563 at Corfe Castle by Nathan Au

563 Return to Steam Appeal

Help us raise £500,000 to bring this unique locomotive back to life and continue to tell it’s amazing story by returning it to steam!

Since November 2017, No.563 has been carefully assessed by The Flour Mill and we now know the estimated cost of returning the T3 class to steam will be £500,000. The Swanage Railway Trust 563 Locomotive Group has raised over £300,000 and with £200,000 remaining, providing donations and standing orders are forthcoming, we are hoping to see the T3 return to Swanage by 2023!

We therefore hope you are able to donate generously and help support this exciting project. Your contribution, no matter how small, will ensure that 563s return to steam is possible and enable a working T3 class to once again grace the South on the Swanage Railway. With your help, as we receive more donations and our support grows, we can also apply for grants by demonstrating our project has a serious following and is worthy of match funding to aid the restoration.

The ultimate ambition is to preserve an important piece of living history which can show generations about the introduction of the London and South Western Railway, how it changed the country and what 563 has contributed more recently in the modern world of today.

This promises 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 and we have a variety of ways available for you to do this today!

Exclusive prints available of 563, illustrated by Kevin Williamson.

Donate Online

The simplest way to help with this project is to make a donation directly to the Swanage Railway Trust T3 Appeal. This can be done using the button below.

Donations are handled via PayPal but you do not need to be registered with PayPal as donations can be made using a wide variety of cards. Donations may be either a single on-off payment or a recurring monthly amount.

Monthly Standing Orders

Set up a regular monthly donation and enjoy rewards for your generous support in return! We have a number of exciting incentives available such as original copper stays, enamel badges, mugs and train tickets for 563s first official day of service in over 70 years!

£10 a month

Payment option
  • Join our 563LG mailing list to receive the latest information.
  • A downloadable e-certificate for framing (available after the first six months).

£30 a month

Payment option
  • All of the above benefits plus:
  • A 563 Locomotive Group badge featuring our logo in enamel (available after the first six months).

£50 a month

Payment option
  • All of the above benefits plus:
  • An illustrated print of 563 by Kevin Williamson (available after the first six months).
  • The opportunity to ride on one of 563s trains during its first official day in service.

£100 a month

Payment option
  • All of the above benefits plus:
  • A VIP invitation on 563s first official train.
  • An original copper stay from the old firebox pre 1948! (available after the first twelve months).

Larger donations will be gratefully accepted by the 563 Locomotive Group. Major donors are directly managed by 563 Trustee, Matt McManus. If you’re considering a larger donation please don’t hesitate to get in contact with matt.mcmanus@swanagerailway.co.uk and he will discuss a range of incentives to make justifying your larger donation that little bit easier!

No.563 is wholly owned by the Swanage Railway Trust, registered charity No.1087318. All funds generated in this fundraising effort are ring fenced for overhaul and conservation costs of LSWR T3, No.563. 

563 dismantled for assessment at the Flour Mill by Nick Lloyd.

We are now at the point at which we need to focus our attention on the tender, to ensure that it will be ready when 563 returns to the Swanage Railway. Our plan is to restore the tender in our workshops at Swanage, using our team of enthusiastic expert volunteers. The work required is not extensive, but includes:

  • Strip to bare frames for inspection and protection
  • Replacement of the tank floor
  • Replacement of wrought iron brake components
  • Assessment of existing springs
  • Minor frame repairs around front drag-box
  • Re-metaling & machining of axle-box crown bearings and horn way faces
  • NDT of wheelsets, spring hangers etc.

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