The NELPG, principally by the volunteers amongst its membership, restores and maintains its fleet of four British Railway locomotives of ‘North Eastern’ origin. Generally the operation of steam locomotives is governed by the need to undertake full boiler examinations at least every 10 years. This requirement sets a pattern of funding needs for each locomotive and allows the Group to plan and manage its projected cash needs. At any one time the Group aims to have 2 to 3 of its 4 locomotives operational. Please see projected running periods and overhaul dates.
Sources of funding
The funding to overhaul the locomotives is generated in three ways
- Hiring the locomotives to heritage railways and museums
- Use of cash reserves from previous activities e.g. railtours
- Fundraising e.g. Donations, Appeals, Heritage Lottery funding and grants from other trust funds.
The Group for many years has always been prudent with its expenditure and maximised its income wherever possible. This policy in 2011 has been vindicated as the K1 will have to substantially draw on the cash reserves to meet the ‘one off’ cylinder repairs and a replacement copper tubeplate for the boiler. Without reserves the Group would have not found it so easy to return the K1 to traffic so quickly.
In terms of funding breakdown the hire income represents approximately 85%, general donations 5% and the remaining 10% derived from railtours and external grant awards.
Use of funds
The Group’s main expenditure falls into three main categories
- Maintenance. Routine maintenance including for boiler examinations running repairs and consumables e.g. lubricants, brake blocks and steel tyres. Approximately 50% of income from hire is needed for maintenance purposes.
- Overhauls. Presently these cost in the range of £150,000 for the smaller J72 engine to between £250,000 and £300,000 for the larger tender engines
- Major projects and renewals e.g. Installation of an inspection pit in Deviation Shed at Grosmont, purchase of a support carriage for the K1’s main line workings.
There is however a £300,000 15 year funding gap if the NELPG is to meet its aims and secure the future to keep the Group’s locomotives fully operational. Please can you help raise £20,000 per annum to continue to make it possible to keep the fleet running and have North Eastern steam for us all to enjoy.
New for 2011 is the launch of Patron Member scheme which is aimed at plugging the funding gap. Why not join, receive fee membership, event benefits, and know your support will really count.