THE War Office Locomotive Trust’s ex-WDLR Hunslet 4-6-0T No. 303 (1215/1916) made its debut in steam at a private July 8 event at Statfold Barn Railway.
The locomotive was bought in Australia in 2004 by The War Office Locomotive Society and returned to Britain in September 2005. Ownership was then transferred to the specially formed trust in early-2012.
Restoration started when the boiler was lifted in February 2012, with the frames then going to a private restoration base where work started in earnest.
The task undertaken by the volunteer team led by Martyn Ashworth proved far more challenging and costly than envisaged, with numerous unexpected problems arising.
Nearly 21,000 hours were expended bringing the restoration to a conclusion.
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