Stepney ‘twice’ as Bluebell wins £1.1m lottery cash for Sheffield Park museum

STROUDLEY ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0T No. 55 Stepney will form one of the centrepiece exhibits, alongside a cutaway replica of itself, in a new museum at the Bluebell Railway.

An artist’s impression of how the Bluebell Railway’s Accessible Steam Heritage (ASH) museum will look, featuring a sectioned mock-up of LBSCR ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0T No. 55 Stepney. BLUEBELL RAILWAY

The development follows a £1.1million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The ASH (Accessible Steam Heritage) museum will revitalise the way the railway displays its out-of-traffic locomotives by transforming its current Sheffield Park engine shed into a fully interpreted, wheelchair friendly exhibition hall.

The building is being funded by the HLT grant and £388,000 direct from the railway. It will undergo substantial repairs first, and will also be extended at the side to create the new exhibition space.

The 1875-built Stepney is a core component in the Bluebell Railway machine, and as such it will be one of the star exhibits, the fragile locomotive having earned its retirement.

The mock-up will be used to explain how a steam locomotive works, featuring a sectioned boiler in the style of the National Railway Museum’s ‘Merchant Navy’ Ellerman Lines, and an enlarged cab to allow wheelchair access to a built-in audio-visual driver experience.

Read more in February’s issue of The RM – out now!

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