Riverfront's vintage loco lets the crane take the strain as it leaves city for Blaenavon
A VINTAGE locomotive said goodbye to Newport's riverfront today, where it has stood for the last 16 years, and was transported to its new home in Blaenavon.
The Forrester locomotive, weighing 18.5 tonnes, was moved to Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway with the help of two large cranes.
Baldwins Crane Hire Limited said it was contracted by Newport council and used a 200 foot crane to start lifting the locomotive from 6am.
The company's area manager Keith Crocker said the car park was closed to the public and some improvisation was used as the locomotive was not made with lifting points.
Mr Crocker remembers the process being a little easier when the locomotive was first placed on the city's Riverfront 16 years ago where it was put on display to represent Newport's coal and steel industry.
Mr Crocker helped unload it at the riverfront while working for his previous employer.
"We didn't have the restrictions then. It was a wide open space and we used a 100 tonne crane. But we had to use a 200 tonne crane today because of the car park and the reach," he said.
Mr Crocker said another 100 tonne crane at the railway in Blaenavon was used to offload the locomotive which was in place on the railway by 11.30am.
Unfortunately, Mr Crocker said the wooden coal truck which sat next to the locomotive could not be transported to Blaenavon because vandalism had made it "beyond repair"
He said: "It was quite difficult to lift because it was falling apart. It had to be strapped down and taken to our yard in Newport for the time being."
The Argus reported on Friday how Newport City Council decided to donate the Forester locomotive to the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway.
The council has spent money on repairing and maintaining the engine over the years because of vandalism and said the museum will be a more suitable home where it will be restored and perhaps put back into use.