Project "Nancy"

The Avonside "Nancy" Restoration Group was founded as a joint effort by volunteers on a number of Ireland's Narrow gauge railways, with the ultimate goal of returning Avonside built 3ft gauge "Nancy" to Ireland and to steaming condition.

A fund has been set up, with the ultimate aim of reaching approx £40,000 to pay for the completion of the loco.

As of Summer 2018 £40,000 has been funded since we started.  Currently the final components for the engine such as a new Smokebox and Ashpan are being fitted to Nancy along with the boiler to the main frames. Soon Nancy will be steam tested, for the first time since the 1950's. See article in the Railway Magazine for further info.

We need funding to get Nancy back to Ireland, help us achieve that!!

On behalf all at the Cavan & Leitrim Railway thanks to everyone who contributed to our Fund, particularly Martin Ball and the Avonside "Nancy" Restoration Group

Project Nancy - An overview

A Brief History:

"Nancy" became works number 1547 of Avonside works and was delivered new to Stanton Ironworks Co. Ltd for use on their Brewer’s Grave tramway serving Woolsthrope Quarries in Leicestershire. It spent its working life in the ironstone Industry until 1961 when it was bought for preservation by a group based at Watnall, Nottinghamshire. It remained there until 1972 when it was acquired by Lord O’Neill for Shane’s Castle Railway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. 

Preservation at Dromod:

"Nancy" remained there until she was purchased by the Cavan & Leitrim Railway in 1997 for restoration and service on portion of the restored Cavan & Leitrim line at Dromod, County Leitrim. In early 1999 "Nancy" was shipped to the premises of Alan Keef Ltd., Lea Line, Nr Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, England to start the process of restoration.

Progress Report Project Nancy July 2017

Most of the components above the running plate were fit only to use as a pattern for new parts. By April 2001, “Nancy” had been stripped; the reusable components ultrasonically tested, and when fit for use, have been cleaned, repainted and reused. The reprofiled wheel sets have been reunited with the frames, and the assembly of the cylinders, motion work and valve gear is now complete. The manufacture of the footplates, new tanks, cab and bunker, using the originals as patterns, see right hand side.

We have raised £10,000 to finish the loco to steaming condition. Everything has been completed and awaits fitting and steam testing. Steam can finally return to the Cavan and Leitrim!

We need YOUR help to bring Nancy back to Ireland!

Progress of "Nancy" from its working life in Eastwell (top), Nancy seen at Lord O'Neil's railway in almost Barry railway like condition, with images of the new cab, tanks and boiler below

Nancy Paypal:
To finish Nancy we need your support, please see paypal options outlined below. Anyone who donates a minimum of €30.00 will automatically become a member of the Cavan & Leitrim Railway Supporters Association. 

There is also an option to donate whatever amount you can give, we need every penny!

If your browser doesn't support the above donate buttons click here

The Avonside "Nancy" Restoration Group:

The Avonside Project Nancy team are seen visiting Dromod on a team meeting. Michael can be seen attending LM114 "Joe St. Ledger" as the group look on. The team are a largely young enthusiasts based all over Ireland, many who volunteer on the Stradbally Woodland Railway in Co. Laois. Members are as follows:

Michael Kennedy, Philip Bedford, Darragh Connolly, Thomas Fogarty, Alan Curran, Eoin Smyth, Glen Murphy, Mervyn Grace, Keith Suffin, and Rod. 
The group have given much direction and leadership to the project and without their input we would be no where.

Avonside "Nancy" Restoration Group

The Swilly Connection:

There is a connection between "Nancy" and one of the former Lough Swilly (LLSR) steam engines, if you notice the accompanying picture it looks very similar in outline to our own "Nancy". Also Michael Kennedy has collected the whistle and gauge glass from a LLSR engine, it came from one of the "Big Giants" the biggest narrow gauge engines to operate in these islands, for the first time since 1953 a Lough Swilly engine can be heard once Nancy is home!