Spon­sor a ‘Packet’ of stays for old­est sur­viv­ing ‘Mer­chant Navy’

Steam Railway (UK) - - Steam News -

The Mid-Hants Rail­way has launched an ur­gent fundrais­ing drive for ‘Mer­chant Navy’ No. 35005 Cana­dian Pa­cific, fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery that the lo­co­mo­tive re­quires a com­plete new in­ner fire­box. Strip­ping of the Bulleid ‘Pa­cific’s’ boiler at Ro­p­ley Works has re­vealed it to be in a far worse con­di­tion than an­tic­i­pated, and se­ri­ous cor­ro­sion means that the steel in­ner ’box needs re­place­ment - at an es­ti­mated ad­di­tional cost of £120,000 - along with around 2,200 stays. Al­though the over­haul has been sup­ported by a grant of £895,000 from the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund, a ‘Spon­sor a Stay’ scheme has been set up, with a num­ber of in­cen­tives. Stays can be spon­sored at £25 each, and for each stay up to seven, the donor’s name will be en­tered into a draw to win an ‘OO’ gauge Hornby model of Cana­dian Pa­cific. Those who spon­sor eight stays will be guar­an­teed a seat on No. 35005’s in­au­gu­ral train, while spon­sors of 40 stays will re­ceive a 20-mile roundtrip on the ‘MN’s’ foot­plate. Dona­tions can be sent to The Rail­way Sta­tion, Al­res­ford, Hamp­shire S024 9JG (make cheques payable to the Mid-Hants Rail­way Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety) or on­line, at www. wa­ter­cressline.co.uk/can­pac/ do­nate - note that the clos­ing date for the stay spon­sor­ship is De­cem­ber 31 this year. The ex­tra work will add another 12 months to the over­haul, mean­ing that ‘Can­Pac’ will not re­turn to steam un­til 2019. On the plus side, the over­haul of the lo­co­mo­tive’s frames and driv­ing wheels at Eastleigh (fea­tured in SR446, ‘In the Works’) is at an ad­vanced stage, while at Ro­p­ley, the axle­boxes are be­ing ma­chined and the cab re-skinned.

Cana­dian Pa­cific’s boiler be­ing lifted at Ro­p­ley by 45-ton Ran­somes & Rapier steam crane No. DS1580.

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