Rail­way is quick to put minds at rest over fu­ture of lo­co­mo­tive ac­quired from the Na­tional Col­lec­tion.

Steam Railway (UK) - - News -

SWANAGE Rail­way ju­bi­la­tion at be­ing handed the 124-year ‘T3’ 4-4-0 by the NRM, has been blem­ished by pub­lic con­tro­versy over the giveaway, concerns over where and how the ‘Purbeck Line’ (which has no mu­seum fa­cil­ity or cov­ered vis­i­tor cen­tre) will dis­play the lo­co­mo­tive - and in­evitably, the ques­tion of whether No. 563 will or won’t be re­stored to work­ing or­der. But Swanage Rail­way Chair­man Trevor Par­sons moved quickly in early April to give as­sur­ances to the rail­way’s many sup­port­ers and well-wish­ers - and hope to those who want to see the vet­eran LSWR en­gine back in steam again, af­ter the passage of al­most 70 years. An up­beat Mr Par­sons told Steam Rail­way on April 12 - the day of the lo­co­mo­tive’s ar­rival by low loader from King’s Cross: “We are ex­plor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of re­turn­ing the ‘T3’ to steam. Ini­tially, it will go on dis­play in the goods yard at Corfe Cas­tle sta­tion, but it will be kept un­der wraps un­til the of­fi­cial han­dover cer­e­mony, which is ex­pected to take place next month. “We’ll then move it to the rail­way’s works at Her­ston, where our en­gi­neers will un­der­take a thor­ough me­chan­i­cal and boiler in­spec­tion to de­ter­mine its suit­abil­ity for restora­tion to work­ing or­der. “It would be lovely to ul­ti­mately re­turn it to steam, but that ob­vi­ously de­pends on what we find, and im­por­tantly, whether we can find the money to re­store her,” he said. If No. 563 is deemed be­yond eco­nomic re­pair, it will be placed on pub­lic dis­play un­der cover, although at this stage the rail­way has yet to de­cide on where and how this will be done. The Swanage Rail­way main­tained dis­cre­tion through­out the trans­fer “be­cause we didn’t want to lose it,” Mr Par­sons said. the ‘t3’s’ most high-profile ap­pear­ances in re­cent years have been to take the role of the ‘green dragon’ in stage pro­duc­tions of e. nes­bit’s The Rail­way Chil­dren. lat­terly, these have been per­formed at King’s Cross, but in 2013, the lo­co­mo­tive was loaned to the round­house park in toronto, Canada.


Swanage rail­way Chair­man trevor par­sons.

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