Restoration set to begin on Prime Minster’s locomotive

WORK is set to start on the restoration of the locomotive that hauled Winston Churchill’s funeral train ahead of the 50th anniversary of the legendary statesman’s death.

The Friends of the National Railway Museum announced yesterday they have reached the halfway point in the £45,000 fundraising drive, which means the overhaul of British Railways No. 34051 Winston Churchill can begin.

The veteran Battle of Britain Class locomotive was chosen to haul the former Prime Minister’s funeral train from Waterloo to Long Hanborough on January 30, 1965, and was seen by millions of television viewers worldwide.

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The South of England Group’s chairman, Ian Harrison, said: “We are starting the restoration process so that the work will be carried out in good time for the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death in 2015, but we are still asking for support to help us cover the costs of parts and labour.”

Winston Churchill was one of 44 Battle of Britain locomotives produced by the Southern Railway between 1945 and 1950 which were named after the people, aircraft, fighter squadrons and airfields involved in the conflict. Designed by the Southern Railway’s Chief Mechanical Engineer Oliver Bulleid, their shape and innovative technology set them apart from other British steam locomotives.

Anyone wishing to support the appeal can contact the Friends office on 01904 636874 or via email [email protected] to receive a sponsorship form. Donations can also be sent to FNRM (Winston Churchill), Leeman Road, York, Y026 4XJ.