AN HISTORIC steam train could return to its East Lancashire roots almost 50 years after its last journey.

The British Railways Standard 4260 steam locomotive, number 76084, was built at Horwich in 1957 and worked out of Lower Darwen engine shed for most of its life.

But in 1965 when it was taken off the rails, it was bought by a Nottinghamshire train enthusiast, who left it in his garden, intending to restore it from his shed.

When he died, it was sold to the 76084 Locomotive Company Limited, which after 14 years of work has readied it to start transporting passengers again on the North Norfolk Railway.

It is expected it will work there during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, but Eric Bond from the company, said he hoped the train would make a reappearance on the East Lancashire Railway after that.

The 64-year-old grand-father-of-four, who lives in Cedar Close, Rishton, said: “The train may well come back to the North West in the near future. I have always had an interest in trains.

“When I was a teenager, I used to cycle to the engine shed in Lower Darwen and take photographs.

“It is my dream now to bring this locomotive back to East Lancashire.”

The 76084 Locomotive Company is responsible for a £600,000 restoration of the train, which was funded by the raising of capital through the issue of shares, and is still appealing for donations to help return it to its former glory.

It is expected the work should be completed by May.

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