Former train back in park after £60,000 refurbishment

A former working train is being re-installed in a city park after having undergone a £60,000 refurbishment including a bright new look for its carriages designed by local schoolchildren.

Mr Therm and his carriages, which are stationary and are used as play sculpture, were dismantled last May and have been getting repairs and painted before being installed back into the play area at Seaton Park.

Work to put the pieces of Scottish railway and engineering history back in their place has been taking place since Monday involving cranes and other heavy lifting equipment and today was the first day they were fully recognisable.

Aberdeen City Council Regeneration and Housing spokesman Councillor Ross Grant said: “It’s fantastic that Mr Therm is back in his rightful place in Seaton Park – he’s looking amazing after his £60,000 refurbishment.

“He’s been sorely missed by lots of children who love to play on him and imagine they’re on a moving train so we’re looking forward to seeing how excited they all are when he’s all ready to be used again.

“The work that’s been carried out is top-class and the additions for the carriages which were designed by children from the local area are really striking and colourful and will really help with imaginative play.”

It’s very exciting that Mr Therm is coming back home to Seaton Park after his £60,000 refurbishment.

“He has been missed in the park as he’s such a well known attraction for many children but he looks fantastic after the work carried out - with one or two new features too.”

Mr Therm was used for transporting coal from Aberdeen harbour and with the closure of the former gas plant in the 1970s. Mr Therm was transferred to Aberdeen Council for preservation, where the engine was placed in the play area at Seaton Park in 1974.

Aberdeen City Council worked with Friends of Seaton Park on the project.

Friends of Seaton Park Chairwoman Sheila Gordon said: “We’re so excited that Mr Therm is almost completely reconstructed again in the park and looking so good.

“It is fantastic to see all of the pieces of Mr Therm and carriages coming together. It was so interesting to watch the men at work and to see how precise they could be when placing all the pieces – the adults seem more fascinated by this than the youngsters.

“He has been sorely missed in the park and it’s great he’s back in time for the start of Spring so the youngsters will be able to get good use of him and his carriages.”

Chris Bain, external relations director at Aberdeen Harbour Board which has contributed money to Friends of Seaton Park, said: ““Aberdeen Harbour Board was very pleased to be able to make a contribution towards the refurbishment of Mr Therm through our Community Action Fund. This engine and carriages have such a strong link to the history of Aberdeen Harbour and the city as a whole that it is only right that we look after them and ensure they are available for future generations to enjoy and learn from.

“We are delighted to see Mr Therm back in Seaton Park in all his glory."

David Ogilvie, managing director of the contractors firm David Ogilvie Engineering which carried out the work, said: “This has been such a great project and we’re very privileged to have played such a big part in Mr Therm’s refurbishment.

“It’s been a labour of pride for our staff based in Kilmarnock as he was originally built in Kilmarnock by Andrew Barclay & Sons so we have taken extra special care with Mr Therm.

“The reaction from the children as he’s been pieced back together on site has been a joy and makes everyone’s hard work and effort worthwhile.”

The refurbishment is part of Aberdeen City Council’s £130,000 spend on Seaton Park, and the re-installation work should be finished over the weekend.