4-4-0 LOCO

By R Ransome and W McHugh

Adams LSWR Class T3 4-4-0 No 563 was built at Nine Elms Works for the harder express and mail runs from Waterloo. Twenty were constructed between 1892–1893.

The class was numbered 557–576, and had been intended as a variant of the X2 class with slightly smaller driving wheels (6 ft 7 in versus 7 ft 1 in). In fact, the coupled wheelbase was lengthened by 6 inches and the locomotive was fitted with a firebox 6 feet 10 inches deep – the largest firebox of any of Adams' designs.

They passed to the Southern Railway at the 1923 grouping. Withdrawals started in 1930; the last, 563, was retired in August 1945 and set aside for preservation. In 2011 it spent six months on loan in Toronto, Ontario, for use in a theatrical production of The Railway Children at Roundhouse Park, a role it reprised in January 2015 when the production was staged at King's Cross, London.

No.563 was permanently transferred to the Swanage Railway Trust in 2017. Following an individual donation, the Swanage Railway decided to explore the possibility of restoring the locomotive to working order, with a public appeal for additional funds.

This evocative model was started before commercial plans were available by R Ransome and continued by W McHugh. It was shown at a National Model Engineering and Modelling Exhibition in its Harrogate days.

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