Swanage Railway Trust
Please help us restore and maintain our collection of Southern Railway coaches so that Swanage Railway passengers can sample travel from the 1930's and '40's
A Unique Locomotive with an Exciting Future
Built at Nine Elms, this T3 class locomotive entered service as London and South Western Railway (LSWR) number 563 during March 1893. Its long career included working between Dorset and London, including services to Swanage. The locomotive was originally withdrawn in March 1939 having covered 1.5 million miles but returned to service the following month.
The locomotive was finally withdrawn in August 1945 and went into storage at Eastleigh before being moved to Kimbridge Junction in January 1948 to await scrapping. However, 563 was saved by the celebrations planned for the centenary of Waterloo station later that year. In March 1948, 563 was moved back to Eastleigh and restored to its original condition in preparation for being exhibited at Waterloo as a representative of the LSWR era.
At the end of the Waterloo exhibition, 563 was stored at the Farnham electric multiple unit carriage sheds. Eventually, it was returned to Eastleigh for further restoration in preparation for future display at the the planned Museum of British Transport. However, it spent a period in storage at Tweedmouth before moving to the museum when it opened in Clapham in 1961.
563 was to move again and joined the rest of the national collection at York when the Clapham museum closed in 1973. Subsequently, 563 was loaned out for stage productions of 'The Railway Children' in both London and Toronto. The locomotive was eventually donated to the Swanage Railway in 2017.
Ways to Help
The Swanage Railway Trust believes that the best way to show off No. 563 is to return it to steam. However, having not steamed for over 70 years, this project is ground breaking and returning it to steam will tell us even more about its history. It will also enable us to show an express passenger locomotive running and hauling trains on a railway that it was built to run on.
In order to start this project, No. 563 will be undergoing an initial assessment of the work required to return it to steam. A donation has generously been made to enable the assessment to start but a full return to steam hinges on the ability to raise funds for the extensive works that will be required to enable No.563 to return to steam. A successful outcome to this project not only forms an important part of the Swanage Railway's future motive power plans, it also fills a gap in the Railway's story and will allow us to show our visitors what locomotives and travel were like at the turn of the 19th century.
Details of how you can help us progress this project are in the boxes below. However you choose to help, the Trust is grateful for all donations whatever their size or frequency.
The simplest way to help with this project is to make a donation directly to the Swanage Railway Trust T3 Appeal. This can be done using the button below.
Donations are handled via PayPal but you do not need to be registered with PayPal as donations can be made using a wide variety of cards. Donations may be either a single on-off payment or a recurring monthly amount.