A 110 year-old locomotive has been lovingly restored and is set to become a star attraction on the Strathspey Steam Railway line this summer.
Caledonian Railway No. 828, in Caledonian blue livery, was wheeled out from the paint shop at the Aviemore railway workshops on Monday June 14 ready to get back to work.
No 828 has been completely restored, overhauled and repainted thanks to the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Scottish Locomotive Preservation Trust Fund and the Strathspey Railway Company made an application to the lottery for the project and received over £110,000, including money to overhaul the boiler. The estimated cost of returning No. 828 to full working order has been around £220,000.
No. 828 was expertly finished and lined out by the Strathspey Stream Railway’s Murray Duncan, whose attention to detail resulted in a superb sight when she emerged from the engine shed.
Murray, who has carried out extensive research to get the authentic original livery replicated, said: “It has been a challenging job but the result will make the effort well worth it.”
The rebuild of the locomotive itself was carried out by Strathspey’s own engineers and volunteers at Aviemore, with Riley & Son of Bury completing the boiler work.
Doug Scott, the chairman of Strathspey Steam Railway, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Caledonian 828 returning to traffic in 2010.
“There is no doubt that 828 has a huge historical significance and is one of the most important steam locomotives in preservation.
“We at Aviemore are greatly indebted to the Scottish Locomotive Preservation Trust Fund which owns the locomotive. It was their foresight and tireless perseverance which saved the loco for posterity in 1963. The trust has never wavered in its resolve to preserve 828 as a working steam locomotive.
“The Strathspey Railway is a highly suitable location for such a magnificent machine. The recent overhaul should allow 828 to enjoy many more years of active service on the former Highland Railway Co main line.
“The efforts of every individual and organisation involved in the current restoration are greatly appreciated by everyone associated with the Strathspey Railway Company.”
Built in 1899 in Glasgow, the locomotive is certain to create huge interest in railway heritage circles. It is the only locomotive in the UK that was designed by John F. McIntosh, the eminent engineer whose boiler design was regarded as one of the major developments in British locomotive engineering.
Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said at the unveiling: “What a marvellous sight it is to see this popular locomotive restored to its heyday glory.
“Trains and the development of the railway give us an exciting door into learning about the history of an area and No. 828, at over 100 years old, is no different.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to have supported this restoration project as it will bring years of enjoyment and learning to young and old alike.”
(Strathspey and Badenoch Herald)