Steam Railway (UK) - - Industrial News -

Graeme Wal­ton-Binns has taken on the mam­moth task of re­turn­ing the 104-year-old lo­co­mo­tive, which is miss­ing many vi­tal com­po­nents, back to steam. For­mer Na­tional Coal Board Polkemmet Col­liery No. 8 is cur­rently based at the Ayr­shire Rail­way Preser­va­tion Group’s site at Du­naskin. The 1912-built lo­co­mo­tive, W/No. 1296, was re­duced to lit­tle more than Mr Therm has been in Seaton Park, Aberdeen, since 1974. Dis­man­tling of the 1947-built lo­co­mo­tive, W/No. 2239, took place in late May to pre­pare it for a cos­metic restora­tion. The 0-4-0ST, which has skirts for street run­ning to take coal through the city to the gas works, has won a £9,000 grant from Aberdeen Harbour Board. The work is be­ing led by the Friends of Seaton Park. Aberdeen Gas Works frames, boiler and wheels, fol­low­ing a raid by scrap thieves while it was based at Min­nivey. Well known by en­thu­si­asts dur­ing its lat­ter days at Polkemmet Col­liery, where it wore ‘large logo’ NCB blue with a full yel­low cab, many had con­sid­ered the lo­co­mo­tive be­yond re­pair. But Mr Wal­ton-Binns, who first viewed the lo­co­mo­tive while on hol­i­day in Scot­land around 12 months ago, thought other­wise. He told Steam Rail­way that af­ter in­spect­ing the dis­man­tled lo­co­mo­tive, he con­sid­ered that it would take no more work than its class­mate, ex-NCB Wa­ter­side en­gines fared well at the end of steam work­ing in the mid-1960s. In the end, all four ma­chines made it into preser­va­tion. Black Hawthorn 0-4-0ST City of Aberdeen is a static ex­hibit at the Tan­field Rail­way, on loan from the Scot­tish Rail­way Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety. Bar­clay 0-4-0ST Bon Ac­cord has re­cently steamed at the Royal Dee­side Rail­way, and Aberdeen Gas Works No. 3 is at the Grampian Trans­port Mu­seum. Bar­clay 0-6-0T No. 17. Cru­cially, No. 8 re­tained its valve gear, which No. 17 was lack­ing by the time it en­tered preser­va­tion. The com­pre­hen­sive over­haul of No. 17 is well un­der way at the Llan­gollen Rail­way, with sig­nif­i­cant boiler work com­pleted, as well as much new plate­work. How­ever, No. 8 is des­tined for Mr Wal­ton-Binns’ own work­shop in Teesside. The first steps to­wards that move took place in mid-May, when the boiler of No. 8 was lifted back into the lo­co­mo­tive’s frames. A low loader is ex­pected to take the lo­co­mo­tive to Teesside within the next month or two. When it ar­rives in the North East, restora­tion will be tack­led by the vol­un­teers who re­stored three 2ft-gauge Bag­nall 4-4-0Ts, the last of which is now ap­proach­ing com­ple­tion. Even be­fore No. 8 has ar­rived, the team have or­gan­ised a re­place­ment chim­ney, dome cover and bunker. Once the over­haul is com­plete, Mr Wal­ton-Binns hopes that No. 8 might work in the North East, as well as be­ing avail­able for hire.

THE MAN be­hind the over­haul of a Bar­clay 0-6-0T that many con­sid­ered to be be­yond hope has res­cued a sec­ond sis­ter lo­co­mo­tive which has been the vic­tim of scrap thieves.

Loth­ian Coal Com­pany No. 7, which was com­pleted in 1914 as W/No. 536 and is now on dis­play at Pre­ston­grange Mu­seum.

A high-vis yel­low smoke­box door adorns Mr Therm, which rests in Aberdeen’s Seaton Park. SHEILA GOR­DON No. 21 un­der­goes a steam test at the Rib­ble Steam Rail­way. TIM OWEN An­drew Bar­clay 0-6-0T No. 8 at the Scot­tish In­dus­trial Rail­way Cen­tre at Du­naskin, show­ing the enor­mity of the task ahead for its new owner. ARCHIE THOM

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