LSWR Adams T3 No 563

Victoria Weekend 563 Nr Corfe Castle
Andrew P.M. Wright

Unique Victorian London and South Western Railway T3 class steam locomotive No. 563 escaped being scrapped thanks to the start of the Second World War in 1939 and then the centenary of London’s Waterloo station in 1948.


Built in 1893 to a design by renowned engineer William Adams – and one of the finest express passenger train locomotives of the Victorian era – the non-working No. 563 was donated to the Swanage Railway Trust by the National Railway Museum in 2017.


After an ambitious six-year £650,000 restoration to full working order by the Swanage Railway Trust – and resplendent in its new lined out 1890s Drummond passenger green livery - the 81-tonne T3 hauled its first passenger train since 1945 in October, 2023, when it steamed out of Swanage station bound for Harman’s Cross, Corfe Castle and Norden.


The last member of the T3 class to be in service, No. 563 was withdrawn by the Southern Railway after running more than 1.5 million miles before being used to help celebrate the centenary of Waterloo station in London during 1948.


Restoration of the T3 was started in late 2017 with work on the locomotive being carried out by specialist contractors at the Flour Mill workshops in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, as well as at the Swanage Railway’s Herston engineering works on the outskirts of Swanage.

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