Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Steam coming to Shillingstone!





These locos could be found all over the place! China had loads of industrials that looked like USA type tanks but most were actually of Polish origin. This is a genuine Porter example, allegedly 7544 of 1943, seen at Benxi Steelworks in 1986.

Fantastic and surprising news from Shillingstone - not just one but TWO steam locomotives are coming to the station, making that three steam locos based permanently on the line - and all three should be working for the 50th anniversary of the original 'closure' in March 2016.

The following is from the Project 62 website

Both ‘Project 62’, representing owners of 0-6-0T locomotive 30075 and 30076, and the North Dorset Railway Trust are pleased to announce that agreement has been reached between the two parties to move the locomotives to the headquarters of the NDRT at the former Somerset & Dorset (S&D) line station at Shillingstone in Dorset. It is hoped that the move will be completed by the end of 2015 and both Groups are looking forward to working together in the future.
30075 will be moving from the Great Central Railway (Nottingham) base at Ruddington where it has been stored for display since early 2014. It has not seen any use there as it has been out of service since withdrawn at the Mid Hants Railway in late 2010. The locomotive requires repairs to its fire box and a 10 year overhaul of its boiler and running gear. It is planned to return this locomotive to operational condition first, and as quickly as practical.
On arrival at Shillingstone 30075 will initially be placed at the end of the main line but will be re-positioned in front of the station platform in time of the 50th Anniversary of closure of the Somerset & Dorset next March. 30076 will be placed in the Cattle Dock siding.
It is not known if USA type tank locomotives ever ran officially on the S&D. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that this design of locomotive was hauled over the line in the lead up to D–Day in WW2, and then after, for on-ward movement to mainland Europe. The secrecy surrounding all movements of troops and equipment at this time means that any such movements are believed to have gone undocumented.

About Project 62

Project 62 represents the owners of Yugoslavian built Class 62 USA type 0-6-0 tank steam locomotive 30075 (formerly JZ 62-669 acquired from Store Steel in Slovenia in 1990) which, having been most recently operational since June 2004, is now out of service pending firebox repairs and full overhaul. The group is also involved in the current project to construct 30076 from 62-521, which was acquired from ArcelorMittal Zenica in Bosnia & Herzegovina in December 2006. Class 62 "Yankee Tank" steam locomotives are a pattern build of the World War II USATC S100 Class 0-6-0T Switcher/Shunters designed by Colonel Howard G Hill. Many of these locomotives saw service in the UK - including 14 on the Southern Railway plus a number in industrial service with Austin Motors/BMC at Longbridge, the NCB in the North East and on the Longmoor Military Railway. Four original US built and two Yugoslavian built locomotives are preserved in the UK.

Further Project 62 information and photos

Technical Information - specification detail for 30075 (62-669) and 30076 (62-521) with dimensions, tractive effort and other data
Background to Project 62 - for more detail about the history of "Yankee Tank"
Share Scheme - buy a share to join us and be an owner of your VERY OWN steam locomotive!

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