STANDARD 76077 RESTORATION TROTS PAST PONY TRUCK MILESTONE
- ‘Real progress’ being made despite lockdown measures
- Complete pony truck a ‘huge boost’ for supporters
- Over £25,000 share investments made over recent weeks
Winchcombe, 2nd June 2020: Restoration of British Railways Standard Class 4 2-6-0 no. 76077 owned by Toddington Standard Locomotive Ltd (TSLL), has passed an important milestone despite the Coronavirus crisis with completion and wheeling of the pony truck.
The locomotive’s frames are being restored at Locomotive Maintenance Services (LMS) in Loughborough and, although volunteer work parties have been suspended, staff have been able to continue thanks to self-distancing measures.
TSLL Engineering Director Andrew Meredith, who is also a member of the LMS team, said: “The pony truck presented a few interesting difficulties because there is historic damage consistent with a derailment. We know that the locomotive was overhauled at Eastleigh in 1964 and we have found components on the pony truck from other class members and from an Ivatt 2-6-2T.
“However, not all the damage was repaired at that time so that has now been rectified. The whole assembly is as good as new and ready to fit under the locomotive.
“This is a truly exciting point in our progress and the first time the pony truck has been a complete assembly in over 30 years. It demonstrates to our supporters that there is now real momentum in this project to see the engine back in steam.”
Other progress includes trial fitting of the buffer beam, production of a new frame stretcher which has also been trial fitted and significant repairs to the front drag-box including replacement of corroded metal – thus the front end of the engine is getting close to completion.
The team has recently acquired further components including a full set of buffers (which are identical to those fitted to class 08 diesel-electric shunters).
Meanwhile, further smaller components such as machining castings for replacement oil boxes and driving axle box dust shields have been progressing in supporters’ home workshops.
Chairman of TSLL Chris Irving added: “For us, this is a real achievement: when we acquired the locomotive it was essentially a giant kit of parts – but with several parts missing.
“Seeing the pony truck complete is a huge boost to the morale of the team at a time when little work is going on anywhere in the heritage railway industry.
“It demonstrates our determination to reflect the commitment of so many shareholders to see the engine returned to service as soon as possible. There is still a long way to go of course, but we are bit by bit, component by component, getting there.”
TSLL is devising a new component sponsorship scheme, contributions to pay for components being converted into shares although a permanent record of what parts ‘belong’ to whom will be maintained.
The project has also received a boost with over £25,000 shares investment in the locomotive over recent weeks.
Added Chris Irving: “This means that restoration work for the coming months can press ahead – this is real momentum which I’m confident will continue. At present, we are very much on schedule and I hope that with the gradual easing of Coronavirus restrictions we will be able to resume volunteer working parties at both Toddington on the GWSR and at Loughborough.”