Push Gathers Steam to Restore a Historic Loco
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The Severn Valley Railway has launched a £425,000 appeal to make improvements to Bridgnorth Locomotive Works.
The Home & Dry Appeal will allow restoration and maintenance work on steam locomotives to continue in a dry and safe environment.
Current conditions inside the current locomotive works have been described as ‘difficult’ and ‘challenging’.
Credit: Severn Valley Railway
The main issues at the works include the bad condition of the roof and poor lighting, alongside the lack of methods for heavy lifting tasks.
Heavy lifting has to take place all the time, according to the Severn Valley Railway, but staff need to hire in equipment such as cranes, and waste time shunting stock around to allow these lifts to take place.
Any size of donation is welcome towards the Home & Dry Appeal, but if you donate £75 or more, you will receive a signed print of Bridgnorth Locomotive Works by Alan Reade, and a donation of £1000 or more will be acknowledged on a permanent scroll of honour within the building.
Credit: Lesley Carr
If you would like to donate towards the appeal, please visit the Severn Valley Railway Trust website.
Peter Munger, one of the volunteers, explained, “The roof is literally full of holes and gaps, and when it rains, we get pools of water on the floor and on anything inside the building. Things are getting damaged all the time, such as the cylinder blocks for our flagship locomotive 4930 Hagley Hall. These were spoiled by dripping water, along with some of the newly painted components. It meant a lot of extra work.”
“The badly aged roof and outdated lighting systems mean that staff often struggle. Fitter machinist Max Green said, “In some places the natural light is non-existent, and I’ve often had to resort to using the torch on my phone to see what I’m doing.”
Martin White, the SVR’s head of engineering, summed up the situation his teams are facing: “I’ve got staff dodging puddles and drips, as well as rolling stock and machinery suffering water damage. The lighting is completely inadequate, and we’re wasting time and money by not having a permanent, heavy lifting capability on site. Various piecemeal improvements have been made here over the years, but these are now life-expired. The Bridgnorth loco works needs help now to secure the SVR’s ability to look after steam locomotives in the years to come.”
The SVR Charitable Trust’s Home & Dry appeal aims to secure the investment needed, as Shelagh Paterson, director of development, explained: “The money we will raise for the Home & Dry appeal will transform the locomotive works at Bridgnorth. It will fund a new roof with insulated panels, at least 15% of which will be translucent to maximise daylight. People, rolling stock and machinery will be properly sheltered and protected. New, energy-efficient LED lighting will be installed, saving electricity costs, and providing well-illuminated conditions. And very importantly, the appeal will fund an overhead travelling crane for the works, so that engineers can move heavy items safely, efficiently and quickly.”
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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