120 for 130!
Following the successful restoration of 563, we are now moving our attention to the next challenge: Returning LSWR T9 No.120, owned by the National Railway Museum to steam in time for its 130th Birthday in 2029!
Designed by Dugald Drummond and built in 1899 at Nine Elms works, No.120 was part of the T9 class, affectionately known as the ‘Greyhounds’ for their swift performances on the West of England main lines.
Altogether, sixty-six of the T9 locomotives were built, with No.120 being the only survivor. It was withdrawn from capital service in 1961 and was (incorrectly) restored to LSWR Pea Green and hauled special trains for a few years before becoming part of the National Collection. No. 120 became a vital part of the Swanage Railway fleet from 2017-20, before its boiler certificate expired. During its time at the railway the locomotive proved itself a powerful and yet economic machine, popular with both crews and visitors alike. No. 120’s restoration will allow us to build a more sustainable locomotive fleet into the future, as the T9 is perfectly sized for the Swanage branch.
Furthermore, we hope our partnership with the National Railway Museum, will enable us to better tell the history of railways in Dorset, complimenting No.563, and enabling us to become a focal point for Victorian locomotives of the London and South Western Railway. This will be of national significance: what other railways are able to host TWO working Victorian express passenger locomotives?
We are initially trying to raise £50,000 to enable the locomotive to be dismantled and assessed. Should we be successful, then later in the year the boiler and tender will be taken to the Flour Mill and the chassis will head to Herston Works for inspection.
Donations can be easily made online through Enthuse either as single on-off or a recurring monthly payment!