Updated: Jan 10, 2022
B12/3 8572/61572 was withdrawn from traffic on Sunday 31st October 2021 for overhaul and speculation is already rife on the livery it will carry when complete.
The B12 is unique, as the only inside cylinder 4-6-0 locomotive to have been preserved. Bought by the M&GN Society in 1962, and returned to steam in 1995, this will be its second major overhaul.
The first step will be for the locomotive to be stripped down for initial assessment of the work needed. This will then go out to tender, seeking competitive quotes for each element of the work and contracts will then be awarded for the work to commence.
The overhaul will be an expensive project, costing an estimated £400,000 and the Society will shortly launch an appeal, ‘Steaming into the Next Century’, to return the loco to steam in time for its 100th anniversary in 2028 – and beyond.
During its life in preservation the B12 has run in two distinctive liveries, BR lined black (1999-2007) and LNER Apple Green (2012-21). The big and always controversial question, therefore, is what livery will it carry ex works when it re-enters service after overhaul?
“Our members own the locomotive and we want them to decide.” says Vice Chair Ashley Barrs “With over 2000 members, there will be different views and it is important to understand what the majority want. The democratic way of finding this out is to conduct a poll of members.”
The trustees aim is to announce the decision in the Spring 2022 edition of the Society’s Joint Line, on its website and through social media. Members will be sent details of how they can express their view, again using these media, before Christmas and again in January. It will also feature in pieces in the Railway press and it may be that people who have a strong affinity with the B12, but are not current members, will join the Society in order to have their say.
Polling Society members will be able to vote electronically or by post. For the poll to be valid a minimum vote of 10% of the membership will have to be recorded. The vote link is at: www.mandgn.org/B12Colour
To donate towards the overhaul visit https://www.mandgn.org/steaming-into-the-next-century or the Society’s Facebook or Twitter pages.