Following the news this week that the National Railway Museum has told the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust that they need to vacate their workshop, the Trust has also released a statement.
The trust has said that whilst the overhaul of 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley is nearing completion, the process has taken longer than expected, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 meant that the NRM’s workshop was shut for six months and limited working numbers thereafter, and this also meant delays with suppliers and contractors.
The Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust has said that the coronavirus has delayed the project by between 10 and 12 months.
The SNGLT has revealed that, when they signed the workshop agreement, the NRM were clear that they may need to vacate the LNER A4 out of the workshop if it impacted their redevelopment plans.
A spokesperson for the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust said, “When we signed the agreement to use the workshop at York, the NRM were clear with us that they may need 60007 to vacate the workshop if our presence impacted their plans for re-development. Although those plans have also been delayed, it has reached the point where the NRM needs us to leave.”
The Trust, in their statement, also said that another factor hitting the progress was the difficulty faced by the Llangollen Railway, who completed the boiler overhaul. However, the Trust has reiterated that they have no concerns over the quality of work completed.
Therefore, with the departure date looming, the Trust has said the logical place for the overhaul to be completed is Locomotive Services TOC Limited, in Crewe.
The Trust has listed three reasons why this is a good move:
- Excellent workshop facilities
- Dedicated paint shop
- Would bring forward the deal between SNGLT and LSL, which was announced in 2019.
It is anticipated that an essentially complete LNER A4 will depart the National Railway Museum and head for final completion at Crewe.
The trust has confirmed that apart from a short rail transfer across York, the movement will be via road, not rail, as some others first thought.
With no firm decisions made regarding running in, the trust has said it will honour its commitment regarding North Yorkshire Moors Railway and visits to the heritage railway.
A provisionally agreed programme means that we should see Sir Nigel Gresley returned to steam in Spring 2022 – subject to work being completed.
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