A steam locomotive based at Shillingstone station is on track to return to eventual working order.

Tank engine 30075, which is owned by a group of enthusiasts known at Project 62, has had its boiler lifted from its frames so it could be taken away for refurbishment works to be carried out.

After many weeks of preparation the locomotive’s cab was first removed before the boiler was lifted from the locomotive’s frames by a mobile crane.

The boiler was taken by a low loader a short distance to the workshops of Richard Vincent Engineering at Henstridge, where it will now be fully refurbished.

The work will include the replacement of sections of thinned steel plate in the inner firebox and then the re-tubing of the boiler to obtain a full 10 year mandatory boiler certificate for the locomotive to operate.

The whole operation at Shillingstone, the headquarters of the North Dorset Railway Trust, was carried out within two hours.

Project 62 members are very grateful for the help and assistance the trust’s members gave, as an item of rolling stock had to be moved prior to ‘lift’ day and also on the day itself, as Wednesdays is one of their normal opening days.

Whilst the boiler is a way at Henstridge, Project 62 members will now concentrate on refurbishing the locomotives frames and running gear at Shillingstone ready for the boiler’s return, to hopefully have the locomotive in service in late 2019 or early 2020.

New members are always welcome to assist and any donations towards the restoration works are always welcome. Various fund raising schemes and initiatives on the group’s website, project62.co.uk where full information about the group can also be found.

The group does own another locomotive at Shillingstone, 30076, which is on display, but work to get this locomotive into working condition will not start until 30075 is up and running.

The North Dorset Railway Trust relies on volunteers to help improve the station as a visitor attraction and move it towards operational status. Visit shillingstone-railway-project.org.uk