Boiler construction under way at Whitehead, but no decision on what design it will help recreate.
Most of the essential drawings have been located to facilitate the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s proposal to recreate an LMS(NCC) ‘Mogul’ or 2‑6‑4T (SR462).
Peter Scott, of the RPSI locomotive department, said: “This proposal is now being more actively investigated. Work is already progressing at Whitehead works with the rebuild of a G8AS boiler.”
Such a boiler could be used as a spare for existing ‘WT’ 2‑6‑4T No. 4, as the basis for a second ‘Jeep’, or for a new Class ‘W’ 2‑6‑0.
But Mr Scott stressed that so far no decisions have been taken by the RPSI board beyond approval for the rebuild of the boiler.
He said: “The rationale for a ‘Mogul’ is simply that it is an iconic locomotive, something different, and as such it would attract widespread interest. It so happens that we also possess a suitable tender” (SR463).
“In practical terms, performance of the two types was similar – the ‘Jeep’ had the advantage of versatility, the ‘Mogul’ the advantage of simplicity and greater coal and water capacity. Most of the parts that we possess are
suitable for either class.
“Recently, the project has been given further impetus by the increasing requirement for larger passenger locomotives capable of fitting in with more intensive timetable services on Translink NI Railways and Irish Rail. “In Ireland, there is a very small pool of steam locomotives that survived and most of them, although historically significant, are small and less suitable for current traffic requirements.”
The LMS Northern Counties Committee introduced 15 ‘Moguls’ between 1933 and 1942 but none were preserved, although No. 97 Earl of Ulster survived until 1967.
Mr Scott said: “This project would be outside the society’s normal locomotive restoration and maintenance plans, and further progress will depend upon funding support being
LmS(ncc) ‘w’ 2‑6‑0 no. 97 Earl of Ulster on the turntable at dublin Amiens Street (now connolly) in march 1964 after arrival with a non‑stop rugby special from Belfast. If a new ‘mogul’ is constructed, this scene could be recreated in the future, as the turntable is still used to turn RPSI engines.