Full steam ahead with lottery bid

The Coal Tank, for which the Bahamas Locomotive Society was nominated, pulls a special train out of Keighley station

The Coal Tank, for which the Bahamas Locomotive Society was nominated, pulls a special train out of Keighley station

First published in News by

Railway volunteers in Keighley are preparing a lottery bid for almost £700,000 to help restore an historic steam engine.

The Bahamas Locomotive Society recently received a “first round pass” meaning it meets the criteria for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Lottery bosses were so impressed with the initial application that they have awarded a £5,500 lottery grant to cover the cost of developing the larger bid.

The society has itself raised more than £180,000 towards the cost of overhauling the 79-year-old locomotive “Bahamas”.

The Jubilee-class engine, built in Glasgow, is notable for being the last loco to be used by British Rail for experiments to improve the performance of its steam engines.

This led to the fitting, in May 1961, of a unique double chimney and blastpipe to the 135-ton locomotive.

The society wants to restore the loco to working order at its workshop and museum at Ingrow station on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.

The full bid will cover engineering aspects of the overhaul, along with skills development, job creation and educational support.

John Hillier, the society member responsible for the bid, said the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund was a major development in the restoration project.

He said: "It is planned that this engine, now often referred to as ‘The Yorkshire Jubilee’, will once more haul passengers over such routes as the Settle & Carlisle line from its base at Keighley."

Fiona Spiers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Yorkshire and the Humber, said the project aimed to inspire people to learn more about engineering techniques, railway operation and social change.

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