Steam locomotive ‘Dame Vera Lynn’ to be converted from coal to oil with North Yorkshire Moors Railway and FMW Solutions

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Steam locomotive ‘Dame Vera Lynn’ to be converted from coal to oil with North Yorkshire Moors Railway and FMW Solutions 3672 Dame Vera Lynn - Image ©John Holdsworth

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has announced that it will work with FMW Solutions (FMW), a US-based railroad engineering and mechanical contractor, to convert the historic and iconic steam locomotive Dame Vera Lynn from coal to oil. 

This will be the first full-size steam locomotive oil conversion in the U.K. since the end of steam, and it is a crucial step forward in “future-proofing”, the busiest heritage railway in the country.

Paul Middleton, Director of Mechanical Engineering at the NYMR, said, “This is a great opportunity to develop oil-burning systems on our locomotives. This will help ensure our steam locomotives remain in service for future generations. Oil has many benefits, including lowering the risks of lineside fires, reducing staff hours maintaining locomotives, and reducing business risk due to the unavailability of coal.”

Davidson Ward, President of FMW, said, “We are thrilled to work alongside the NYMR Engineering Department at Grosmont to convert War Department (“WD”) 2-10-0 No. 3672 as part of its upcoming overhaul. This work will be a trans-Atlantic effort, with key firing components being manufactured at our Tennessee workshop and by the NYMR forces at Grosmont. The final installation is anticipated to take place on the NYMR.”

3672 Dame Vera Lynn – Image © John Holdsworth

No. 3672 ‘Dame Vera Lynn’ was built in 1944 by the North British Locomotive Works in Glasgow where there were 150 of these extremely powerful freight locomotives ordered for the war effort. Once completed Dame Vera Lynn was shipped to Egypt and worked there following D-Day. Clifford Brown, who purchased ‘Dame Vera Lynn’ in the late 1980s, put the locomotives in Trust to the NYMR when he began to suffer ill health.

Alongside the announcement, the two organisations recorded a video podcast, ‘Restoration Roundtable,’ to discuss whether oil-fired steam can future-proof preservation. The conversation is steered by Kelly Lynch (FMW), alongside Davidson Ward (FMW) and Wolf Fengler (FMW), with Paul Middleton (NYMR) and Nick Simpson (NYMR) tuning in from Pickering.

​For further information, visit and to watch the video podcast, visit


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