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Locomotive M7 Tank No.30053 coming to Southampton for first time in 100 years
THE smell of steam will be in the air this weekend as a historic locomotive chugs into Southampton for the first time for more than a century.
The M7 Tank No.30053, owned by the Drummond Locomotive Society, is the star attraction at a tenth anniversary charity day at the traincare facility in Northam tomorrow.
The 109-year-old locomotive used to work the Swanage and Lymington branches, until it was withdrawn in 1964.
Designed by Dugald Drummond in 1897, and built at Nine Elms in London in 1905, the locomotive was based at Bournemouth Shed from 1937 to 1948.
Since 1992, it has been used on the Swanage Railway line, where it has delighted train enthusiasts and children alike.
And now the steam engine will be chugging into Southampton, where families can enjoy short steam train rides for charity as part of the day, which will raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Volunteer Swanage Railway locomotive fireman Nathan Au, who works at the Northam facility as an apprentice, said: “Saturday’s open day is a rare chance to look round a state-of-the-art electric train maintenance depot, ask questions of the technical experts and ride behind a Victorian steam locomotive next to the main Southampton to London line.
“It will be strange to see a Victorian-designed steam locomotive next to hi-tech ‘Desiro’ electric trains built by Siemens.
“The smell of coal, steam and soot at Northam will also be something never experienced there before.”
The charity day at the traincare facility in Radcliffe Road, starts at 10am and runs to 5pm, and is free to attend.
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