Published 22nd May 2012
EASTLEIGH - Cheltenham Returns to steam after 30 years after overhaul completed by the Mid Hants Railway at the Knights Rail Services operated Eastleigh Works.
rail.co.uk brings you up to date with the restoration of Southern Railway 4-4-0 Schools Class express passenger locomotive No. 925 Cheltenham.
The engine, designated a ‘V’ Class was built in 1930 to a design by Maunsell, had not been steamed for over 30 years was returned to steam on 8th May 2012.
Its first public engagement will be at the National Railway Museum’s Railfest from June 2nd in York sponsored by Red Spotted Hanky. The engine’s last major engagement was at the Rainhill Trials in 1975 celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway.
The restoration of the National Railway Museum owned engine was undertaken by a team led by Chris Smith from The Mid Hants Railway using Knights Rail Services workshops at Eastleigh Works. Progress has been reported on a regular basis during the overhaul on this website
The fire was lit on Monday May 7 and the following day when all was deemed to be in order, the engine was driven under its own power to the limit of the Eastleigh Works confines next to the South West Main Line a short distance from Eastleigh station.
The boiler inspector was undertaking the required examinations in the afternoon in pouring rain on May 9 while the engine was still carrying a green undercoat. It is due to be reliveried by the end of May ready for the Railfest event.
After the event, the engine will be used at The Mid Hants Railway alongside the SR ‘Nelson’ No. 850 Lord Nelson, also owned by the NRM.