AFTER 16 years and a £650,000 restoration project, a treasured steam locomotive is coming home.
Enthusiasts will be able to see the Horwich-built 76084 locomotive in action when it takes to the tracks of the East Lancashire Railway (ELR) this month .
The engine was one of the last to be produced at Horwich Works in 1957, just seven months before the site stopped building them.
Members of the 76084 Locomotive Company restored it to its former glory and were delighted to see it make its first journey in many years on the North Norfolk Railway last July.
Eric Bond, from the group, said: “Having 76084 on the East Lancashire Railway, even for only two months, is a dream come true.
“We really want 76084 to run in the north of England as she was first built here, ran here for British Railways and eventually was restored in the north.
“Running at the North Norfolk Railway puts her a significant travel time away from most shareholders and supporters.
“It was the ELR that approached us to see if 76084 was available to run during their Winter Steam Gala.” It will run as part of the ELR’s Steam Galas on January 18 and 19 and February 22 and 23.
Mr Bond, from Blackburn, added: “We have to pinch ourselves that all the years of hard work have come to fruition.” Withdrawn from service by British Rail in December 1967, 76084 spent just over 14 years at the Woodham Brothers scrap yard in South Wales.
Eventually bought by the 76084 Locomotive Company, it has been rebuilt by volunteers, professional engineers and enthusiasts. The group has now launched an appeal to raise funds to equip 76084 with the safety technologies necessary for a locomotive.
For more details about 76084, visit Standard4.com.