Eddystone steam locomotive - credit Andrew P.M. Wright

1940s express steam locomotive returns to Swanage Railway

The steam locomotive Eddystone has returned to the Swanage volunteer-run heritage railway after a £350,000 revamp which took three years.

Dorset's Swanage Railway hopes to run the Eddystone locomotive between Norden, Corfe Castle and Swanage after Covid safe steam train services resumed earlier this month on 12th April as government lifted restrictions.   

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,” added Kevin

The locomotive was originally based at Bournemouth when it was in service with British Railways in the 1950s and 60s and hauled trains on the London to Weymouth line.

It also previously hauled passenger trains on Swanage Railway for 10 years before being taken out of service for the overhaul in 2014. The work was carried out by its owners Southern Locomotives Limited.

Simon Troy of Southern Locomotives Limited said: "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."

“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”

“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."

main image credit: Andrew P.M. Wright

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