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

Lavender Line News

30th March 2015

Resident Steam Engine ‘Austin 1’ Returns To Wales

It is with great sadness that the railways resident steam engine 0-6-0ST Kitson ‘Austin 1’ has returned to her home railway in Llangollen, Wales for further assessment on her failed boiler exam which took place on site at the end of January. ‘Austin 1’ has been with the Lavender Line from 2003- 2008 and again from 2011-2015 after a brief overhaul at the Llangollen railway.

‘Austin 1’ will be greatly missed amongst crews and visitors as she was a Jack of all trades. She was a very useful engine for Clive Groome’s footplate courses and she has proven to be a powerful loco for our fleet. An annual boiler exam took place in late January, during the cold test the inspector found heavily corroded rivets on the foundation ring (the section that hold the inner and out firebox together from the base). A decision was taken by the boiler inspector to fail the engine on the grounds of a failed foundation ring.

The Llangollen railway has recalled ‘Austin 1’ for assessment but the outcome does not look good. Although she had an overhaul just 4 years ago there are a number of very urgent issues which need to be addressed before she can re-enter service. Therefore due to these problems it is most likely we will not see ‘Austin 1’ for some time, if ever.

As with most things though life does go on, the railways privately owned 0-4-0VBT Cockerill ‘Yvonne’ is currently under overhaul and progressing nicely whilst we are in the early stages of finding another steam engine to replace ‘Austin 1’. As soon as we know more information on a new steam engine we will post a feature on both the latest news feed and the Lavender Line loco department Facebook page.