Recent Developments

 

Welcome to 35025's new website containing up to date information on Brocklebank Line and its progress toward main line running condition.

Firstly let me apologise for the old website which had not received any input since Spring 2005 when active restoration at Loughborough halted. This followed a notice to quit the location site issued by the new board of the Great Central Railway in early May 2005.

There was then a 2 1/2 year 'doldrum' period whilst the Association sought an alternate home for the locomotive and its components. This proved to be a very stressful time with all work on 35025 having ceased and receiving increased pressure from the GCR to clear their site. The Association has drained its funds in a component and restoration 'big push' at the back end of 2004 as requested by the former GCR management. We now faced a stark choice- to fund the cash for a move or let the whole project go to a third party, at fire sale prices.

Discussions were entered into to sell locomotive 35025 along with its components 'complete' but fortunately an 11th hour a rescue was managed by selling two of the fully working lubricators plus our much cherished PMV S1153S. With the physical and financial support of a dedicated few shareholders and other members / volunteers, relocation to Sellindge Kent became possible, This was achieved in October/November 2007.

Move Right International were contracted for the 4x lorry / low loader movements, one for the locomotive frames (re wheeled) and cab, one for the tender tank, a container for the class 40 wheel sets and stillages of smaller parts, and lastly, one movement for the boiler.

This still left lots of smaller parts and work benches and the 35025 group were recommended to contract Bob Stowell Transport of Derby to uplift these. A further two lorry movements were needed before we were finally clear of the GCR and the pressure associated with the moves.

The cost of the relocation was in the region of £15,000.- to the Association, considered totally dead money that could otherwise have been spent on restoration of our locomotive.

Unfortunately someone in early 2007 at a time after the news of the Projects' relocation to Sellindge had entered the public domain, burgled the 35025 parts store at Loughborough. The thieves very carefully selected all of our gunmetal, bronze, brass and copper fittings and material which we had spent years and a great deal of money collecting. Knowing the value of these items, we had taken steps to previously 'hide' these all around our store shed. Notwithstanding this, items were found and removed by the burglars. The amount and weight of items stolen including two injectors must have taken 2 or 3 nights to remove, no less !

Loughborough police recovered some minor brass parts from a local scrap dealer and an individual was eventually convicted of handling stolen goods. The bulk has never been recovered.

Once at Sellindge the locomotive was sheeted over against the weather to await the restart of active restoration. Dave Crawford, a former 35025 engineering team member accepted the role of Chief Engineer, Alan Unsworth changed roles to become the Association's new Treasurer and a newly joined Bulleid enthusiast in the shape of Shirley Rolls took on Membership Secretary duties. Michael Wood and myself, Brian Seddon, continued in the positions of Secretary and Chairman respectively.

So what of the past months since arrival at Sellindge? As already stated, the "35025" Association were waiting for Richard Moffatt and the Sellindge resident restoration team to clear the decks of their work in hand; then it is hoped, real restoration can be seen once again to be happening.

Recently 35011 'General Steam Navigation' joined us at Sellindge, a super Merchant Navy class locomotive built as one of the 2nd batch from 1944 to 1945. An interesting fact is that the boiler of 35025 no 1104 was originally built for 35013 'Blue Funnel' but its career has provided the driving force for 35012 'United States Lines' and our new neighbour, 35011.

Admittedly and in the early stages of discussion, presently the 35025 Brocklebank Line Association are hopeful for a future four way tie up between the Remembrance line (i.e. the Folkestone Harbour Branch and station restoration), 35011 and 35025 groups along with the Sellindge steam restoration company headed by Richard Moffatt.

The grand plan is for both 35011 and 35025 to be restored to main line running condition and to have excursions over the Folkestone Harbour branch and its station. passengers would then transfer to a period steamer for a cross channel trip to Bolougne and back, then returning to London steam hauled throughout, at the end of the day.

It's an ambitious plan, but it can become a reality, with your support too! But Join us or Donate Today and Please Make It Happen !

  from the Chairman, 35025 Brocklebank Line Association


 
 
Notes for the accompanying text:
 
please also see:
 
also
 
you may want to see this video too (of 28th June 2009)