Over the course of this year the railway has received many donations – for which we are all extremely thankful. These donations, along with a train service operated largely by volunteers, have literally kept the railway going. We are, however, about to ask for your further support, but this time with something very specific that is important to pretty well all of us…
The project in question is the overhaul of Linda – one of our ex-Penrhyn Quarry Railway ‘Ladies’. In just two years’ time this popular loco will have been with us for SIXTY years. We want to see her in action for that anniversary, rather than languishing in the back of a shed, awaiting her turn in the queue of locos passing through the Works. So, what is needed to make this happen?
• While we all like to hear those magic words ‘not much needed this time round’, this is far from the case with Linda. She now carries the oldest boiler in our fleet, dating back to 1936. It probably doesn’t need wholesale replacement, but there will be quite a lot of new metal needed.
• The chassis also requires detailed attention and re-riveting in places where the repeated stresses of the ‘punchy’ power delivery of this strong two-cylinder locomotive have taken their toll.
• It is now twenty-five years since we repaired a much corroded saddle tank and, although it is probably OK to go back into service again, it is time for us to take a good look at it.
• However, it is the loco’s tender that is one of the biggest areas of concern. This has been slated for replacement on many occasions and repaired many times over. Major surgery is now required. It is likely that we will be able to keep the sides and rear end, and also recycle the wheel-sets, but the rest of the structure needs to be replaced.
• Over and above these major items every other part of the locomotive will require overhaul, and many hours of work are required to do this.
• Linda’s boiler certificate expires next spring and we will be keeping her available for use on works trains until 27th March 2021, which is currently planned to be her last day in service.
Paul Lewin (Director and General Manager) writes:
“We estimate that this overhaul will cost around £60,000 – that is one thousand pounds for every year Linda has worked on the FR. Donations would be extremely welcome, and can be made via the FR Society as usual. I very much hope that you will be able to help us with this appeal. Now more than ever this kind of support is very important. Helping now will not only ensure we can enjoy riding behind Linda on an important anniversary, but it will keep skilled staff working for us at a time when other income is uncertain.”
Linda’s appeal page and how to donate is here.