WHEN your 100-tonne steam locomotive needs lifting up, a regular garage lift probably won't do the job.

That's why when engineers at Swanage Railway needed to replace the bearings on a 1926 locomotive, specialist heavy lifting experts had to be called in.

Swanage Railway workshop manager Graham Froud said: "This is the first time this train has been lifted this way, all other lifts would have been done from above. The loco will do approximately 10,000 miles a year and can run for 28 days at a time.

"It is also able to undertake mainline work all over the country, if and when required.

"There are only a small number of locos that can do this."

The Southern Railway U Class had to be lifted free of its wheels to allow the main bearings to be replaces, as they had become worn over time.

Heavy lifting company Modulift, which is currently undertaking a major expansion as it moves into a new factory at Holton Heath this summer, was glad to assist

Mr Froud said: "Modulift’s management of the whole project was first rate from start to finish.”

This year's Swanage Railway Autumn Steam Gala will take place from October 11-13.

Thousands of enthusiasts regularly travel to Purbeck for the annual event.

Earlier this month the Daily Echo reported on the latest efforts of Swanage Railway Trust's 563 Locomotive Group.

The group is hoping to raise £350,000 for the restoration of the 1893-built London and South Western Railway T3 class locomotive No.563.

If successful, the engine could again haul trains through Purbeck.

The engine was saved from scrap when its significance was recognised on the centenary of London Waterloo.

Locomotive Group chairman Matt McManus said: "The Swanage Railway Trust believes the best way for No. 563 to tell its important transport, industrial and social story is to return the unique locomotive to steam so it can again haul trains in the Isle of Purbeck for the first time in some 80 years.

The T3-class steam locomotive was donated to the Swanage Railway Trust by the National Railway Museum in May 2017.