AN appeal to raise £25,000 towards returning the Bluebell Railway’s 4-VEP No. 3417 to the main line has been launched by the unit’s custodians, the Southern Electric Traction Group.
The group, which is largely comprised of railway staff based at Wimbledon and elsewhere in the former NSE region, has been looking after the unit for the past few years, initially carrying out preventative maintenance in Clapham Yard to ensure its condition did not deteriorate.
Since then, a considerable amount of work has been undertaken on the unit. Thanks to sponsorship from Bombardier Transportation as part of its apprenticeship programme, the unit received bodywork refurbishment and a repaint at Ilford in 2015, prior to moving to its current base at Strawberry Hill.
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In recent weeks, the unit has been refitted with its shoe gear, enabling it to take power for the first time since 2013. Teams have also returned the toilets to working condition, revived the motor generator, and evaluated what work is required in each coach to bring the passenger accommodation up to a suitable standard for it to be used in service.
Read more in the April issue of RE – out now!