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Metal Supermarkets Helps Beamish Museum Restore Traditional Steam Locomotive

The locomotive "Samson"
The original “Samson” locomotive in its original condition (1874)
Restored “Samson” currently in Beamish

Beamish is a world famous open air museum telling the story of the people of North East England. The story of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian life is told by their costumed staff and volunteers in a unique living and working museum. Most of the houses, shops and other buildings in the museum have been dismantled, brought to Beamish and rebuilt there. Beamish also has four working railways and one electric tramway, the latter carrying well over a million passengers per year and running for 1.5 miles.

In order to carry out substantial overhauls and restorations in-house, Beamish developed a workshop facility, the Regional Heritage Engineering Centre.  Additionally, a machine shop has also been established, using second hand machines donated to the Museum. This has enabled the Museum to consider and carry out the construction of new railway rolling stock including a narrow gauge steam locomotive, Samson (pictured right).

During the construction of the Samson locomotive, Beamish turned to Metal Supermarkets Gateshead to quickly obtain all the metal they needed. “One of the great things about being able to order small quantities is the fact that whilst we have a workshop, we are still building stocks of offcuts etc. Each time we order we generally order more than what we need so that we have some for stock. As each job we do is different the material we need may be wildly different. Metal Supermarkets is also good in that you can supply material certification to prove what material has been used for a job,” says Matthew Ellis, Keeper of Transport at Beamish.

The Museum expects to fully replicate the Samson locomotive by the first half of 2015.

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