Chance to drive 98-year-old 0-6-0ST is among incentives on offer to potential donors.
An appeal has been launched to return the sole surviving Peckett ‘X2’ 0-6-0ST to steam in time for its centenary – with the incentive of driving it on Foxfield bank.
1920-built Ackton Hall No. 3 (Works No. 1567) is undergoing restoration at Caverswall Road on the Foxfield Railway, having moved there from the National Mining Museum at Caphouse in 2015. It has not steamed for over 45 years, having had several homes in preservation, and following numerous failed restoration attempts.
Key to the problems faced in the past were unsuccessful boiler repairs carried out late in its colliery service – but rectification, particularly of the copper firebox, is now seen as well within the capabilities of the preservation movement.
The locomotive was delivered new to Hemsworth Colliery in West Yorkshire – where it would have been a shedmate of Hunslet 0-6-0ST Newstead, which is also being returned to steam after an unusual preservation history (SR486).
After undergoing a rebuild, the Peckett moved to Ackton Hall Colliery in 1941 and remained there into National Coal Board ownership.
The appeal is intended to raise funds for replacement platework, including the tank and cab. A range of incentives for supporters will be available for donations ranging from £10 to £1,000. Donations can be sent to the Foxfield Railway Station, Caverswall Road, Blythe Bridge, Stoke-on-Trent ST11 9BG.
The top incentive, for donors of £1,000 (or more), will be the opportunity to take the regulator of Ackton Hall No. 3 with a coal train on the 1-in-19 gradient from Foxfield Colliery. Those who donate £500 will receive a driver experience course, and there will be a place on the locomotive’s first passenger train for donors of £50.
Unique Peckett 0-6-0ST Ackton Hall No. 3 sits on a short length of track at the National Coal Mining Museum for England in May 2014. The inscription on the running plate refers to the Grimsby & Louth Railway Preservation Society (now the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway) – one of its previous preservation-era homes.