4-4-0 No. 563 to working order for the first time since 1945.
A supporter has underwritten the cost of taking the 1893-built locomotive to Bill Parker’s Flour Mill workshop at Bream in the Forest of Dean for exploratory dismantling to assess the extent of the work that is needed – as exclusively reported in Heritage Railway issue 234.
It will be stripped down and fully examined to establish if restoring the T3 to full working order is possible, both mechanically and financially.
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The appeal is the start of public fundraising should a restoration to full working order be possible for No. 563.
Long-term plans are to match the T3 with three historically appropriate coaches currently on the Purbeck line to create a heritage train.
It is hoped the William Adams T3 will not only run on the Swanage Railway – a LSWR branch – but will be available for hire to other heritage lines.
No. 563 was one of three steam locomotives recently gifted from the National Collection by the National Railway Museum to other heritage venues. Ownership was transferred to Swanage in May.
It will be taken to the Flour Mill workshops – renowned experts in the restoration of Victorian locomotives, including LSWR T9 4-4-0 No. 30120 and the two surviving LSWR Beattie well tanks, plus Metropolitan Railway E class 0-4-4T No. 1 – during November.
Read more in Issue 235 of HR – on sale now!