Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Sunday, 21 September 2008 12:32 UK

Rescued 'loco' returns to rails

Steam engine Braunton
"Braunton" has been rebuilt using parts of 13 other scrapped engines

A 62-year-old steam engine which was rescued from a scrap yard has been restored and will take to the rails again in Somerset.

The locomotive was built in 1946 but spent 22 years in the scrap yard in south Wales until her rescue in 1996.

The engine, named "Braunton", was bought by enthusiast Jeremy Hosking who paid for the six figure restoration.

About 100 volunteers restored her so she can run on the 23-mile West Somerset Railway (WSR) line.

'Graffiti-sprayed wreck'

The former Southern Railway West Country Class locomotive No. 34046 was built in 1946 and ran about 779,000 miles during her 19-year working life with British Railways.

The steam engine pulled a Royal train to Weymouth in Dorset in 1959, but spent more than two decades, from 1966, in a scrap yard in Wales.

The engine was rescued and moved to Brighton where an abortive restoration attempt was made - until it was sold to enthusiast, Jeremy Hosking, in 1996.

Volunteers have spent 76,800 hours restoring the engine which now looks very different from the graffiti-sprayed wreck discovered in the scrap yard.

"Braunton" has been rebuilt using the parts of 13 other scrapped locomotives.

The engine will haul a special fund-raising train for the West Somerset Steam Railway Trust's heritage carriages project on Wednesday, 24 September.

The project aims to restore original Great Western Railway 1930s coaches for use on the WSR.




SEE ALSO
Steam engine joins heritage fleet
22 Jul 08 |  Somerset

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