Both 34051 Winston Churchill and the baggage van have undergone extensive restoration thanks to funding from the Friends of the National Railway Museum.

Restoration of 34051 Winston Churchill

The locomotive "Winston Churchill" had long been on display in Station Hall, but had never been fully conserved for display and was suffering from corrosion of the platework. During its period in store after withdrawal from service, it had also lost a number of parts.

Working with our colleagues at the Mid Hants Railway, a restoration plan was drawn up which would see the locomotive returned to as close to its 1965 condition as possible - making it presentable but not losing the marks of a long working life. Platework was repaired or carefully replaced if necessary, whilst Danny Holmes in the National Railway Museum workshop machined up new fittings such as the injectors and a whistle, using original drawings to replicate the missing parts. Finally, the locomotive has been coach painted and lined by hand at the Mid Hants Railway to make it fit for show at the head of the funeral train.

The baggage van

The baggage van was in need of cosmetic work after its time in the USA and having then spent a few years on external view in the Purbeck seaside climate at Swanage Railway. Upon arrival at Shildon and initial stripping, almost all of the body timber was removed and new planking fitted.

Shildon's workshop team of staff, placements and volunteers then set to repairing the doors, cleaning and repainting the underframe, repairing springs and preparing many other fittings. Once all was reassembled, a lot of time was then spent preparing the van for brush painting to present the van as it was in January 1965. Final painting has taken nearly a month to bring it up to the finish required for display, and shows the skill of the team who have worked on it to make it worthy of its place in the recreated train.

Background: Churchill's coffin being loaded onto baggage van