By Geoff Courtney
FORMER Swanage Railway-based Standard 4MT 2-6-4T No. 80078 moved under its own power on April 8 for the first time in seven years following its purchase from Southern Locomotives Ltd by former BR trainee civil engineer Stewart Robinson.
The 2-6-4T was a stalwart of the London Tilbury & Southend Line in its BR days, and its purchase by Stewart in 2012 and subsequent transfer to his Essex rail infrastructure company for restoration thus returned the loco to its spiritual home county.
Stewart initially thought it would require only such work as tube and stays replacement and overhaul of the wheelsets and bunker but – as ever in the world of steam locomotive restoration – events unfolded in a different way.
Instead, a much more extensive overhaul was required, including new cylinder and valve liners, cylinder heads, wheel and motion bearings, ashpan and chimney, and a totally new bunker. The work proceeded at a pace that led its new owner to believe it may be able to make an appearance at Mangapps Railway Museum’s Easter gala last month, but sadly for him, Mangapps’ owner John Jolly, and staff and volunteers, that proved just too tight a timetable.
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