Riverside Museum

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The conservation of South African Railways Locomotive 3007

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Last night, South African Railways locomotive 3007 moved from its temporary resting place at GMRC to its new home at Riverside Museum. SAR loco 3007 is the largest object in Glasgow Museums’ collection, and it required extensive conservation work to prepare the engine and tender for their new Riverside residence.

To complete the work, external conservation contractor Eura, assisted by First Group apprentices, were drafted in to carry out the majority of the work. Glasgow Museums transport conservators Andi Howe and Jacek Wiklo, along with volunteers, worked for several weeks with Eura to ensure that conservation of the loco was carried out in accordance with Glasgow Museums guidelines.

A different approach was taken to the conservation of SAR loco 3007. Previously, restoration (rather than conservation) of locomotives was the prefered method; some of Glasgow Museums’ restored locomotives have bright, shiny paint finishes. Instead, SAR loco 3007 was conserved; not to look like new, but to show the hard working life it has had.

Before 3007 left the South African scrapyard in 2007, a layer of grease and paint was used to cover up some of the bright metal while in transit. This disguised the value of these removable parts to thieves and also served to protect the metal. This needed to be removed along with many years’ worth of oil, grease, loose rust and dirt. All materials were stabilised and protective waxes applied to ensure the loco does not deteriorate further.

Although not restored, we did face the problem with what to do about some of the loco’s missing parts. Some of the copper pipes were removed while SAR loco 3007 sat abandonded for 20 years, so the decision was taken to replicate the missing pipes – vital components for this hard-working steam locomotive.


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  1. […] two years of conservation work, the South African Railways locomotive 3007 last night moved from Glasgow Museums Resource Centre […]

  2. […] Slideshow: The conservation of South African Railways locomotive 3007 […]

  3. […] Conservation of South African Railways locomotive 3007 […]

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