Become a Trailing Truck Transformer

#OnThisDay in 1955 General Steam Navigation entered the Eastleigh works for a heavy intermediate overhaul. It was during these works when her cast trailing truck she was built was changed for the fabricated design she still has. The fabricated design was fitted to the final ten Merchant Navy’s with the first being 35021 New Zealand Line with 35011s being the last remaining example with all fellow surviving Merchant Navy’s having the earlier cast design. The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society aims to restore this unique component in 2021.

This is your chance to be part of an exclusive club and aid the overall restoration of General Steam Navigation by becoming a Trailing Truck Transformer.

The Trailing Truck was removed from the frames at the same time as the successful boiler lift on 2nd October. The estimate for the full refurbishment and overhaul of the Trailing Truck by specialist contractors is £15,000.

We are offering a maximum of 30 members the opportunity to purchase a ‘Lot’ for £500. Members are welcome to purchase as many ‘Lots’ as they wish up to the maximum target amount.


Members of the Fund Group would receive a number of benefits including:

  • Certificate of membership of the ‘Trailing Truck Transformers’
  • Name engraved on a suitable brass plaque attached to the refurbished Trailing Truck
  • Regular updates on the refurbishment of the Trailing Truck
  • An invitation to a VIP day at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway to see the completed Trailing Truck once it is returned to the railway.

The work

With the trailing truck now removed from GSN, we have undertaken an assessment of the work that will be required to restore it to mainline running standards. This will involve a full strip down to allow us to understand the condition of the frame metal work, which is likely to require non-destructive testing to determine the soundness of the existing material.

The axle will also require removing, but depending on which contractors we decide to use for the overall work we may need to remove this at Blunsdon to enable it to be sent separately for repair with the wheels being re-profiled; whilst the axle bearings will also need assessing and possibly refurbishing.

The frames will also require sandblasting to remove all the old flaking material and paint, with the corroded sections of the framework and rear platform being cut out and replaced with new material. Finally the framework, axle and wheels will need to be primed, undercoated and painted prior to being re-assembled.

To become a Trailing Truck Transformer see our dedicated page here…

We understand that £500 is a lot of money and for people who wish to support the trailing truck but are unable to join the Trailing Truck Transformers club you can help us by donating to our Wheel Set appeal on our JustGiving page here.

Alternatively you can make a donation however large or small into our newly launched Putting Funds into the Frames campaign here…

Any and all donations would be gratefully appreciated.

January 2021 Update

Work on the 35011 project has continued despite the latest national lockdown putting a halt to all working parties on the engine. Members will soon be receiving on their doorsteps or inboxes the latest Issue 14 of our membership magazine ‘The Packet’
This issue is over 25% larger than the previous issue with lots of exciting news from the engineering, fundraising, PR and membership teams. If you’re not a member and would like to receive a copy and be among the first to know you join our Society for just £12 by clicking here.

At our final working weekend of 2020 we were filmed & interviewed by a TV crew for a program to be aired in late 2021 which will be great publicity for our project. We have more volunteers waiting to join our working parties once social distancing becomes a thing of the past which will speed up the rate of restoration. At this moment in time GSN is a dormant creature, waiting for its time to live again and with your help we can do just that. No matter what skills you have we can use your help. Please contact our volunteer liaison officer Mr Andrew Collett at if you fancy getting your hands dirty.

At the start of the month Hornby announced that a new model of General Steam Navigation will be joining the Hornby Dublo range. The model will be limited to 500 models and feature a diecast boiler. The locomotive is wearing the BR Brunswick green livery and looks brilliant. You can find out more on the  Hornby website here.

The 35011 Twenty Twenty Club winners have been drawn for November and December.

Congratulations go to:

December 2020 – 1st Prize –  Chris Mileman, 2nd Prize – David Oborn, 3rd Prize – Andrew Collett

November 2020 – 1st Prize – Chris Mileman, 2nd Prize – Steve Raply, 3rd Prize – Simon Strachan

The Twenty Twenty Club is a great way to help raise funds for the locomotive and at the same time have a little bit of fun. We still have the last few places remaining find out how to join here.

2021 is shaping up to be a very important year for the project with some big goals in mind. You can help support us in many ways if you are not already a Society member you can sign up for membership for only £12 per year here, or donate to the Society here or even better join us as a shareholder here.

As always thank you for your continued support.