Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust to purchase BR Standard 92207
SDRHT Trust to purchase Britsh Railways Standard 9F No 92207
The SDRHT based at Midsomer Norton is pleased to announce that they have agreed to purchase an ex-Barry scrapyard British Railways class 9F locomotive from its current owner Keith Bottomley, who has been restoring the 2-10-0 at a private site in Poole, Dorset. The boiler is currently at the East Lancs Railway.
The BR Standard class 9Fs were a regular sight over the S&D and its most famous member, No. 92220 Evening Star, hauled the very last ‘Pines Express’ over the Mendip route on 8 September 1962.
The Trust has been in negotiations with the current owner for over a year in order to confirm the exact condition of the locomotive and all the available parts that are included as part of the sale.
No date has been set for the arrival of No. 92207 at Midsomer Norton, particularly as suitable undercover and secure restoration facilities needed to be identified before the locomotive is moved to Midsomer Norton.
The Trust views the restoration of the locomotive as a long-term project and has currently set a 10-year timescale to complete the remaining work, S&DRHT Chairman Stephen Lacey stated that the locomotive will become the “jewel in the crown” for the railway and the size of the challenge is not to be underestimated.
Completion of the locomotive’s restoration is estimated at more than £0.5million (for which a dedicated appeal will be set-up) and take around a decade. Around 75% of the parts required exist, although a new tender will be required.
If you would like to support this exciting project and one day see this locomotive in steam at Midsomer Norton, please download a donation form and sign up now.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – 92207 ‘Morning Star’
- The railway is only 1 mile long why do we need such a big locomotive?
The Trust has to try and future-proof the railway and having its own 9F will contribute to this. It is also worth noting that when David Shepherd moved 92203 to the fledging East Somerset Railway it put the operation on the map and help to develop the railway. It is also envisaged that once restored the locomotive would be able to visit other heritage railways and act as an ambassador for the Somerset & Dorset Railway Heritage Trust.
- Would it be economic to run a 9F at MSN?
Compared to other locomotives of comparable size the 9F is relatively economic on coal. After the cessation of the Pines Express over the S&D 9F’s were used over the line in local passenger services such as the 1.10pm stopping service from Bath Green Park formed of 3 coaches. This is a train that could be recreated with 92207.
- Why is 92207 being sold?
Although good progress has been made with the locomotive since its rescue from Barry Scrapyard volunteer numbers have dropped due to poor health and ageing and unfortunately death. In the past 2 years clearly, the national situation has not helped and restoration progress has reduced considerably.
- How would having a 9F benefit the S&D at MSN?
9F’s and the S&D are inextricably linked and 92207 would be a valuable attraction which will generate visits to the railway in its own right. It's been said that visitors to the East Somerset Railway still ask where 92203 is decades after it left there.
- How is the Trust going to generate sufficient money to cover the cost of the restoration?
The Trust would look to ask members and supporters to sign up for a monthly standing order plus revenue from visitors is likely to increase as their number is attracted by the location of 92207 at Midsomer Norton.
- The Trust doesn’t have a shed to keep the locomotive in so where will it be located on-site?
Restoration of the locomotive can continue in the secure premises where it is currently stored. Seeing as the chassis has had many hours and many thousands of pounds spent on it, it would not be viable to bring the chassis to Midsomer Norton until the Trust has suitable undercover accommodation to continue the restoration. The boiler would remain at the East Lancs Railway until such time as the funding is in place for its overhaul and a contractor for this work selected whereupon it would move to their workshops.
- 92207 doesn’t have a tender what is being done about that?
A tender tank and frames will be required to construct a tender but wheelsets from a Class 40 locomotive have been purchased and other significant parts obtained. It is not seen that the lack of a tender is a major obstacle and indeed were the locomotive to be completed before the tender is complete there is the option to borrow one from another group whose locomotive may be out of traffic.
- Did 92207 ever run over the S&D?
There is no definitive record that 92207 travelled over any part of the S&D. It did travel far and wide during its time with British Railways including down to the south coast of England. It was allocated to Bristol St Phillips Marsh although it was transferred to Newport Ebbw Junction a month or so before the trail run of a 9F over the S&D on the 29th March 1960 by 92204.
- What affiliation does 92207 have with the S&D?
92207 was built Swindon Works to Lot. No. E429 as part of the final batch of 9F’s numbered 92204 to 92220. It's of course well known that 9F’s had many affiliations with the S&D but what is worthy of interest is that of this final batch of 9F’s around a third were allocated to Bath Green park, Of that final lot 92204 / 92205 / 92206 / 92210 / 92212 / 92214 / 92220.