The Watercress Line has announced that it will soon start on the overhaul of SR Unrebuilt West Country No. 34007 Wadebridge.
The railway will be completing a full engineering assessment that means that the locomotive will be partially dismantled over the winter. This has been made possible thanks to the generosity of Mr Alexander Chroremi whose large donation has meant that the overhaul project can get underway.
Mr Choremi lives in Switzerland but is a long-standing supporter of UK steam preservation and has accepted the position of Patron on 34007 Wadebridge.
The detailed inspection of the locomotive, which will include Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) of the boiler, will be carried out at Ropley Works on the Watercress Line. This will allow the costs and plans for the overhaul to be completed.
This work will be completed alongside the ongoing overhauls of 35005 Canadian Pacific and 34105 Swanage. The donation by Mr Choremi means that work on 34007 will not interfere with these ongoing projects.
If the result of the inspections are good, then 34007 Wadebridge will return mainline steam for the first time since being withdrawn in 1965.
34007 Wadebridge entered service in 1945 and is the oldest member of the class. As built, Wadebridge entered service in SR Malachite Green and was numbered 21C107.
However, it isn’t possible at this stage to know how long the overhaul will take. The group hopes people can see Wadebridge departing London Waterloo in 2025.
To make this possible, members of the public can donate to the Wadebridge Just Giving page they have set up by clicking here.
A full appeal will be launched once the engineering assessment is complete by Spring 2021.
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