TWO former industrial tank locomotives have steamed into north Dorset for future use at an expanding railway project which one day hopes to see the line restored from Shillingstone to Sturminster Newton.

Owned by a locomotive Group called ‘Project 62’ two steam locomotives, with a connection to World War Two, have taken up residency at the headquarters of the North Dorset Railway Trust at the former Somerset and Dorset line station in Shillingstone.

Both locomotives were built to the design of the United States Army Transportation Corps locomotives that were introduced during World War Two.

They were used both in mainline Europe and in the UK with some members of the class in this country remaining in service with British Railways until July 1967.

The two locomotives which arrived at Shillingstone station this month, now carry the numbers 30075 and 30076 and were both built in former Yugoslavia.

Number 30075 was constructed in 1960 and worked at the Store Steel works from where it was originally purchased for preservation in 1990 and transported to the UK.

It was returned to working order and has seen service at a number of heritage railways around the country, including the Swanage Railway.

It is currently not serviceable requiring work on its boiler, firebox and running gear. But work will start to get into operational condition and back on track as soon as possible.

Number 30076 was similarly in industrial use in Bosnia and Herzegovina being acquired by Project 62 members from the ArcelorMittal Zenica works in 2006. This locomotive is six years older than 30075, having been built in 1954. It has been estimated that it will cost at least £50,000 to return this locomotive to working order and this will be a longer term project. Both locomotives were allocated as ‘Class 62’ locomotives in their industrial use, hence the name of the owning group ‘Project 62’.

Number 30075 has moved from the Great Central Railway base at Ruddington while, 30076 has been in secure storage at a haulage company’s yard in the West Midlands after being moved there from the Mid Hants Railway where it was initially stored.

The locomotives have arrived at Shillingstone in time to be displayed for the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Somerset and Dorset Railway which closed on March 7, 1966. Events will be taking place up and down the route of the former line this year to mark the anniversary.

They station site is normally open on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesdays.

New members and volunteers to work on the locomotives and at Shillingstone station are always welcome.

If anyone is interested in being a part owner of a steam locomotive, shares are available in both locomotives and details can be found on Project 62’s website at


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