The LSWR ‘T3’ No. 563 has left the Swanage Railway for an assessment at the Flour Mill workshop in the Forest of Dean to determine whether the locomotive can return to steam.
Previously owned by the National Railway Museum, No. 563 was donated to the Swanage Railway Trust in March 2017. From day one the railway has always had the ambition to return No. 563 to steam.
This workshop that the engine was moved to on November 13th has a proven track record of restoring Victorian and Edwardian steam locomotives and will be working hard to develop a sustainable plan that will ensure no.563 steams again.
Built in 1893, No. 563 was part of the famous T3 class designed by William Adams in 1891. Twenty of the T3 locomotives were built with No. 563 being the only survivor of its class. No.563 is also special because it is the last express passenger tender locomotive designed by the celebrated William Adams. No one has seen an example of this type of locomotive in steam since 1945.
After being stored over the winter, No. 563 will be undergoing an overhaul assessment in 2018, providing this goes well and fundraising also matches expectations, the railway estimates they could expect a return to steam in around 2021!
The T3's return to steam really hinges on the ability to raise funds for the extensive works required to enable this goal, and Swanage Railway has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds towards the work needed.
For more information on how to support this groundbreaking project, please visit Swanage Railway's crowdfund page here.
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