The Trust is very pleased to announce that we now own a complete steam locomotive. Three-foot-gauge 0-6-0ST Peckett “Scaldwell” of 1913 has been donated to the SRT by Amberley Museum http://www.amberleymuseum.co.uk/ , to whom we are profoundly appreciative. More details of the loco and the circumstances are in the Scaldwell page on this website.
Acquisition of this asset emphatically does not mean that we are abandoning the “Blyth” project: Scaldwell is an additional item for our stocklist, which already contains rolling stock which is not of SR design. Blyth will be built, and will haul an authentic mixed heritage train on the revived SR. But almost all heritage railways use other stock as well as that which ran on their original lines: if the SR had survived, it might well have bought such a loco to provide more powerful motive power.
The loco is very complete indeed, but restoration will need a lot of work: although Amberley Museum have looked after this asset very well, Scaldwell has been in the open for some decades. There are several planned stages. First, we of course need to get the locomotive to Suffolk. That will cost, with transport and expenses, about £1500 – we have promises of half of that already. if we can find donations to complete that sum, the locomotive could be in Suffolk next spring. Please help us by donating – either a one-off or a regular amount – on http://www.southwoldrailway.co.uk/scaldwell/
With this loco in mind, we will probably have to look again at our track plans: the ten-foot fixed wheelbase and (probable) 6.6 tons axle load will mean a certain amount of beefing up of the track specifications. There are a lot of advantages to this, however, as we can then be assured that pretty well anything on the three-foot-gauge can be run at Southwold.
Next we will examine the loco in detail (our engineer has already done a lot of tests, and the basics look pretty good), and stop any further deterioration as far as we can. Then we will assess how much work is required to restore Scaldwell. Only by part-dismantling the locomotive can this be ascertained, and we need to ensure that we have a good amount in the fund before taking that step.
We have a team leader, and when everything is ready – with a dedicated team and support group, lots of cash (!), a business plan, preferred contractors as necessary, and a realistic timescale – we will proceed to a fast-track restoration to steam.
We have the core of a “Friends of Scaldwell” team, to take an interest in the loco, help to raise cash, and perhaps join the volunteers (membership of SRT is required – you can join here online for the equivalent of 29p per week): many more team members are needed. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. In tandem with this (as the two projects support each other), we still need substantial funding to buy the land at Blyth Road, Southwold, and then provide a suitable secure building to house Scaldwell, as well as the track in the three-foot-gauge demonstration and testing yard to run it in when restored – so please, if you can, consider also donating to that project. http://www.southwoldrailway.co.uk/southwold-station/