‘T3’ leaves Swanage for the Flour Mill

Unique LSWR ‘T3’ No. 563 has left the Swanage Railway for an assessment to determine whether the 1893-built locomotive can return to steam.

Former National Collection ‘T3’ No. 563 is shunted at Corfe Castle on November 12, ahead of its move to the Flour Mill. ANDREW P. M. WRIGHT

Former National Collection ‘T3’ No. 563 is shunted at Corfe Castle on November 12, ahead of its move to the Flour Mill. ANDREW P. M. WRIGHT

The former National Collection 4-4-0 left the ‘Purbeck Line’ on November 13 for the Flour Mill workshops in the Forest of Dean, where the Adams-designed locomotive will be stripped down to explore the possibility of returning No. 563 to steam for the first time since 1948.

The move comes just weeks after the railway launched an appeal to raise funds towards the 1893-built locomotive’s anticipated overhaul (SR473).

A generous benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has sponsored the ‘T3’s’ move to the Flour Mill and its mechanical examination.

Swanage Railway trustee Matt McManus, who is responsible for the ‘T3’, told Steam Railway last month that No. 563 would be stored under cover through the winter and that the strip-down process would begin in March next year.

Mr McManus also said that the railway would know by the end of 2018 whether the locomotive could be returned to steam.

As the benefactor is not sponsoring the anticipated overhaul, the Swanage Railway has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds towards the work needed to return the ‘T3’ to working order.

For more information: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/lswr-t3-no-563-return-to-steam-appeal.