It’s an offer that we just cannot refuse – revealed at the Trust’s AGM a few weeks ago. We have a most welcome offer of sponsorship to refurbish four of the Barnum bogies by a well-known specialist rail engineering firm – to take them away and overhaul them to recognised rail industry standards for passenger carrying vehicles. But, because the Barnums are wooden-bodied, they are not allowed to travel the national network.

One thing is for sure, when the bogies of Barnum no.228 are returned, this will be a major step and a water shed moment in this massive project. First however is the lengthy preparation work ahead of moving the Barnum across Building no.1 at Ruddington to a point where it can be carefully jacked, propped, and the bogies removed. The plan is for the re-installation of both vacuum and steam heating pipes to be installed. As they will be virtually inaccessible once the body is remounted.

You will already know from our shots of the tops of the bogies that our first Barnum was in an over-enthusiastic shunt before we had sight at auction 20 years ago, and the buffer beam on one end suffered too. Plenty of work to do here….

As we have to match fund the bogie overhaul, we will very, very soon seek donations, however big or small, to get this iconic Great Central vehicle back into service, passenger carrying. So as to encourage your interest, we will keep you up to date with the latest work. This story will run and run, no worries there…..

Stripped out underside of Barnum no.228 – revealing space for missing brake actuation gear, dynamo, and the bogie which needs major overhaul.  Photos – Andrew Coalwood