The Mid Hants Railway (MHR – The Watercress Line) have created a BT MyDonate page in order to raise funds for their Standard 5 Project.
November 2017 saw the MHR purchased BR Standard 5 No.73096 for £400,000 from a private owner. Prior to this, 73096 had operated on the MHR until its boiler ticket expired in 2011, is stored at the line until moving to Southall at the end of 2015.
So when the engine was available to buy, the MHR purchased the Standard 5 with the long-term intention of overhauling the at Ropley on the line and adding the engine to their home fleet.
In order to purchase 73096, the MHR took out a bank loan for £400,000. The MyDonate page seeks to raise funds in order to pay back this loan, but also carry out work to preserve the engine in order to stop any deterioration of components. Once the loan is paid back and space is available, the overhaul of the Standard 5 can begin.
The MHR see 73096 as an ideal engine for their home fleet, being more than capable of hauling trains but also economical to run and simple mechanical layout.
The MHR would greatly appreciate any donation towards seeing 73096 steam as part of their home fleet. Both big and small donations will help the MHR take a step closer to having 73096 back in traffic.
For further information or to donate towards this cause, the BT MyDonate page can be found here