Known as The Forces' Sweetheart, locomotive No 3672 was named after the singer and entertainer who died on June 18, 2020 aged 103.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway started an appeal to raise more than £600,000 to fully restore the locomotive and get it back into traffic. Having already raised more than £175,000, the railway announced work was set to start on the restoration.
It is hoped the full restoration will be completed by 2025 to tie in with the 80th anniversary of VE Day, and the 80th birthday of the locomotive itself.
Ian Foot, a member of the restoration team, said: “This is a monumental step in the locomotive’s restoration; the project is doable, and the determination, passion and drive is there to see it succeed. However, like any other steam locomotive, it requires money, and we urge anyone who’d like to see it back on the tracks by its 80th anniversary to donate to the appeal.”
Clifford Brown, who purchased 'Dame Vera Lynn and 'Repton' in the late 1980s, put both locomotives in Trust to the NYMR when he began to suffer ill health. Whilst 'Repton' has enjoyed regular overhauls and spells in traffic, 'Dame Vera' has sadly remained out of action.
The restoration of the tender will be undertaken by Riley & Son, based in Rochdale, and involves the renewal of a whole new tender water tank, new springs, new axel box bearings and an overhaul of the brake gear.
NYMR said a £10 donation will help towards nuts and bolts or a £100 donation will go towards buying parts such as new fire bars.
To support the appeal, click here.