As the blogs official Merchant Navy class news reporter, we are tonight looking at a new project with the aim of unrebuilding a member of the class. An original chain driven Merchant Navy has been high on the wish list of many Southern railway enthusiasts for a number of years and so if this project is successful, that wish could come true. A trust is being formed to secure the future of 35011 General Steam Navigation with the first job to secure a new home for the locomotive. The project is being lead by Dave Williams who was part of the team that saw Wadebridge return to steam from scrapyard condition and has been given the full support and consent of the owner. It is believed that once she has a new home, the trust would take over ownership of the locomotive, with the objective of returning her to as built condition. She is currently based in Sellindge, Kent and they are looking for a site in the Hampshire/Dorset area. This will not necessarily be on a Heritage Railway, but a place convenient for the team (who are all based in the South West) looking to get the project started.
The team intend to hold a working weekend between the 3rd and 4th October in order to tidy up the locomotive and get her ready for a potential move, should a new home be found in the mean time. If you’re interested in getting involved with the project you can find more details on the teams Facebook page or Twitter account with a webpage currently under construction.
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