Thursday, February 27, 2014

Train Restoration Back on Track Thanks to Lottery Funding

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a £95,000 grant to fund a classic train restoration project.

Railway locomotive 4930 'Hagley Hall' was retired from service 27 years ago and is now owned by the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust.

The restoration will be completed at the Severn Valley Railway’s Heritage Skills Training Academy in Worcestershire and Shropshire and the project will provide students with valuable experience that will help ensure that valuable locomotive skills are not lost.

Hugh McQuade, chairman of the Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust, stated, "Individuals with the requisite heritage skills, for example steam locomotive fitters or boilersmiths do not exist in the modern workplace and for the railway to survive these time served skills need to be passed on to a younger generation."

In order to fully restore Hagley Hall students will need to strip the train right down and completely rebuild it, but although the project will help ensure dying skills are not lost the train is not destined to be a just a museum piece. When the restoration is complete the trust intend to run it up and down the branch line to allow visitor a chance to experience rail travel as it used to be for previous generations.

Reyahn King, head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands is pleased that lottery funds will help get the project on track.

"Visitors to the Severn Valley Railway will be delighted that a one-time static exhibit is a working locomotive once more," King said.

The HLF is responsible for distributing a share of the funds raised by UK National Lottery Good Causes. HLF grants are awarded to projects designed to sustain and transform the British Heritage.