Groundbreaking plans to bring the country’s first-ever mainline diesel locomotive back to life will be unveiled in Derbyshire this weekend.
The ambitious project to reconstruct the LMS 10000 - which was originally built at nearby Derby Works by London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) just after World War Two - will be revealed at Peak Rail tomorrow (Saturday).
Every one of the art deco-style loco, which were originally designed by H. G. Ivatt and renowned for their cutting-edge technology, were lost in the 1960s.
Only in recent decades has the rail preservation movement realised the magnitude of what had been lost.
Now Stafford-based Ivatt Diesel Re-creation Society has teamed up with Peak Rail and key survivors that built the original engine, to reconstruct one of the locos and bring it back into public use.
‘Project Icon’, as it has been christened, is set to take a number of years to complete and be based at Peak Rail.
Stuart Smith, of the Ivatt Diesel Re-Creation Society, said: “This locomotive’s contribution to the story of British railways was huge. They were a true icon that haven’t been seen for five decades.
“Exhaustive research around the world has already tracked down key, original components and we aim to use as many of these as possible.”
Derbyshire Dales MP, and former Secretary State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, will join guests at the launch of ‘Project Icon’ at Peak Rail’s Rowsley South Station on Saturday, which members of the public are invited to attend.
On display will be a scale model of the LMS 10000, together with a Class 58 locomotive number 58022 - the engine that will provide many of the components for the rebuild project. The event will also provide a chance to meet the project’s steering group.
Jackie Statham, from Peak Rail, said: “It’s wonderful to be able to accommodate such an exciting undertaking as ‘Project Icon’.
“We are very much looking forward to a mutually beneficial partnership moving forward.”
Saturday’s event at Rowsley South Station, off Harrison Way, runs from 11am until 4pm. Peak Rail services will be running as normal.
For more information, visit www.peakrail.co.uk.