AN historic locomotive could soon be back in working order.

The 2874 Trust , a charity based at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, has just won a major grant from the National Lottery.

The trust has been given £57,400, to restore the former Great Western Railway heavy freight steam engine, which was built in 1918.

The trust aims to rebuild it and then hire it out to heritage railways for the enjoyment and education of the general public.

Before the trust bought it, the steam engine was rusting away at the old railway scrapyard in Barry, South Wales.

Trust chairman David Foster said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project gives us opportunities to extend heritage skills and introduce them to a new generation helping to ensure a long-term future for heritage locomotives and perhaps along the way we can encourage some to make a career in engineering.”

Steam heritage is one of Britain’s iconic industries and working steam engines are a key component of a successful tourism sector.

The project focuses on ensuring that vital heritage mechanical engineering skills needed to maintain and operate steam locomotives can be both developed and passed on to a new generation of volunteers.

The project will start this year, and will enable local people of all ages to become involved in heritage engineering either by hands-on learning of new skills or by developing existing expertise to ensure there is a skilled workforce available to keep alive Britain’s steam heritage.