WSR Locomotive Restoration Project

Restoring Small Prairie 4561


Restoring Small Prairie 4561

WSRA owned Small Prairie 4561 has been out of service since 1998.  In April 2018, amid some soul searching about WSR priorities, a small group of WSR engineers, including the Head of Mechanical Engineering and the WS Restoration Engineering Foreman,  met with  a group of trustees and the ex-CME Andy Forster and all confirmed their agreement that Small Priairie 4561 was the right locomotive to prioritise for restoration. That decision was endorsed by the full board of WSRA Trustees at the June Board meeting and it was agreed to re-start the restoration project in earnest.

At that time just under 25% of the estimated £220,000 cost to complete the restoration was held in the WSR Locomotive Restoration Fund, so fundraising is now a priority to keep the work on track.

The bulk of the work is being done at our WS Restoration works at Williton, by a team of staff, and volunteers.  The aim is still to complete the restoration and return 4561 to traffic during 2021, to fit the requirements of the WSR locomotive policy.

The new cylinder blocks for 4561 at Williton, waiting to be machined.


So how can you help?

By Volunteering :

  • we need a range of practical and engineering skills from cleaning and painting through to machining and fitting.
  • we also need help with promoting and fundraising

Please complete the enquiry form on this page telling us how you'd like to help and we will get back to you.


By Donating:

  • One off donations are always welcome
  • Regular donations help with planning the work, direct debits and standing orders are available.
  • Join a Donor Club.  The Locomotive Restoration Founders club is open for new members until the end of 2018.
  • There will be a Motion club, a Boiler club and an Assembly club, each launched to help fund an appropriate stage of the restoration.
  • Sponsor a part or process.  As the work progresses there will be opportunities to sponsor and be associated with a particular stage of the work.

Online giving is safe and easy, but if you prefer not to use online facilities there are still some options:

To make your single donation by cheque please send it to the address below.

To make a  regular donation by standing order please download the  mandate and complete and return it to the address below.

Please consider giftaiding your donation.  We receive an additional 25% at no cost to you.  Gift aid declarations are available HERE

WSR Locomotive Restoration Fund, West Somerset Railway Association, The Railway Station, Bishops Lydeard, TAUNTON, TA4 3BX.

Motion club

We estimate that the Motion Phase of the restoration will cost £60,000 to complete.  We're inviting 120 supporters to each give £500 to help us achieve that target.  Donations can either be as a single payment or by up to ten monthly payments.

Benefits for  available members of the Motion club include:

  • The opportunity to buy a ticket on the inaugural run of the loco on the WSR
  • An invitation to a Motion Club Day out on the WSR
  • Mounted print of Jonathan Clay's drawing of the locomotive

To join the Motion Club please download an application form HERE and complete and send it in with your cheque.  If you would prefer to make monthly payments of £50 or £100 please also download a standing order form HERE.

Both forms should be completed and returned to the WSRA for processing together with a Gift Aid Declaration, if appropriate.  Please note that the direct debit links  on this page are for general contributions towards the restoration of 4561 and should not be used if you wish to apply to become a member of the Motion club.

Supporting the Heritage of The West Somerset Railway