Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rare steam train restored to former glory...

Rare steam train King Edward II restored to former glory in 20 year labour of love

A rare locomotive was revealed to the public on Saturday after enthusiasts spent twenty years restoring it to its former glory.

A rare locomotive was revealed to the public yesterday after twenty years spent restoring it to its former glory.
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The renovated King Edward II steam locomotive is revealed to the public Photo: LNP
The King Edward II steam engine was first used by Great Western Railway in the 1930s, pulling trains between London Paddington and the west of England.
However, it had been left to rot in a scrapyard in Barry, Wales, until it was saved for preservation by the Great Western Society.
No 6023 King Edward II is one of only three surviving locomotives of its class, built by GWR in 1930 for taking express trains over the steep banks of South Devon.
In the latter years it was used to pull trains between Paddington and South Wales or Wolverhampton, before being withdrawn in the early 1960s when diesel locomotives were introduced.
The locomotive was stripped of all her valuable components, even painted with the words ‘we can’t save this one’, but was displayed to the public yesterday at the Railway Centre in Didcot, Oxfordshire, England.
Originally painted in green, with a copper chimney and brass bonnet, the locomotive was gleaming in royal blue on Saturday, a colour previously used on 6023 for a brief period in the 1950s.
Roger Orchard, the manager at the Didcot Centre, said: “For the volunteers, their dream of bringing a scrap locomotive back to running order has been realised after 20 years of hard work and dedication.
“Restoring King Edward II has become an obsession for some and in one or two cases has almost caused divorces, because it took over the men’s lives and relationships suffered.”

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