THE overhaul of a vintage steam locomotive is on the right track.

Volunteers at Shillingstone, which is on the former Somerset and Dorset line, are restoring steam locomotive number 30075.

It, along with sister loco 30076, were built to a Second World War design of the United States Army Transportation Corps, being constructed in the 1960s for industrial use in steel works in the former Yugoslavia.

They were purchased by the Project 62 group which is based at Shillingstone, a restored station and the headquarters of the North Dorset Railway Trust.

The trust is aiming to get trains running again along part of the line as a heritage railway.

Shillingstone station closed when the S&D fell victim to the Beeching cuts in 1966.

Bob Bunyar from Project 62 said: "After over a year of dismantling, cleaning parts and preparation, together with sending the boiler away for professional refurbishment, the overhaul of steam locomotive number 30075 is on track at the headquarters of the North Dorset Railway Trust.

"Volunteer members of Project 62, which owns locomotive 30075 along with sister 30076 also at Shillingstone, left the station after their first Wednesday working party of the new year, with fresh impetus after beginning the repainting process of the locomotive’s parts. It was only a small step with much more heavy work to do – but it was one in the right direction when two of the locomotive’s 'sand domes' received their first coats of new primer paint in the group’s storage container workshop.

"Now the slow process to prepare all the locomotive’s parts along with the rolling chassis to rebuild the locomotive and return it to running order will continue while skilled work on the locomotive’s boiler takes place in parallel at the workshops of Vincent Engineering at Henstridge in Somerset."

Updates on the overhaul are being posted on the group’s website where details of fundraising initiatives can also be found along with information about purchasing shares in the group’s locomotives. Once No. 30075 is up and running, volunteers will then set about restoring No. 30076.