The BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust has announced that they are relaunching the Support Coach Appeal, which was first launched in 2018.
With 71000 Duke of Gloucester approaching completion, planning is underway for The Duke to return to the mainline; however, the coronavirus pandemic means that volunteers cant return to Tyseley Locomotive Works to help out with work on the support coach.
This means that the trust will outsource the refurbishment work in the second half of 2021, and the Support Coach Appeal, which was first launched in 2018, has been restarted.
Trust Chairman, Trevor Tuckley, said that they were looking forward to 2022 and the return of 71000 Duke of Gloucester.
Trevor also revealed that The Duke would be available for hire from Q1 of 2022 and is available to various TOCs, railtour companies and mainline connected heritage railways.
BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust Chairman, Trevor Tuckley, said: “We can now look forward to 2022 with increasing optimism and start thinking about The Duke’s return to the mainline. We see The Duke being available for hire during Q1 of 2022 to the various TOC’s, Railway Touring Companies and mainline connected Heritage Lines. This is something we can all feel proud about and look forward to seeing him working with these operations in the condition Riddles intended when his prototype had been fine-tuned. It will have taken almost 50 years of dedication to complete the “Impossible Dream”, so what a celebration that will be seeing our unique locomotive once again gracing the UK’s railways.”
71000 Duke of Gloucester was originally planned for completion in September 2021.
To donate to the appeal, please visit the BR Class 8 Steam Locomotive Trust website.
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