Locomotive Restoration

Locomotive Restoration

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  • About

Austin 1 was built at Kitson and Co. as Works Number 5459 for the Austin Motor Company, and delivered to the manufacturer’s Longbridge plant in 1932 to work alongside four other engines across their West and North Works. It transitioned into preservation in 1973 when it was bought by Burtonwood Brewery for the Flint and Deeside Railway Society, before finding its home at Llangollen in 1975. Since then, it has been a constant presence at the Railway, pulling some of our very earliest passenger services in 1981. Its most recent overhaul was completed in 2020.

7754 - Built in Glasgow for the Great Western Railway in 1930, this iconic Pannier Tank Engine first saw traffic from Reading before moving in 1936 to Paddington Station in London. There it worked hard in support of passenger operations throughout the Second World War, eventually being given its first major overhaul in 1949 before being moved to its last posting for British Railways at Wellington. In 1975 it was donated to the National Museum of Wales, who then elected to permanently loan it to Llangollen Railway. This engine has been a mainstay of the Llangollen Railway for most of our history, pulling its first trains for us in the Winter of 1994. After an extensive overhaul between 2017 and 2022, the engine returned to traffic in 2023, where it is once again playing its iconic GWR role of pulling passengers through the glorious Dee Valley. Now in the ownership of Llangollen Railway Trust, and sporting a splendid new GWR livery, we look forward to seeing this engine thundering about the valley for many years to come.

Our resident steam locomotives, Austin 1 and Pannier 7754 require continuous maintenance and repair. Whilst each steam locomotive is inspected by the driver on the day of use, after 7 days of operation our fitters carry out and more thorough examination and after 28 days the boiler is washed out and examined. Regular items which may require replacement during service or as a result of these examinations include Firebars with an approximate cost of £90, axle springs costing between £800 and £1200 and brake blocks at £600 per set.

All Steam locomotives are required to pass a Boiler Inspection by an independent qualified Boiler Inspector every 14 months. After 7 years, or should an extension be granted a maximum of ten years, the boiler must be removed from the locomotive and stripped for a thorough examination. This involves removing the internal boiler tubes to enable inspection of the boiler barrel as well as the firebox and oftens reveals areas of steel or copper boiler plate which require renewal. Such ten year boiler overhauls can range in cost from £100,000 to £300,000

At the same time as the boiler is being overhauled, it is typical to catch up with maintenance tasks on the chassis at the same time. Such items may include axle bearings, rod and motion bearings and brake system overhauls. A typical budget for a chassis overhaul such as this would be in the region of £100,000 to £150,000.

Between the boiler and chassis overhauls we therefore need to gather sufficient funds together over the ten year running period to enable the locomotive to re-enter service.

Donations are therefore very welcome to help us keep these locomotives available for service at Llangollen

Your donation to this fund will be ringfenced for Locomotive Restoration ensuring these fantastic engines are maintained and cared for so that future generations can enjoy them.