Engineer helps save and revive Sidmouth locomotive
- Credit: Archant
It lay languishing in a South Wales scrapyard for years. Corrosion had destroyed the main body and the locomotive had lost many of its parts.
Amazingly the wheels, frames and boiler of 34010 Sidmouth had survived. But it was clear it would need a lot of work before it ever ran again.
Retired chemical engineer, Nick Thompson, who lives on Regency Gate in Sidmouth, is part of a team of volunteers and paid engineers bringing the old steam loco back to life at workshops in Dorset.
“My Dad worked for the railway, and I lived right next to the main line in Woking as a child, and was always interested in trains,” he said.
When he discovered that Sidmouth had survived he got in contact with Southern Locomotives Ltd, the not-for-profit restoration group, based in Swanage.
You may also want to watch:
“I was a bit shocked when I realised that Sidmouth was just a collection of parts, including its boiler in Shropshire and other parts in Kent,” he said.
The engine was one of a series of express steam locos named after westcountry towns. It only came to Sidmouth once - to be named.
- 1 It's our time to share our fortune and 'do our bit' as we start to re-open
- 2 Hayman's Butchers 'had been my life' - Stewart Hayman
- 3 Sidmouth’s ‘overwhelming’ support for Wear a Hat fundraiser
- 4 There will be sunshine after the rain as the town re-opens
- 5 Virtual donkey day out on Easter Sunday
- 6 Ella's walks raise more than £3,000 for brain tumour research
- 7 Rewarding first night back For Sidmouth Running Club
- 8 Claire leaves political spotlight
- 9 Postie raises £6K for charity by walking 100 miles
- 10 Salston Manor Hotel plans given the go-ahead
It spent its working life hauling trains from Waterloo to Dorset and Devon.
“Getting the grease and rust off a heavy lump of metal may not seem like fun, but there’s a lot of banter in the workshop, and we all have the goal - to see the locos running,” he said.
The first job was to restore the wheels, which needed new steel tyres. Sidmouth’s driving wheels are six feet two inches in diameter and the tyres are only made in South Africa.
They were fitted at the South Devon Railway in Buckfastleigh. The new nameplates were sponsored by Julia Creek from Sidmouth.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing Sidmouth run again. It requires a lot of hard work, much of it highly skilled, to restore a 70 year old steam loco to working order, but it’s all worthwhile when you see one running. I get a lot of satisfaction gradually assembling a giant from a bygone age,” he said.
The restoration will cost around £500,000. It’s hoped to complete it by 2021.
For more details visit www.southern-locomotives.co.uk or email Nick Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org