The Lavender Line
Every 3 months we like to keep you up to date on how our locomotive fleet is doing and what progress is being made on the projects which are currently underway in the engine shed at Isfield.
0-6-0ST Bagnall ‘Empress’:
Empress enjoyed a trouble free first season at the Lavender Line having arrived at the railway in March 2015. She has proved to be extremely popular with the Clive Groom footplate courses due to her enormous cab and easy driving. After taking part in the Lavender Line’s October Gala and steaming through the Santa specials she is now taking a well earn rest. Last month she received a full boiler washout and a cold boiler exam. She is booked to have her steam test at the start of March ready for the 2016 season and it’s with great pleasure to announce that Empress will be staying with us for the remainder of 2016.
0-4-0VBT Cockerill ‘Yvonne’:
Yvonne has been out of action since 2014 when she was taking out of service for her 10 year overhaul. The overhaul is coming along nicely but due to the condition of the boiler she will need a new firebox which we understand is in hand and being made. The rest of Yvonne including the frames, motion and cab are currently receiving some restoration all of which will be ready in time to marry the boiler back with the frames. We will be receiving a short update on Yvonne’s overhaul in the coming weeks.
Steamroller Aveling Barford ‘Roll on’
The railway’s adopted steamroller Roll on’ currently winterised in the railway’s car park ready for the 2016 season. She had her cold exam last week of which she passed ready for the steam test in March. Roll on will be in steam at Isfield throughout the year providing footplate rides and when out and about at local rallies she will be representing the Lavender Line. She will also be earning her keep in April when she is booked to roll the railway’s car park!
DEMU Class 205 Thumper 1133:
After enjoying a fantastic 2015 summer season at the nearby Spa Valley Railway, 1133 is back on home turf and ready for operational duties. Although she is an ongoing project 1133 can be seen regularly on running dates with more than ever booked for 2016. Work has concentrated on polishing her beautifully restored panels and keeping up with the ever continuing maintenance that is required to keep her in her perfect condition. 1133 is booked to run on Sunday 28th February and Easter Monday. Keep an eye out for more DEMU running dates of 2016 via our website and Facebook page.
0-6-0DE Class 09 09025:
The Class 09 which arrived in October 2014 has seen limited use throughout 2015 due to her on going restoration and the minor issues which have been identified since purchasing her. Some of these issues have been dealt with but she is still receiving some on going restoration. Sunday 21st February saw the 09 having some repair work on her right hand driver’s door which is all going towards the final goal of a complete repaint, but like most things it’s the preparation work that takes the time. 09025 will be in action on Mother day (Sunday 6th March) where she will be taking charge of a good train and Easter Sunday where she will be hauling the Easter Pick up goods.
0-6-0DH Ruston ‘Valiant’:
Valiant continues to be the backbone of all our Diesel services. Running without any major faults throughout 2015 the Ex MOD shunter performed admirably through the Santa specials and the majority of our off peak Diesel winter running days.
0-4-0DM Andrew Barclay 221:
The former World War Two Diesel works number 221 has seen limited use throughout 2015, however she has worked a number of off peak Diesel days and performed beautifully throughout the railway’s October Gala weekend. She is currently in the shed receiving some minor winter work of which is being carried out by her owner. It is expected to see more of the Andrew Barclay this year with the extra running days alongside steam. 221 will be in action on Easter Monday where she will be proving cab rides from the Dock platform the overhead bridge.
The Planet has been one of the most useful tools of the railway and the saviour of some service days. However due to her condition she is now restricted to light shunting duties and permanent way trains. Keep an eye out for Planet shunting about the yard working behind the scenes.
The Wickham Railbus only saw one outing of 2015 which was during the October Gala weekend. This is due to an on going engine issue which is still yet to be identified by her owner, although the latest is she is set to be back in service for this year. As soon as we know anymore information on this unique and quirky loco we will advertise it on our website and Facebook page.