80078 – Restoration

Southern Steam Trust – Project 78 – Southern Locomotives Ltd

After withdrawal, No.80078 languished in various scrap lines until it arrived at Barry Scrapyard, in June 1966. It was purchased by the embryonic Southern Steam Trust and its move away from Barry began on 20th September 1976. After an eventful journey, including a broken propshaft on the tractor unit, the locomotive arrived at Swanage on 23rd September. Due to some local difficulties, the restoration wasn't started until 1978, but it was then soon stripped and work begun in earnest. After slow but steady progress during the 1980s, following financial difficulties at Swanage, 80078 was sold to a group known as PROJECT 78 in September 1991.

80078 Standard 4 Tank

The locomotive takes shape at Swanage in 1997

The new owners continued the good work, including the dispatch of the engine's boiler to R K Pridham Engineering, in Devon, for its repair. Another major landmark occurred on 6th October 1994, when 80078 was the first locomotive to take up residence in the Swanage Railway's new engineering works at Herston. However, in order to inject new life into the project, the owners decided that an amalgamation with Southern Locomotives Limited would be a good idea and the transfer of ownership was completed on 27th November 1995. Subsequently, the chassis was rewheeled on 15th September 1996.

80078 Standard 4 Tank

The locomotive takes shape at Swanage in 1997

Once 80104 was completed in April 1997, the team at Swanage was able to give their full attention to 80078 and the restoration proceeded rapidly.

Boiler Work

Boiler work included a complete re-tube, replacement of a number of copper stays, replacement of rivets on the foundation ring and firehole door area, caulking of the hundreds of stays and fitting stay nuts.

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Turning the boiler

Lowering onto the trolley

Finishing The Job

In addition to the boiler work, painting and lining of the locomotive was carried out.

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Applying the masking tape

The finished result

The month of August also saw the boiler successfully pass its hydraulic test and steam test.

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The boiler receives approval from Sam Foster, the boiler inspector

Steam issuing from the safety valves

September 1999

The locomotive passed another milestone in September 1999 when the boiler was fitted into the frames.

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The boiler is re-united with the frames

The cab roof is put on using the same crane

1st October 1999

The great day arrives! On the previous evening, 30th September, a low loader arrived at Herston Works. As ever, work was still continuing to finish the hundreds of last minute tasks in order to have the locomotive ready for its journey to Norden. Finally, at about 11 p.m. the locomotive was winched on to the low-loader. The following morning the low-loader set off for the few miles to Norden. There the locomotive was hauled from the low-loader by the Swanage Railway's diesel shunter. The shunter had also brought Eddystone from Swanage where it had been on display so that the same low-loader could be used to transfer it to Herston Works.

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80078 is pulled from the trailer

Eddystone being loaded

Further work continued on the locomotive during the day at Norden. After the last service train of the day, sister locomotive 80104 arrived from Swanage to tow 80078 back to Swanage. A few jobs remained to be done but the locomotive had its first trial run within the week.