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Fears for Flying Scotsman restoration project
NEW problems with the restoration of the iconic loco Flying Scotsman could bring the troubled project to a halt, according to an industry journal.
The cost of getting the famous engine back in steam has already more than trebled to around £2.7m since 2006 and the new issues could raise the price even further - by as much as £500,000.
And, according to the magazine Steam Railway, trustees at the National Railway Museum in York will have to decide whether to commit to the extra cash – or pull the plug on the project.
However in response the museum denied the suggestion - and strongly re-iterated its commitment to the restoration and to seeing the engine back in action on the mainline.
The magazine said the latest hitch was disclosed in a report submitted to the museum just before Christmas by the railway engineering consultancy firm, First Class Partnerships.
It claimed the loco’s middle cylinder was misaligned by up to half an inch and any repairs would be likely to push a return to steam back well into 2014 – unless the trustees decided “enough was enough.”
The consultants were appointed by the NRM late last year to advise on the most effective approach to completing the restoration, which, when it started in 2006, had been expected to cost £750,000.
The overhaul had then been expected to take about a year to complete – but has since been beset by delays and rising costs.
Yesterday the museum insisted the report from First Class Partnerships was currently being drafted and would be published once that was completed, possibly in the next few weeks.
“First Class Partnerships are focusing on a number of areas including an assessment of the works undertaken on Flying Scotsman to date and how the identified programme of works can best be delivered,” said a spokesman.
“They are also assessing the draft programme and cost estimates for the remaining work.”
The spokesman added: “We plan to publish the report after it is completed and we will update all media simultaneously at that point.
“This update will include information about any decisions that are made in relation to how and where any further work is undertaken, how any work will be funded and about any other actions that we will be undertaking in response to the final report.”
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