The Gwili Vintage Carriage Group has reached the first fundraising milestone to enable the overhaul and eventual return to steam of Taff Vale Railway Locomotive No.28.
The last surviving Welsh-built standard gauge steam locomotive – based at the Gwili Railway near Carmarthen – has reached the first £32,000 needed to overhaul the engine.
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Donations have largely come from members of the public, as well as a grant of £18,250 donated by the Association for Industrial Archaeology.
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The funding will enable the first sections of the engine’s bottom end to receive repair work and enable the boiler to be lifted and inspected.
The condition of the boiler will determine the remaining cost and timescale for the project, but the overall cost is expected to reach £160,000. The boiler inspection and the first phase of work is due to be complete by Spring 2022.
Once the overhaul is completed, the engine will operate passenger services at the Gwili Railway. It is hoped that the engine will eventually haul a rake of surviving Taff Vale Railway vintage carriages which are being restored separately.
Steam locomotive, Taff Vale Railway, 0-6-2T No. 28, was built in 1897 at Taff Vale Railway Works, Cardiff and withdrawn in 1927. The engine is owned by the National Railway Museum and is part of the Science Museum Group’s collection. It has previously run in preservation but has not steamed in over 30 years.
David Murray, the Gwili Railway’s Project Manager, said: “I would like to thank everyone who has generously contributed to the project so far. Reaching this first target is an important milestone and will enable us to inspect the boiler and give us a much better idea of how much work will be needed to complete the overhaul.”
Members of the public wishing to contribute to bringing Taff Vale Railway No.28 back into steam should visit the Taff Vale Railway website here.