The Swanage Railway and Southern Locomotive Ltd (SLL) has shared photos of loaded test runs hauled by recently overhauled Southern Railway “West Country” Class No.34028 “Eddystone”.
Owned and maintained by SLL, 34028 on Monday 26th April 2021 was transported from Herston Works, where its overhaul took place, to the Swanage Railway for ‘running in’ to test the whole engine before entering traffic fully.
All going well “Eddystone” should be hauling steam trains along the Swanage Railway this summer.
The last time 34028 was in service on the Swanage Railway was back in 2014, before being withdrawn from traffic.
Placed into storage until the SSL had the resources to begin, “Eddystone” entered Herston Works roughly four years later in 2018, where SLL’s staff and volunteers carried out the majority of the required work.
Fast forward three years, roughly £350,000 and countless hours of labour, 34028 is back hauling trains.
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Swanage Railway Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Director Kevin Potts said: “‘Eddystone’ looks fantastic after much hard work from a relatively small team of staff and volunteers at Southern Locomotives.
“Despite delays caused by Covid-19 – and subject to restrictions in working practices – the overhaul has been completed to a high standard. No. 34028 is one of the Swanage Railway’s fleet of steam locomotives operated as part of a long-standing agreement with Southern Locomotives Limited,”
Southern Locomotives Limited Simon Troy explained: “The transfer of ‘Eddystone’ from Herston Works to the Swanage Railway is the culmination of three years hard work by the staff and volunteers of Southern Locomotives Limited.
“No. 34028’s extensive overhaul started while our staff were also working to complete the extensive overhaul of another of our Bulleid Pacifics – No. 34072 ‘257 Squadron’ – and then 2020 saw Herston Works closed for several months owing to the Covid-19 lockdown.
“Our decision to get our staff back to work at the earliest opportunity to ensure the completion of ‘Eddystone’s overhaul is due to the generosity of our shareholders in financing staff salaries while our income from hiring locomotives to the Swanage Railway was suspended.
“The return of ‘Eddystone’ to the Swanage Railway is tinged with sadness in that some key figures in Southern Locomotives Limited will not be in Herston Works for future restorations and overhaul work.
“It’s worth remembering those people who made ‘Eddystone’s rescue and restoration possible – Southern Locomotives Director Richard Moffatt, who purchased the locomotive from the Barry scrapyard in south Wales, Willie Bath who masterminded No. 34028’s restoration as well as Bill Trite who brought us together in the first place,”
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