The 35006 Locomotive Society was formed in the early 1980's to assist the Company in rescuing the locomotive from Barry scrap yard and help to restore it to full working order. The locomotive's tender had been sold to another buyer before the Company was able to purchase the locomotive in 1982 and move it to Toddington on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.
During the 1980s the loco was gradually dismantled, while fund raising was undertaken to finance the rebuilding work.
A major milestone was reached when the restored locomotive frames were lifted onto the overhauled wheels. Over the following years the three pistons were replaced in their cylinders and a complete set of valve rods was obtained and overhauled. New and restored coupling rods have been fitted to the loco, returning it to the status of a 4-6-2 once more. A new set of connecting rods was made and polished.
The larger items attract most attention, but equally important are the smaller parts, essential to the operation of the locomotive.
We were fortunate to be able to obtain four mechanical lubricators (oil pumps), which were overhauled and fitted, and the huge job of manufacturing the lubrication and steam distribution pipe work was completed. New and refurbished brake and sanding gear (to give the loco more grip when the rails are greasy) have been made and fitted, together with a new set of ash pans. The loco has also received its new fire grate. The fully restored cab has been fitted, with the loco’s number proudly displayed on the side. Insulation material has been applied to the boiler, the cladding was then fitted and the whole locomotive painted and lined out.
The construction of a new tender to replace the one “lost” in the scrap yard began with a set of roughly cut frame plates. A scrap bogie from a Class 40 diesel was purchased from British Rail to provide the wheel sets and axle boxes.
The chassis of the tender was built by volunteers working in the open at Toddington and placed on its wheels in the late 90's becoming the first of its type to be built since the end of steam locomotive construction on British Railways. Work on the tender tank was completed at the Mid Hants Railway, with the brake gear and water connections completed at Toddington.
The most expensive part of restoring a steam locomotive is its boiler, and ours was no exception. The boiler was given a structural overhaul at a specialist boiler smiths, in the 1990s, then subsequently fitted with a set of boiler tubes and superheater elements, allowing a pressure test to take place. The boiler was the most expensive part of the restoration, with over £110,000 spent on this part alone.
In May 2016 the locomotive hauled its first passenger train in 52 years and can now be seen regularly hauling trains to Cheltenham Racecourse Station and now Broadway.
Members of the Society receive a regular quarterly newsletter to keep up to date with the latest news about the locomotive, and there is an opportunity to become a part owner; the extent of your involvement is up to you. Weekly working parties are on site at Toddington throughout the year and new volunteers receive a friendly welcome.
If you would like to assist with the continued maintenance of this locomotive, please complete and return the form which can be found on the Join Us page.
Members names & addresses are held on computer file for the purpose of distribution of newsletter and other literature. Data is not released to outside organisations. Acceptance of this is a condition of membership.
We are very pleased and proud of the restored locomotive as shown below and hope that you will agree with us that it looks splendid.