Dorset

Railway Children Locomotive No 563 unveiled at Swanage Railway

Unveiling ceremony Image copyright Andrew PM Wright
Image caption Descendants of locomotive designer William Adams were present for the unveiling ceremony in Corfe Castle.

A Victorian steam locomotive that featured in the theatre adaptation of The Railway Children has been unveiled at a Dorset heritage railway.

Locomotive No 563, which hauled trains on the London and South Western Railway, has been given to the Swanage Railway by the National Railway Museum.

It appeared in stage adaptations of Edith Nesbit's classic in Canada and in London.

Volunteers will work on the engine with the aim of returning it to steam.

Descendants of its designer William Adams were present for the unveiling ceremony in Corfe Castle.

His great great grandson Alex Campbell said: "It's amazing how something so functional can also be so beautiful.

"The T3 represents a bygone era of technical excellence that combined strength, durability and aesthetic beauty."

Built in 1893, the 86-tonne T3 locomotive had run a total of 1.5 million miles, mainly hauling express trains between London and the south coast, by the time it was withdrawn from service in 1945.

Image copyright National Railway Museum
Image caption Locomotive No 563 has been part of the National Railway Museum collection

It survived being scrapped as it was selected for restoration for a display at the centenary celebrations for London's Waterloo station in 1948.

The locomotive was transported by sea to Canada in 2011 where it spent six months at Toronto's Roundhouse Park for a theatrical production of The Railway Children.

It returned to the UK where it was used in the show at a pop-up theatre in King's Cross, London.

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