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On the move again - Part 1

In April 2024, we made the decision to relocate the Locomotive from the Swindon & Cricklade Railway, where it had been stationed since February 2023. Several factors influenced this decision, primarily the opportunity to access more suitable facilities that would expedite our overhaul process and were a bit closer to home (For us owners anyway!). This move ensures that the majority of the locomotive can now be kept under cover and centralised in one location, at the Vale of Berkeley Railway. Previously, the loco was spread across different sites such as Blunsdon and Hayes Knoll shed, which posed logistical challenges, especially when trains were not in operation, as well as parts being in Bristol too.

Additionally, the Swindon & Cricklade Railway is developing its long-term plans, focusing on railway-owned assets and creating more space for railway assets and other rolling stock in need of maintenance to support revenue-generating services. Our relocation from the railway contributes to freeing up space to facilitate these developments. Furthermore, we were somewhat separate from the steam department at Swindon, despite occasionally requiring assistance from them, which they kindly provided when possible. However, with the department now facing numerous other responsibilities and tasks/projects, one of the reasons for our relocation was to alleviate any additional burden on them. We recognised their workload and felt it was best to minimise the demands on their time and resources by moving our restoration elsewhere.

We extend our thanks to the Steam Department and the Railway for granting us the opportunity to advance the overhaul process, even though much of the dismantling and preparation work occurred on their premises. We wish the department success with their own plans and projects moving forward, and we hope to bring the loco back to visit once it is steaming again. We're also excited to witness the S&CR advancements on Andrew Barclay 2354 Richard Trevithick. This opens up the possibility of hosting a thrilling "Barclay Bash" event at the railway in the future. Such an event could potentially be organised at both railways, promising a unique and memorable experience for enthusiasts and visitors alike!

Fortunately, since our relocation, we've been incredibly grateful for the overwhelming help, enthusiasm, and passion shown by the volunteers at the Vale of Berkeley Railway, and that in itself was enough for us to make this move. Since then, we've wasted no time in transporting essential parts such as the boiler, water tank, cab, and other components to their shed, where restoration work has already begun. This collaboration not only provides them with another exciting project but also offers the opportunity to enhance the skills and knowledge of their volunteers through the restoration of a steam locomotive.

We're eager to establish a long-term partnership with the Vale of Berkeley Railway, with hopes of making it our permanent home. This arrangement would not only benefit our locomotive but also enable it to be hired out, allowing us to showcase the craftsmanship of our company and the dedication of VoBR volunteers far and wide.

Stay tuned for Part 2 which will be out sometime in May!

In the meantime, considering helping us by donating here:

or become a volunteer at the VoBR:

Boiler being lifted from the cradle at Blunsdon and onto the lorry.

All loaded up on the lorry ready for transportation to VoBR.

Out it goes!

Arrival at the Vale of Berkeley Railway - with a huge thanks to Kings Haulage and to the volunteers at the VoBR for their help.

Some last minute advertisement on the water tank!

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