A steam locomotive made by Swindon railwaymen has been restored and is up and running again nearly 30 years after it was saved from the scrapyard.

Locomotive number 46512 was built at the former Great Western Rail-way Works in 1952.

It was scrapped in the 1960s but is now being run on a popular tourist railway line in the Highlands of Scotland after being lovingly restored by a group of railway enthusiasts.

Volunteers from the Strathspey Railway Com-pany paid the famous Woodham's scrapyard at Barry in South Wales £3,500 for the locomotive in March 1973.

And this month they officially recommissioned the loco on what they call their heritage railway in the Highlands.

Company director Ron Black is now trying to trace any former Swindon railwaymen who may have helped build 46512 or anyone else who remembers her during her working days in Wales.

He said: "We know very little about her history and it would be nice to put together a profile of the loco."

What is known about 46512 is that she is of the London, Midland and Scottish design and was one of a number of locos built at the Swindon works to meet the demands of the still young British Railways for new locomotives following the war.

Mr Black said the loco spent most of its working life on the line through central Wales running from Oswestry out to the coast pulling both passenger and goods trains.

When the age of steam came to an end 46512, along with the rest of BR's fleet, was sold for scrap and ended up in Wood-ham's yard.

It was there in March 1973 that members of the Strathspey Railway on the look-out for suitable locomotives to run on its line spotted her.

But there was a long delay before she was restored to her former glory.

"Initially she was stored in a temporary home in the Severn Valley Railway from where she was moved to Aviemore and the long task of restoration," said Mr Black.

"With many other projects in hand it was only in October last year that trial runs could be carried out."

But during that time 46512 was basically rebuilt.

The work included having the boiler totally renovated and the badly rusted tank and tender rebuilt.

"It has cost us several thousands of pounds to pay for the repairs plus of course many many voluntary manhours carrying it out ," said Mr Black.

Number 46512 was the 102nd steam loco to have been rescued from the many hundreds which ended up in the Barry scrapworks.

The refurbished loco has been named E V Cooper, Engineer, after Eric Cooper, one of the founding directors of the company, who had done a great deal to ensure her return to traffic.

It will now spend its time pulling tourist carriages along the five miles between Aviemore and the Boat of Garten village station and back.

Bryan Furnyhough, 58, a former fireman who remembers travelling on the 46512, said it wasn't a particularly elegant locomotive but was very practical.

He said: "I remember them coming out of the shop in Swindon and having a couple of trips on them.

"I think the people who restore them do a wonderful job and without these restorations there would be nothing for the future generations to see."

He said that the engine was designed by H G Ivatt and 60 were built in Swindon.