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The genesis of Project 3-60:

In December 2013, 37003 was taken out of service due to a leaking cylinder liner. Further investigation identified additional liners which would also need replacing and it was decided at this point to replace all twelve in one go, thus work began on stripping down the power unit. As the months went by and the scale of the task at hand became apparent, the loco’s bodywork also began to show its age. It was then in 2016 that an idea was floated within the committee: Why not send the loco away to have the power unit rebuilt and the bodywork brought back up to standard in time for the 60th anniversary of the class, and 37003, in 2020? Thus ‘Project 3-60’ was born.

What is Project 3-60?:

Project 3-60 was launched to see 37003 returned to “as built” condition, in order to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, with a view to then progress the loco chronologically through its various guises and taking the loco through its entire life cycle (or going a full “three-sixty”). To allow this substantial level of work to take place, 37003 was moved to UKRL, Leicester, in August 2017.

The story so far:

It is only fair to say that progress has not been as straightforward as hoped, such is the nature of restoring a heritage locomotive. In April 2019, the entire project was put on hold when it was discovered that the main crank in the power unit had suffered cracks which risked the integrity of the engine itself. If a replacement crank could not be sourced, it would potentially be game over. Fortunately, luck was on our side and we were soon made aware of a 1967 build EE 12SV Mk2 power unit that had become available for spares. This was one of four power units being cleared out from an industrial site that was soon to be redeveloped. On 13th July 2019 the committee declared its intention to purchase the block and crank from this power unit, with a view to rebuild a complete power unit using the top end components from the engine in 37003 at the time. The power unit inside 37003 was lifted out on 1st August 2019, there to be stripped of usable components, whilst allowing prep work to begin inside the loco for the “new” power unit to be refitted. Work was progressing at a steady pace as funds allowed until March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to all work on the loco (and effectively ended our chances of finishing the project before the suggested deadline of 28th December 2020). This also prevented us moving the new block section to Leicester until August 2020.

As it stands:

Following the delivery of the new block section, the committee has taken the opportunity to re-evaluate Project 3-60, where we are at and what it still required. A comprehensive work plan has been developed with UKRL and work will soon get underway on the engine rebuild. In conjunction with this, the loco will be lifted and its bogies tested to ensure they are in a satisfactory condition for the loco’s return to traffic. Once the mechanical aspects have been completed, attention can turn to restoring the bodywork and rejuvenating 37003 back to D6703. However, all this comes at a cost. The unforeseen expenditure of a replacement block/crank means that more funds need to be raised if Project 3-60 is to be completed. With the C37LG being a registered charity, the rate of progress strongly relies on revenue generated through membership, the sale of merchandise and donations received. This is where YOU come in: If you would like to see an original-build class 37 restored to its former glory, then please consider becoming a part of the journey by supporting our cause, either by becoming a member , or by means of a donation

For all the latest updates on Project 3-60, be sure to check out our Latest News page.


 

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