Discussions have started regarding the livery of the LNER B12 8572 following its withdrawal from service for overhaul.
The Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway Society (M&GN) will overhaul the unique B12 which is the only 4-6-0 inner cylinder locomotive to be retained. M&GN initially purchased the locomotive in 1962 and restored it to working order in 1995, the latter being its second major overhaul.
The first stages of the overhaul will see the locomotive stripped for assessment of the required work. The necessary works will then be the subject of a call for tenders with competitive offers sought for each field of work and contracts awarded allowing the start of work.
The redesign is expected to cost around £ 400,000, with M&GN set to launch a call in the very near future titled ‘Steaming into the Next Century’ and hope to see the locomotive return in time for its 100th anniversary in 2028.
Throughout its shelf life, the B12 has run with two iconic liveries which were BR black lined from 1999 to 2007 and LNER Apple Green from 2012 to 2021. The question which is very often controversial as always, which livery will carry it after the overhaul and when it is put back into service?
Vice President Ashley Barrs said, “Our members own the locomotive and we want them to decide. With over 2000 members there will be different points of view and it is important to understand what the majority want. The democratic way to find out is to conduct a membership survey. “
The big move is expected to be revealed by directors in the Spring 2022 edition of the Company’s Common Line, also on M&GN’s website and via social media. Members will receive details on how they can make their choice through the aforementioned media before Christmas and again in January. The rail press will also include articles on the locomotive in order to build a strong brand for the B12 and a connection with those who are not currently members and may well join the Society in order to have their say.
Members of the polling company will have the option of voting electronically or by mail. For the ballot to be valid, a minimum vote of 10% of the members must participate.
Members can vote through the M & GNRS site.