Announcement: EMF Shareholders approve proposal to restore 5164 to steam!
Following the completion of transfer of ownership of GWR Large Prairie 5164 to the EMF late last year, a referendum of our Shareholders has been held to decide upon future plans for the locomotive. Since 2014, 5164 has been safely under cover as a well-preserved static exhibit on public display at Barrow Hill Roundhouse. However, as a charitable organisation, for the EMF to raise funds and plan for a future overhaul to return 5164 to service would require our shareholders to approve a change in the Fund’s constitution.
Therefore, the Trustees held a consultation and referendum of EMF Shareholders before Christmas, over a proposal that 5164 is brought into the Fund’s charitable objectives, alongside 7812 Erlestoke Manor and 7802 Bradley Manor, to be preserved and maintained in ‘an authentic livery in full working order for as long as possible.’
We are delighted to announce the votes cast were unanimously in favour of bringing 5164 into the main EMF pool of locomotives, joining our two well regarded Manors, and our Regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has now approved the change to our charitable objectives.
This is a great outcome, and as a result preliminary fundraising and engineering planning and forward work has commenced, with a view to building up a strong case to overhaul 5164 during the next few years, once both 7812 and 7802 have returned to traffic on the Severn Valley Railway. A group of EMF Trustees and engineering volunteers have visited Barrow Hill to carry out a preliminary inspection of the locomotive.
As the EMF approaches its 50th anniversary in 2023, returning 5164 to traffic presents an exciting opportunity to strengthen the future sustainability and appeal of the Fund, while providing an excellent project for our engineering and fundraising volunteers, along with an appropriate locomotive suitable for the SVR.
Please watch this space for further announcements over the coming months over ways to support and get involved in this exciting project to return 5164 to steam!