Help us rebuild our CENTENARIAN
OUR CENTENARIAN N2 is not only the oldest surviving locomotive to the design of Sir Nigel Gresley, but the oldest one that has steamed in the preservation era, having first emerged from the North British Locomotive works in February 1921. Owned by the Gresley Society since 1963, the engine came out for traffic for a heavy overhaul in 2018. The Society had planned for the work, and believed we had sufficient funds to complete the overhaul with a margin to spare for the unexpected items that usually occur with any steam engine, often mid-way through!
The overhaul was contracted to Northern Steam Engineering and began at the beginning of 2019. However, we have been hit hard by two factors. Firstly, Covid 19 has had an impact, in terms of both timescale and the cost of materials, despite the best endeavours of Northern Steam. But the number of items requiring replacement has also proved to be quite exceptional. These have included: PONY TRUCK TYRES / CRANKPINS / EXPANSION LINKS / SAFETY VALVES / FRONT BOILER RING / FIREBOX TOP / FIREBOX TOP CORNERS / SUPERHEATER HEADER / SMOKEBOX TUBEPLATE & FIREBOX TUBEPLATE
Now has come the most recent bad news. A new fire-box wrapper is required due cracking around the crown stays holes, together with associated backhead work.
Although we are talking with Northern Steam, who are being as helpful as they can, the stark truth is that the Society now faces a huge shortfall. So we are launching an appeal to raise £100,000 to complete the work.
Philip Benham, Gresley Society chairman, said: “Already an appeal has gone out to our 550 members for help, but £100,000 is a large sum in anyone’s money, so we are also appealing to all those who recognise the importance of No 1744 as the oldest Gresley locomotive, and want to see her return to steam. She may have missed out on her centenary year, however with your help she will steam again in her 101st, and for many more years to come.”
Help us rebuild
The N2 acts as a flag-bearer for the Society on many heritage railways. It is now 100 years old and about to complete its latest 10 year overhaul. Keeping locomotives in steam costs an enormous sum of money and we need your help to keep this priceless engine running and to pay for its next overhaul.
Some facts about 1744:
We own and operate the oldest extant Gresley locomotive in the world, Great Northern Railway class N2 number 1744.
This beautiful, yet powerful locomotive passed into preservation directly from British Railways in 1962. Initially it ran on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and the Great Central Railway (heritage railway). It now liveson the North Norfolk Railway. Over the years, it has appeared in in LNER Black, BR Black, and GNR Apple Green. The loco’s most recent overhaul was completed in 2009, at which time it was given its current GNR Apple Green livery.
Help us get 1744 moving again!
About the Society
The Gresley Society was founded in 1963. Our purpose is to study and celebrate the life and works of Sir Nigel Gresley in particular, and the works and achievements of the London & North Eastern Railway in general.
As a charity we have a remit to educate and this we do through a programme of meetings and talks, and by erecting memorials of various kinds at appropriate places.
How you can help
Just click on the Donate button and choose the amount that you can donate to the N2 rebuild program.
After donating, you can help us further if you sign up for gift aid. If you pay NI contributions, this would add another 25p for every £1 you donate!