Simon’s journey into the world of Volunteering – Entry 3

Taken by Alre Images Image Owned by Alre Images

We are back!! I am starting this blog with something rather special as I have been kindly allowed by Steve of Alre Images to post a couple of photos of Canadian Pacific (CP). In the first photo we have her leaving Portsmouth in 2003 which is appealing for me as I live in Portsmouth. She is seen her leaving the “Railway Triangle” westbound towards Havant on the Portsmouth – Waterloo direct line.


Now back to the inspection disassmbley, lots of work has been carried out by John and his team, so things seem to be right on track (excuse the pun).  A new update will be appearing on the Mid Hants website over the next week or so which will detail most of the technical stuff and give an overall assessment of the work done. We arent restoring her but simply taking her apart so we know what condition she is in and hopefully once funds are secured we will be able to start the actual restoration.


The major news is all the pipping and valves have been removed from the cab and my job today was starting to remove the cabs boiler cladding. This was a fun job until the last bolt refused to go, so I had to whip out the old hammer and chisel. Lots of hammering and swearing later I managed to get the bolt off and the first piece of cladding came off (bottom left piece in the photo above). The cab itself is ready to be lifted off but we are having to shore it up with some supports before we can move the locomotive under one of the cranes.


Th other big development on the restoration is that work has begun on the front end of the locomotive. The huge chimney has been removed and John has begun removing some of the boiler tubes and the surrounding pipes. The bad news is the smokebox door and the smokebox itself are in pretty bad condition and both are full of holes.  This did however give me a rare opportunity to stick my head out of where the chimney should be to get a photo looking back towards the cab.


Work on CP is going really well, but I was only able to spend a couple hours working on her before we called it quits for the day. The livery she will wear has yet to be decided – my idea of painting her in the BR Freight Black livery wasn’t very popular!

Image Owned by Arle Images

Image Owned by Arle Images

In another one one of Steve’s photos of Canadian Pacific shows her steaming towards  Alresford from Ropley in May 2008. To see this scene again we need your help funding the restoration. The cost of the boiler work alone is expected to exceed £100,000.00.  We therefore need you help!

Please click here to contribute towards the fund via secure online payment.
Download the appeal form.

Both links take you to the Mid Hants Railway Website which is where you can find out more information on how you can help.  Thank you.


Steve and John working hard removing some boiler pipes!

Don’t Forget to check out the Brookes Castle – Volunteer Diary to catch up on previous posts!

If you have been inspired to get involved volunteering on a heritage railway please let us know as we would love to here your stories!

Thanks for reading