The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Preservation Society (RERPS) bought and returned to service a new steam locomotive to run on the 15” gauge R&ER in the Lake District, Cumbria. The locomotive, now named 'Whillan Beck', entered service on the railway in March 2018.
The locomotive in question is works number 8457, a 4-6-2 Pacific built by Krauss of Munich in 1929 for work at the Ibero-American Exposition in Seville. Following nearly 90 years out of action, the locomotive had been restored at workshops in the town of Mataró near Barcelona, but had not yet been steamed or run. The RERPS has completed a further two years of work and trials in order to commission the locomotive for service.
The locomotive was moved to Cumbria in early 2016.
During 2016, Phase 1 works were carried out to make the boiler fit for steaming and the locomotive fit for travel on the railway.
Phase 1 testing was carried out in the autumn and winter of 2016 to assess the performance of the locomotive.
Following feedback from the railway's management, drivers and engineers, Phase 2 works were carried out in 2017.
Phase 2 testing was carried out from December 2017 to February 2018.
The locomotive was accepted into service in March 2018.
The Preservation Society has spent approximately £300k on the new locomotive.
We have received donations of approximately £42k. Further donations are always welcome!