The 76084 Locomotive Company Limited has owned the locomotive and tender since 1997. She returned to traffic in July 2013.
76084’s restoration to working order took almost 16 years to the day. This achievement is all the more remarkable for the fact that it has been accomplished by a volunteer-led group of enthusiastic individuals on a site remote from any heritage railway and somewhat remote in geographical terms.
For the first 13 years the restoration was performed in the open air with little weather protection apart from the usual tarpaulin sheets found at all the railway preservation sites around the country. Indeed it was often cold and damp at the restoration site and the work proceeded at a steady but not all too quick pace in the early years in part due to the limited amount of funding coming in.
All through the 16 years of restoration there has been a band of willing hands turning up on Saturdays and Wednesday evenings in Summer to transform what was ostensibly a Barry condition engine into the living, breathing machine we now see in action.
The injection of capital with the arrival of a major supporter certainly lifted moral and the building of a Restoration Shed in 2010 certainly helped to push 76084 ever closer to completion.
Every year the Shareholders of the Company approve the provision of shares to those who have physically worked on the restoration of the locomotive. Each hour worked attracted a share entitlement dependent on skilled or unskilled work being performed. There are volunteers who have accrued shares in this way well into 4 figures. A list of those that have assisted was read out at the rededication of 76084 on 21st July 2013.
Restoration Team Leader
Every Team must have a leader and in this respect 76084’s Engineering Director is well worthy of separate mention. Dave Husband, whilst carrying out his full time professional role as an engineer often away from home and electronic communication, has managed to get the thousands of parts that constitute a working steam locomotive together in one place to make the whole. This has meant he has had to pour over drawings (some the National Railway Museum didn’t think existed), order the necessary parts that were needed and ensure that parts manufactured to these drawings were dimensionally correct upon delivery or as was more often the case when he collected them in his spare time and away from the Restoration Site.
At the Restoration Site he has then supervised their fitting or carried out the work himself. The one thing that stands out about 76084 is the high standard that the restoration has been performed to. It was always recognised that the quality of work had to be high to ensure few if any failures in service. Dave has ensured the standard of workmanship on 76084 surpassed that required. All this effort came with some personal sacrifices to home and family life especially in the latter stages of the work when time pressures on completion placed an even heavier burden on the Team in general and Dave in particular.
Dave was so committed to the project that he too not only gave his time but also bought parts without payment in other words sponsoring them and also paid other craftsmen for the work done from his own pocket at times when 76084’s bank account was low on funds.
What About The Money?
In real terms 76084’s return to working order cost £750,000. Where did all this come from? It came from:
- some 200 shareholders
- some fund raising
- sale of merchandise
- over 800 share certificates have been issued
- sponsorship Roll of Honour with 150 entries
Not bad for a small bunch of people!