An ex-Great Western Railway Large Prairie Tank locomotive has started its return journey to being able to move under its own power.
It found itself on the move for the first time since 2014 when it was transported to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham where it was the centrepiece exhibit at the Warley Model Railway Club show, which took place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November.
Once the show closed, the locomotive was immediately moved a relatively short distance to Tyseley Loco Works for storage until work commences on its restoration. Hopes are high that it will be operational well before it celebrates its centenary in 2030.
Number 5164 was acquired by Erlestoke Manor Fund (EMF) in late 2021 under an agreement that the locomotive would be returned to steam. Work is expected to commence on 5164 next year, once EMF's Bradley Manor, number 7802, is returned with new cylinder blocks and a ten-year boiler certificate.
The return to steam of 5164 will depend on funding achieved through EMF's appeal for support which was backed up by a sales and promotional stand at the Warley Model Railway Club show. Overhaul efforts are expected to be led by younger volunteer engineers. This next generation will be guided by the stalwart volunteers who worked on 7802 Bradley Manor and its sister 7812 Erlestoke Manor.
The transportation of 5164 to the NEC was partly sponsored by Accurascale Model Railways. They provided an OO gauge model of Erlestoke Manor as the prize in the raffle run at the show by the EMF, which gratefully acknowledges the company's support.