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Restoration of Taff Vale Locomotive reaches first milestone

Last surviving Welsh-built steam locomotive to undergo boiler lift and inspection at Gwili Railway.

The Gwili Vintage Carriage Group has reached the first fundraising milestone to enable the overhaul and eventual return to steam of Taff Vale Railway Locomotive No.28—the last surviving Welsh-built standard gauge steam locomotive.

The locomotive is based at the Gwili Railway near Carmarthen and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the first £32,000 has been raised towards the engine’s overhaul. Donations have come from members of the public as well as a grant for £18,250 from the Association for Industrial Archaeology.

The funding will enable the first sections of the engine’s bottom end (frames and motion) to receive essential repair work and will also enable the boiler to be lifted and inspected. 

The condition of the boiler will determine the remaining cost and timescale for the project, but the overall cost is expected to reach £160,000. The boiler inspection and the first phase of work is due to be complete by Spring 2022.

Following the overhaul, the engine will operate passenger services at the Gwili Railway. It is hoped that the engine will eventually haul a rake of surviving Taff Vale Railway vintage carriages which are being restored separately.

Steam locomotive, Taff Vale Railway, 0-6-2T No. 28, was built in 1897 at Taff Vale Railway Works, Cardiff and withdrawn in 1927. The engine is owned by the National Railway Museum and is part of the Science Museum Group’s collection. It has previously run in preservation but has not steamed in over 30 years.

David Murray, the Gwili Railway’s Project Manager for the overhaul, said: “I would like to thank everyone who has generously contributed to the project so far. Reaching this first target is an important milestone and will enable us to inspect the boiler and give us a much better idea of how much work will be needed to complete the overhaul.”

Members of the public wishing to contribute to bringing Taff Vale Railway No.28 back into steam should visit: www.taffvalerailway28.co.uk/Fundraising/.

Ends

For more information, please contact:

Simon Baylis, PR & Press Manager at the National Railway Museum
01904 686 299 / simon.baylis@railwaymuseum.org.uk

Iain McCall, TVR28 Project Fundraising Manager
07770 748615 / fundraising@taffvalerailway28.co.uk

Notes to Editors

  • The National Railway Museum in York has the largest collection of railway objects in the world and prior to the pandemic, attracted more than 750,000 visitors per year
  • The collection includes over 260 locomotives and rolling stock, 600 coins and medals as well as railway uniform, equipment, documents, artwork and photographs
  • The National Railway Museum forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and Locomotion in Shildon
  • Admission to the National Railway Museum is free, although visitors must book in advance, visit: www.railwaymuseum.org.uk
  • The Gwili Railway was established in 1975 on a section of the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway line that closed to passenger traffic in 1965. The railway became the first standard gauge preserved railway to operate in Wales when it re-opened a half-mile section of the Carmarthen - Aberystwyth route. Since then, the railway has expanded to Danycoed and the company hopes to expand to Llanpumsaint.
  • The Gwili Vintage Carriage Group was set up to safeguard the Victorian carriages on the Gwili Railway. Visit https://gvcg.co.uk/
  • The Association for Industrial Archaeology was established in 1974 to encourage identifying, recording, preserving and presenting the remains of our industrial past, and grant support is just one of the activities. Visit www.industrial-archaeology.org

Part of the Science Museum Group