Overhaul for veteran

No 778 woks its longest train ever on the Leighton Buzzard Railway PNL-150925-105021001
No 778 woks its longest train ever on the Leighton Buzzard Railway PNL-150925-105021001

One of the steam engines owned by the Greensand Railway Museum Trust (GRMT) has worked its final trains, prior to the expiry of its boiler certificate.

The Baldwin 4-6-0T WDLR No 778 (BLW 44656/1917) took part in Leighton Buzzard Railway’s Steam-Up Weekend on September 12 and 13.

During the weekend, the only operational Class 10-12-D Baldwin in Britain worked its longest-ever train on the line, comprising four passenger carriages and three First World War bogie D wagons.

After working its final passenger service to Stonehenge Works on September 13, No 778 was loaded on a transporter and delivered to Alan Keef Ltd, near Ross-on-Wye, the works which completed restoration of No 778 to steam from derelict condition in early 2007.

The firm is now contracted to lift the boiler and overhaul the chassis.

The boiler will be sent to Locomotive Maintenance Services in Loughborough which will undertake necessary overhaul work to secure a new boiler certificate, with a view to returning to service next Easter.

Greensand Railway Museum Trust is continuing its efforts to raise the £10,000 needed to ensure all necessary overhaul work on Baldwin 4-6-0T No 778 can be carried out.

For every £1 raised, a benefactor will match it by donating another £1.

GRMT chairman Cliff Thomas,said: “Tentative enquiries are already being made about 778’s potential availability in 2016, a year marking the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and the run-up to the locomotive’s own centenary.

People can make a huge difference by helping ensure an iconic Class 10-12-D Baldwin is back in steam and in fine fettle next year.

“No 778 is a war veteran, having served in France during the First World War.

“Please help with whatever you can spare.”

Find out more at www.buzzrail.co.uk/static/grmt.html