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

Lavender Line News

29th Jan 2015

Winter locomotive report 2015


Steam engines-

0-6-0ST Kitson Austin 1:

Our resident steam engine Austin 1 had a very successful Santa special season with most of the steam days running to plan including the new years day winter steam up which saw Austin 1 providing train rides. She is currently receiving some well earn winter maintenance in the shed with our dedicated team who are already cracking on with the on going jobs. Her firebars have been removed and the firebox has been cleaned ready for inspection. If all goes well with the annual inspection Austin 1 will be in steam for Sunday 15th March for the Mothers day specials. Austin 1 will be staying with the railway for the foreseeable future with a contract extension signed for the 2015 season.

0-4-0VBT Cockerill Yvonne:

The railways privately owned Belgium vertical boiler loco Yvonne enjoyed some great steamings towards the end of 2014 although she did suffer from a few minor issues. Yvonne arrived at the railway in March 2014 and was set to work straight away providing off peak steam train rides and parallel running alongside Austin 1. She unfortunately suffered a second blown boiler tube during the railways Gala weekend in October and her owner Colin took the decision to take her out of service for her 10 year overhaul of which was due to begin in January 2015. Colin has already begun the mammoth task of taking Yvonne apart for her inspections which included removing 130 tubes from the boiler. For more information on Yvonne’s overhaul please see the latest report on the news feed below.

0-6-0ST Hawthorn Leslie 3837:

In the summer of 2014 Hawthorne Leslie 3837 was treated to a minor boiler inspection by the 3837 preservation society. The findings were hopeful but there is still a very extensive amount of work to be carried out. Since then work has been quiet on the loco but the society have been hard at work fund raising. She is still sitting perched in the railways car park where visitors can get close and find out more about the project.

Diesel locomotives/ DEMU

DEMU 205 Thumper 1133:

The railways flagship DEMU unit 1133 was the star of the show for the October Gala weekend of which involved the railways home fleet taking part in some very intensive timetables. 1133 had performed admirably throughout 2014 with both her sight and sounds bringing big smiles to visitors. Since the last loco report 1133’s driving car has received the final coats of Southern railway green. This has transformed the unit into one of the most beautifully finished Thumpers in preservation. The mirror effect in her paintwork had visitors stunned with many providing great feedback against her overhaul. Head Thumper man Chris who has spearheaded the entire project has done a fantastic job on 1133 with still more to come. Her trailer unit is now under overhaul with the trailer car of 1121 also receiving some TLC before the season. Keep an eye out for more information from our website and Facebook page on 1133 for both her running dates and special events throughout 2015.

0-6-0DH Ruston Valiant:

The Ruston had performed almost without fault throughout 2014. At the start of last year she received new brake blocks on all six wheels and some annual maintenance. She suffered only minor failures during the summer but carried on providing train rides through the summer holidays and the majority of diesel running dates. Valiant is in charge of most of the winter running days although she will be starting to share some duties with the railways new Class 09.

0-6-0DE Class 09 09025:

Class 09 09025 arrived at the Lavender Line in October 2014 after departing the East Kent railway. She has been out the shed most weekends since arriving receiving a mixture of maintenance from cab cleaning to work on her engine. It is expected the 09 will make her first public appearance in February after crew training has been carried out. This extremely powerful diesel will certainly prove to be a very useful asset to the railway being both vacuum and air braked. Keep an eye out on the latest news and Facebook page for more information on 09025’s running days.

0-4-0DM Andrew Barclay 805:

Privately owned Barclay 805 of 1941 has enjoyed more operational duties than ever in the 2014 season with outings taking place at the railways Diesel Gala and October Gala. 805 is still a running project with some minor issues still to be sorted. She did however run without fault in 2014 as she ran with the railways Toad brake van, an ideal run-in weight for the engine to get use to. She even stepped into the breach when steam engine Yvonne failed during the railways October Gala, when she was summoned from the shed she was in the station within 20 minutes ready for brake van rides. 805 is now having some winter maintenance ready for her 2015 duties. Keep an eye out on both the latest news and Facebook page for details of her running dates.

0-4-0DM Vulcan:

The Vulcan has spent most of its life at Isfield sat behind the shed on the number 2 road, but due to the new shed extension on both roads she was finally moved after 15 years to make way for the trailer car of Thumper 1133. Vulcan is now residing on the number 1 road in the shed as her owner assess what needs to be done to get her back into traffic. The first job is to rub it down and apply some protection paint which will ensure she does not rust anymore out in the elements. The plan is to restore the Vulcan back to working order, her owner is certain there is not a great deal of work to be done as the engine itself is in supposed good condition. Keep an eye out on the latest news for more updates on the Vulcan.

0-4-0DM Planet:

The trusty Planet shunter has been with the Lavender Line for almost 15 years. Once deemed too expensive to repair she is still a regular runner at the railway. Although she is limited to yard shunting only, Planet is also used on P way trains helping the Wednesday gang in track work. She was treated to a new paint job a few years ago and now resides in BR Black with late crest. Planet can also be seen on diesel Gala’s working alongside our other resident diesels.

Wickham Railbus:

The Wickham Railbus did not see much action during 2014. She is currently awaiting some repairs to be carried out but unfortunately sits in the queue behind the Andrew Barclay as they are of the same owner. She was used on the occasional off peak service but her owner understandably wants to ensure she is fully fit before going back into full term service.