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Written by on February 25, 2020

The future of a historic British steam locomotive has been secured, following an agreement between the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) and renowned restorer Peter Best.

LMS Stanier Class 5 4-6-0, commonly known as a Black Five, No. 44806, which was built at Derby in 1944, was one of the last locomotives to be withdrawn from service, surviving until 1968, the last year of steam on British Railways.

Under the new agreement, ownership has been transferred to Mr Best, who will immediately begin an overhaul of the locomotive, including vital boiler work which is required to renew its boiler certificate – without which the locomotive could not operate.

The restoration of 44806 was due to take place following a number of other key NYMR projects requiring attention. This agreement will see work starting immediately, with Mr Best financing the locomotive rebuild, working with NYMR engineers to manage the project. Once complete, the locomotive will re-enter traffic as part of NYMR’s hired fleet.

Chris Price, general manager of the NYMR, commented: “The opportunity to sell the locomotive to Peter and see it return to the railway, lovingly restored, is truly wonderful, and I would like to thank both Peter and the support of our longstanding benefactor, Adrian Beecroft, without whom the locomotive would not have been at the Moors in the first place.”

Peter Best added: “This will be my tenth and last major restoration or new build that I have project managed and financed, but what better engine to tackle than a good Black 5. The NYMR is my favourite heritage railway, and the current team have made me feel welcome again. I am looking forward to the day when 44806 makes its debut at Battersby.”

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