Furness Trust project well underway on Wootton Hall

THE restoration of GWR ‘Hall’ No. 4979 Wootton Hall is continuing apace in the Furness Railway Trust’s shed at the Ribble Steam Railway, as the trust endeavours to make right the effects of half a century exposed to the elements.

No. 4979 Wootton Hall received little more than preventative maintenance during its days at Appleby and the Lytham Motive Power Museum before that, but this has helped stave off the worst of the effects of the weather. Once restored, the loco will join the Furness Railway Trust’s hire fleet. GARY BOYD-HOPE

The Collett 4-6-0 moved to Preston from its previous base at Appleby in 2014, and since that time FRT volunteers have been busy stripping the loco in order to fully assess its condition and repair and/or replace wasted metal.

To date a new dragbox and cab floor have been fabricated for the rear of the loco, which has been trial fitted and awaits riveting permanently into position. Similarly, a new dragbox has also been fabricated for the tender frames, and this too awaits final riveting once the tender frames have been sand blasted.

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New side sheets for the cab have been cut, and a new water collection chamber has been fabricated ready for fitting under a new tender tank, which is planned, but not yet commissioned.

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