National Railway Museum gifts 'T3' to Swanage

The National Railway Museum has donated the unique LSWR Adams 'T3', No. 563, to the Swanage Railway.

Destined for the Swanage Railway, National Collection LSWR 'T3' No. 563 stands in the North Yard at the National Railway Museum. NRM

Destined for the Swanage Railway, National Collection LSWR 'T3' No. 563 stands in the North Yard at the National Railway Museum. NRM

It was revealed in SR465 that the 1893-built 4-4-0 had been moved out its recent King's Cross base (where it had been starring in a stage adaptation of The Railway Children) although its destination could not be confirmed.

Swanage Railway Company chairman Trevor Parsons said: "We are delighted, thrilled and very grateful to the National Railway Museum for donating such a rare Victorian steam locomotive to the Swanage Railway.

"Thanks to the 'T3's' ownership being transferred to the Swanage Railway, we hope to suitably display the locomotive to the public and illustrate a period of important London & South Western Railway history that has previously not been possible. Our primary aim is No. 563's conservation and preservation.

A spokesperson from the NRM said: “We are delighted to gift the 'T3' class to the Swanage Railway as part of its growing collection and to have found such a suitable home for this locomotive.

“The Swanage Railway has an outstanding record for preserving and displaying items, something which is paramount to the museum, allowing the public to appreciate the locomotive and attract a new audience to Swanage on a railway steeped in 'T3' history.”

Members of the class used to work down to Swanage in steam days before they were replaced by the more powerful Drummond 'T9s'. All fifteen 'T3s' survived into Southern Railway ownership; No. 593 was the last to be withdrawn, surviving until 1948.

The Adams 4-4-0 escaped the cutter's torch when it was selected to take part in the centenary celebrations of Waterloo station, representing its pre-Grouping company.

Upon the closure of the exhibition, No. 593 was stored at Farnham electric carriage shed until it was transferred to Tweedmouth in 1958. It stayed there until a more permanent home could be found at the British Transport Commission Museum at Clapham, whereupon it became part of the National Collection.

It is understood that the 'T3' will be transferred from London to Swanage Railway by road in the near future.