Have you ever wondered about locomotive stories? Through historical files and the words of working volunteers, we can tell some of those tales.
Volunteers are the back bone of heritage railways and the operational support of steam locomotives. For many enthusiasts, a footplate ride is their top experience. Imagine being able to do that in return for working on a loco in a voluntary capacity? That’s exactly what the volunteers on Tornado enjoy. It’s fascinating to see what a day in a life of a volunteer on 60163 is like.
It’s an amazingly complex job to restore a steam loco. The first challenge is to find or make all the parts that are missing or worn out. This is a challenge which the team restoring 34010 ‘Sidmouth’ are undertaking on their fifth Bulleid pacific. It is one of the earliest West Country Pacific built but one of the last from those rescued from Barry scrapyard to be restored. With skills gained from restoring and overhauling their other Bulleid Pacific’s its really only a question of having sufficient funds so be encouraged to support this project in our guest Blog on 34010.
A guest post by Jeremy Dunn who is the Chairman of the 45163 Restoration Group combined with my own photos from the 1980s showing these locomotives in steam. The restoration of 45163 is a marathon not a sprint and it’s amazing to see how the restoration of one steam locomotive has had a large impact on the heritage railway where the work is being done. Find out more about the history of the Black Fives and the restoration of 45163 here.
A sight you would never see except on a a model railway, a pair of Co-Bo’s! Of the 20 built only one exists and is being restored to a very high standard at the East Lancs. Railway. Although branded as notoriously unreliable during their British Rail service, the national rail operator wished that they had never heard of them, they have a certain quirkiness about them. I’ve never even heard the sound of a Co-Bo so this stirs an interest in me to see the last one operate. Find out the other reasons BR just wanted to forget these locos ever existed.
A pair of Co-Bo’s in Midford North Goods ( artists licence!!)
I’m always delighted to hear when work starts on a former Barry Scrapyard resident locomotive. I didn’t realise that the GSN Locomotive Group only started in January 2016 until one of their key volunteers wrote this guest post on my blog. They have great plans for this steam locomotive and I look forward to seeing it in operation.
To me the Baby Deltics were something a bit special. The locomotives look handsome and well proportioned. Although only 10 were built and, like the Co-Bo’s, had their fair share of poor reliability they do have a certain charm. That is one reason why I have financially supported the new Baby Deltic D5910 and am keen to seeing it when it is operational.