Engineering a Future, from the Past

2008 - Ropley - 35005 Canadian Pacific Merchant Navy

Seven years ago, after a break away from heritage railways of several years I made a trip to Ropley loco yard, on the Mid Hants Railway. Locomotive yards had always been places that I’ve loved, places where you can find a number of steam engines in one place. On this particular day two locomotives really stood out from the crowd. The first was one of Gresley’s thoroughbreds, A4 Pacific 60019 Bittern. Of equal presence however was a powerful machine that was more fitting for a Hampshire location, no other than rebuilt Merchant Navy class 35005 Canadian Pacific. Seeing this magnificent steam engine had a lasting impression on me.

2008 - Ropley - 35005 Canadian Pacific Merchant Navy  nameplate

In the intervening years, my love of loco yards; the nerve centres of steam railways has led to the creation of this blog and the rest is history!

Now seven years later I’m happy to announce that I will be starting a new career in heritage railways, working as a Project Supervisor on the Watercress Line! The Project that’ll be the focus of my job is no other than the overhaul of the aforementioned Merchant Navy class locomotive 35005 Canadian Pacific! This locomotive is hardly a stranger to this blog, as thanks to Simon, 35005 has it’s own web page where its strip and inspection has been chartered for some time through his excellent volunteer diary.


These are exciting times! At present I’m not sure how this blog will link to updates that will be published on the Watercress Line, but needless to say, locoyard followers will be kept up to date!

We still have to raise another £605,000 for the £1.5million CanPac project. The project will see not just the overhaul of 35005 Canadian Pacific but also 2 wooden Bulleid coaches. The boiler work alone is expected to exceed £100,000; so anything you can give will be gratefully appreciated, no matter how small you think it might be.

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.

9 thoughts on “Engineering a Future, from the Past

  1. Good news indeed, congratulations! Perhaps it would be the perfect excuse to have an all expenses paid “research trip” to the GWSR once P&O’s in steam? 🙂

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  2. Fantastic news, great stuff that you are working on the locomotive that brought back your passion for railways. I echo Alex’s comment, could it visit the NNR once the overhaul is complete 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good news indeed. I am sure you will get much satisfaction – and a few frustrations, from your new responsibilities. It is one of my favourite preserved railways and Bulleid must be one of the greats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, that’s much appreciated. I’m very much looking forward to starting, I love the line and the locomotive so it’ll have great job satisfaction. I’m sure there will be some frustrations along the way and from what I can see I’ll be a very busy boy, but that’s all part of the challenge for which I’m very excited to be a part of!


  4. Pingback: Watercress Line Articles – Locoyard 2015 | Loco Yard

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