The story so far…
In March 2017 the National Railway Museum generously gifted the sole surviving Adams’ designed T3 class, No.563 to the Swanage Railway Trust and ever since day one the exciting ambition has been to return her to steam.
Given our deep-rooted history with the London & South Western Railway, the engine made a welcome return to its spiritual home and the 563 Locomotive Group has been formed to ensure its preservation for future generations but we need your help to do this.
After an extensive strip down and investigation at the Flour Mill workshop in the Forest of Dean, the engine was found to be in a surprisingly good mechanically overhauled condition by Eastleigh Works and although the firebox was life expired, as expected, the boiler barrel is also in an excellent condition with little corrosion inside or out.
The initial anticipated cost of returning No.563 to steam was £350,000 and to help kick start the project, the Swanage Railway Trust’s committed £30,000 for all the copper required to construct the new inner firebox.
As a consequence of COVID-19, the overhaul has been slightly delayed and we’ve since had to renew additional components outside of the original scope. To date, over £240,000 has been raised and we’re just under half way to the revised £500,000 target to complete the engine and tender.
This is proving to be one of the most exciting locomotive restorations in that has taken place in the last 25 years. A locomotive, which many thought would never steam again will be brought back to life on the railway it was built for – It’s time to get on board!