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Full steam ahead as locomotive moves one stop closer to restoration

Volunteers celebrated as they restored a crucial part on an historic steam train.

The driver’s carriage on the Canadian Pacific locomotive was lifted onto the main frame on Wednesday.

The project to restore the flagship World War II train is being housed by Hampshire’s Watercress Line.

Outreach officer, Dr Becky Peacock said: “It is an exciting step forward as we can now secure the cab to the frame and then we will be able to put in the driver’s chair.

“It’s the core team of volunteers… that do all of the hard work at getting the engine back to running order.”

This follows the milestone of the frame being lifted onto its driving wheels at the end of September.

The train is the oldest and fastest surviving Merchant Navy class and has had a crucial carriage reattached to its engine.

Known as the ‘cab’, it sits at the front of the train and holds space for the driver and fireman.

The carriages of the Canadian Pacific are stored at Ropley station while the front wheels are at Eastleigh Works.

The project was originally funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, but volunteers are hoping to raise £200,000 to complete restoration and another £120,000 to fix the engine.

The project also takes pride in its outreach programme to reach out for volunteers to share their unique stories from the great age of steam trains.

“Women’s work” is part of an Oral history collection which focuses on the role women had on the railway during the 1940s-1960s, specifically the large number of women involved in the building of Canadian Pacific in 1941.

The team hope for completion in 2019.

Ropley Station Train Guard
Steam Train Ropley Station
Canadian Pacific

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