It’s full steam ahead for the restoration of a historic train which has been a fixture at Lochore Meadows Country Park for generations.
Mike Heron and Keith Brown, both from Benarty, are spearheading the project to restore the iconic pit pug and have offered to do so for free.
The engine has been enjoyed for more than 40 years by successive generations of youngsters.
But after decaying the train was eventually deemed a danger to the public and fenced off.
Now Keith, owner and operations manager at Kirkcaldy based Smeaton Engineering, and Mike, contracts manager, plan to restore the train and save it from the scrapheap.
With the help of a crane, the 26 tonne former NCB engine was carefully lifted on to a waiting low-loader before being transported from the park on Friday.
Mike said he will now make a full assessment of its condition before planning a detailed programme of refurbishment.
“Both me and Keith, were born in Benarty so the train was a fixture of us growing up,” he said.
“Everyone’s kids has had their photo on the footplate and it was tragic to see it in such a state.
“So it’s our opportunity to put something back into the community by taking on the restoration.
“And we have already enlisted the help of a host of firms who will also be offering their services free of charge.”
Lochore Meadow Country Park said in a statement: “It was an amazing process to witness and all of those on site were a pleasure to spend time with.
“Our best guess was the train has been in the same spot for around 42 years.
“The weight showing when it was suspended was 26 tons.
“Thanks go to all of those who made this happen.”
With help from specialist firms and train enthusiasts the pair hope to return the pug to its former glory.
However the project is likely to take up to a year to complete.
“It’s a big job that we’ll have to fit around our day-to-day business but we’re looking forward to getting stuck in,” said Keith.
“Having the train fenced off and rusting away was a sin.
“We’ll not only make it safe we plan to have a few interactive things for the kids to play with once completed too.
Public appeal success
“We’ll be keeping people up do date with the project and we hope to have a full celebratory unveiling when it’s finally returned to its home in the Meedies next year.”
Plans also include returning the pit pug to its original colours using money raised by 11-year-old Ollie Cowan in 2020.