The overhaul of sole-surviving ‘N’ class 2-6-0 No. 31874 reached a major milestone this month as the locomotive was reunited with its driving wheels.
With the assistance of Sonic Rail Services Ltd, the frames - complete with cab and smoke deflectors – were lifted at the Swanage Railway’s works at Herston on December 1, allowing for the removal of the leading pony truck and the fitting of the ‘Mogul’s’ driving wheelsets.
The boiler of the unique ‘N’ class locomotive is currently at Adam Dalgleish Engineering Ltd in Stockton, where extensive work is being undertaken on the engine’s firebox and smokebox.
It is intended to restore No. 31874 to main line standards and a £75,000 Department of Transport grant, awarded in May this year, is funding the fitment of TPWS, AWS, GSM-R and OTM-R, required to allow the Maunsell 2-6-0 to run over national network metals.
It is hoped to have No. 31874 back in steam at some point in 2017 and ready to haul the Swanage Railway’s first regular timetabled services into Wareham on the Waterloo-Weymouth main line following successful DMU-hauled trial runs, due to begin next year.
You can help return No. 31874 return to the rails by visiting www.swanagemoguls.com to see how you can contribute.