8F ‘Sir William McAlpine’ Appeal





Restoring a “Churchill”


The locomotive has been purchased by, and the fund is now supporting, the acquisition of all components and materials for the ongoing restoration. All the restoration work is only carried out by dedicated Volunteer effort or specialist contractors.

The locomotive and the tender are in the new steam shed. 

Work carried out so far on the locomotive:-

  • The wheels and accessible motion have been cleaned, needle gunned, primed and painted with the rods etc being polished.
  • Repairs have been carried out to the cab doors and damaged threads repaired on the cylinder blocks for the cladding.
  • A pair of as new motion brackets have been acquired and these have been cleaned, needle gunned and primed.
  • A pair of suitable injectors have been acquired as one of the originals was missing and the other in poor condition.
  • A new original Stanier style Smoke box door complete with door surround and all furniture is now in stock and ready to fit.
  • The locomotive tyres have been measured and all will take a turn but this will have to wait until the locomotive overhaul proper gets underway!

Work carried out so far on the Tender:-

  • The tender tank externals have been taken back to bare steel, found to be remarkable condition, painted with anti corrosion primer and undercoat.
  • The coal hole has been thoroughly cleaned, small sections of wasted plate replaced, primed and undercoated.
  • The tender frames and  running gear has also been stripped back to the steel with all components now removed.
  • The front drag box had been mechanically damaged at the centre rubbing plate. The damaged section has been removed and a new section welded in.
  • The brake lay shaft has been refurbished and both external brass bearings renewed and the assembly refitted.
  • The hand brake operating threaded shaft has been renewed
  • Inner frame sections have been cut to replace damaged sections either side of the drag box. 
  • The tender wheel sets have been fitted with new tyres and have been profiled and all painted ready to fit. 
  • Riveting of the drag box to frame and buffer beam shortly about to be carried out.
  • The axle box brasses have been cleaned and old white metal removed and are ready to be re-metalled.
  • A full set of new/ refurbished axle springs are ready to fit complete with a new set of spring hangers
  • The tank has been cleaned out and although the tank sides and floor are in very good condition some of the baffles will require sections repaired.
  • Miss-alignment of the frames is being corrected at this time
  • We plan to continue work on the tender  primarily on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Monday evenings.
Photo By Sandy Smeaton



  • A full set of available drawings (copies of those used to build the locomotive) have been purchased from the ex NBL archive held by Glasgow University 
  • We’ll be developing our restoration plan when funds are available, although much will depend on the resources we have for the overhaul.



The appeal has raised over £250,000.   A truly remarkable achievement!   A new on-line donation platform is now available. 

The locomotive purchase has been entirely funded by public donation and to enable its restoration we need more Covenantors to make a regular monthly commitment to enable sufficient funds for its ongoing restoration.

I am sure this has been used by other appeals, but, an 8F for less than the price of a pint per week is remarkable!  We can do it if we all work together.

SO – get the form, sign up, get the benefits and make it happen.

 LINK to 8F on Youtube

Other fundraising activates will focus on:

  • A concerted approach to corporate sponsors where they might donate or sponsor the restoration of a particular part of the loco / tender.
  • Increasing the range of merchandise featuring the 8F
  • Regular opportunities to get up close to the locomotive.  The locomotive and tender are now in the new workshop and can be readily seen from the viewing gallery
  • Develop and publicise the benefits of becoming a covenanter.  At this stage we currently:
    • Issue a certificate to acknowledge the contribution that the individual has made;
    • Produce a regular newsletter;
    • Issue a complementary ticket to allow the individual to travel behind the locomotive when she comes into service;
    • Have the names of all covenanters stamped on the inside of the new front buffer beam; and
    • Allow access to exclusive, covenanters only, items of merchandise.
  • Making the locomotive more attractive?

Past activities

  • In February 2016 members of the team that went to Turkey to bring the loco back gave an illustrated presentation on the trip.  Visitors to this event had a chance to see the loco and visit the cab.

We have carried out our own inspection of the locomotive and are satisfied with the general condition.  It is 95% complete and basically sound but in need of a heavy overhaul.  This particular loco saw service in Turkey as TCDD No 45170. These locos were called “Churchills” in Turkey. The Locomotive was built by the North British Locomotive Co in Glasgow and first steamed on the 28th Feb 1942 after which it was loaned by the Ministry of Supply to the LMS before being converted to RH drive and shipped to Turkey in 1943.  After returning to the UK in 2011, it was on display at the NRM Shildon site.

To see how the locomotive looked after returning to the UK see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obHuhpIijiw

For in idea of how it may look when restored see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwbpi-vAxEM.

Our intention is to restore her to operational condition as soon as funds allow but to acquire, display and subsequently restore it to running order will require a six figure sum. Can you help?

We will be offering various items of merchandise for sale shortly via this website to support the appeal.