The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society (GSNLRS) has launched a new club, dubbed the Trailing Truck Transformer Club, to raise the funds required to overhaul the unique fabricated trailing truck used for 35011.
Back in January 1955, 35011 General Steam Navigation entered Eastleigh Works for a heavy overhaul. During this overhaul, her original trailing truck, which was of the cast type, was changed for a fabricated design, which is still with 35011 to this day.
This fabricated design was fitted to ten Merchant Navy locomotives, starting with 35021 New Zealand, but 35011 General Steam Navigation is now the final locomotive to have the fabricated trailing truck, all other surviving Merchant Navys have cast trailing trucks.
The aim for the General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society during 2021 is to restore this unique component, hence the launch of the Trailing Truck Transformer Club.
The trailing truck was removed from the frames when the boiler was lifted out of the frames back in October 2020, and the estimated cost of an overhaul of the trailing truck is £15,000.
30 members can now purchase a ‘lot' for £500, with members being able to purchase as many ‘lots' as they like.
Benefits of being part of the Trailing Truck Transformers include:
- Certificate for being a member
- Name engraved on a brass plaque which will be attached to the refurbished trailing stuck
- Regular updates on the refurbishment
- Invitation to a VIP day at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway to see the completed trailing truck when it returns to the SCR.
Work on the trailing truck so far has included an assessment into the amount of work needed to restore the trailing truck to mainline standard, and this will involve a full strip-down to allow the society to see what the condition of the metalwork is, including an NDT test.
The axle will need removing but depending on the contractor chosen for the work, the society may need to remove the axle at Blunsdon to allow it to be sent separately for the work.
The frames need sandblasting to remove the old material and paint, along with the corroded sections be cut out and replaced. Finally, the work will see the framework, axles and wheels primed, undercoated and painted before they are re-assembled.
To become a member of the Trailing Truck Transformer Club, please visit the 35011 website.
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