The Lavender Line
Isfield Station
Nr Uckfield
East Sussex
TN22 5XB

Lavender Line News

6th March 2014 

Locomotive Report Update 2014

Steam engines

Kitson Austin 1- In Service

Austin 1 has been with the railway on and off since 2003 and she has really made herself at home at Isfield. After her major overhaul in 2008 Austin 1 returned to us in 2011 and rejoined the loco fleet. She has been an extremely reliable steam engine proving to be very popular with crews and families. Austin 1 is currently going through her winter inspections including a cold test and a steam test which is part of the insurance policy of any steam engine. This is a yearly exam and will be taking place in the coming weeks. Austin 1’s first steaming will be on Sunday 30th March.

Belgium Cockerill ‘Yvonne’- In Service

The Lavender line welcomed its latest steam engine ‘Yvonne’ to its steam fleet in January. Yvonne is an 0-4-0 VBT engine designed and built by Cockerill of Belgium in 1920. Her unique appearance and great cab space has already ensured that she is very much welcomed at Isfield. Yvonne has already gone through a steam trial run of which she passed with flying colours. There are just a few teething issues to deal with before her first official public steam day with will be on Sunday 6th April where she will be running alongside Austin 1, a date not to be missed!

Hawthorne Leslie 3837-Awaiting overhaul

The 0-6-0ST 3837 arrived at the railway in 2012. She currently sits on a static display in the railways car park as the locos group raises funds for her overhaul. Several jobs have been carried out on the engine since arriving at Isfield but the loco is many years off from being operational. 3837 was painted last year to help protect the metal and parts of the engine has been winterised.


Ruston ‘Valiant’- In Service

The Ruston diesel has performed almost faultlessly over the winter and she has been a great asset to the railway on diesel running days. Valiant will be sharing the diesel turns with the Wickham railbus over the coming months into Summer and can often be seen paired with the railways toad brake van.

Wickham railbus- In Service

The Wickham railbus has been on operational duties for most off peak days such as half term specials and quiet Sunday. She has an almost 360 degree view from inside and she always goes down well with families as you can watch the driver at work. The railbus will be coming out of service in the next few months for routine maintenance.

Planet diesel- In Service

The Planet diesel has been a trusty steed of the railways for well over 10 years now and she is still going strong! Although Planet is now reduced to shunting only she can often be seen shunting stock around the yard and on rare appearances taking part on passenger duties such as gala weekends.

Andrew Barclay- Under restoration

The World War two diesel Andrew Barclay has been in her current restoration phase for some years but she is nearing the end of a lengthy but intensive overhaul. The Barclay has been seen making shy appearances at gala weekends from 2010 but it is intended to bring her into full term service this year as she joins the diesel fleet for passenger duties.

Vulcan diesel- Stored for overhaul

The Vulcan diesel is awaiting its overhaul turn and will be a few years before it will be in back in service but her owner is confident that there is not a lot of work to do on her as the engine is in a good state. It looks to be more cosmetic than a full overhaul.

Thumper unit DEMU 1133- Under overhaul/ Under trial runs

The railways flagship diesel has been on an intensive overhaul programme for the past 8 years. This has included a full engine overhaul and a tip to top cosmetic overhaul which is still an on going task. 1133 has been in and out of service for special events such as gala weekends and bank holiday specials but for the most part she has been tucked away safe and sound in the shed whilst the overhaul continues. The reasons for the overhaul taking its time will all be revealed when she takes her first turns a the railway after the summer of this year. 1133 is certainly the best looking thumper unit in service and this can be seen in the dedication and hard work undertaken by our thumper specialist has carried out to ensure her beautiful condition. We will be seeing more and more of the DEMU over the coming year with plans to reunite her with a familiar head board similar to The Last Thump she carried on network rail back in 2004. Keep an eye out for 1133 running from the summer onwards as there are great plans in motion for her return to full time service.