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

Lavender Line News

7th November

Locomotive Report Update

Steam engines:

0-6-0ST Kitson ‘Austin 1’

Austin 1 has performed almost without fault this year proving herself to be a real asset to the railway as our only working steam engine. Austin has been on loan from the Llangollen railway in Wales for almost 18 months now after her full overhaul in 2009. She’s an extremely powerful and smooth loco and she’s much loved by both crews and passengers. After arriving at the Lavender line in 2003 as a support engine Austin 1 has really made itself at home and it is hoped the hire terms will continue into the foreseeable future. She is due her annual boiler exam in November along with a well earn break before tackling the Christmas specials in December.

0-6-0ST Hawthorne Leslie 3837

3837 arrived at the railway last year after being rescued from the Leatherhead Leisure centre in Surrey. Since then it’s received a full cosmetic overhaul from the 3837 society and now lies in green and red. She is currently on display in the station car park where you can view the society progress on the restoration. The 3837 society’s long term plan is to of course return the loco to steam and its former glory, unfortunately 25 years in the open air has taken its toll and a she does require a lot of TLC, the society is very keen to return her to steam and it is hoped once funds are raised the assessment of returning the loco to steam can begin.

Diesel locos:

0-6-0D Ruston ‘Valiant’

Valiant has been a top performer over the past year running without fault and proving to be a very reliable and economical diesel. Valiant was brought by the Lavender line preservation society in 2008 as a substitute loco for our former steam engine Blackie. Valiant can be seen on most diesel Sundays paired with our Toad brake van providing train rides. She also took part in our recent diesel gala where it was seen hauling the railways air braked goods train, a real opportunity to see how powerful this former network rail shunter could be.

0-4-0 Planet

Planet is like an atomic clock, it just keeps on going! At one point several years ago Planet was the only working engine at the railway due to loco unavailability at the time and she really showed what an asset to the railway it really was. Over the past two years though Planet has been reduced to yard shunting only due to her restricted speeds and engine condition. She was recently used for cab rides at the diesel gala to provide visitors with a cab experience.

0-4-0DM Andrew Barclay

 Our privately owned Andrew Barclay diesel has made some big progress this year. We were very fortunate to see the Barclay in action over both the diesel gala and the steam, diesel transport event. This smart looking loco has made a real impression on everyone at the railway including both vistors and staff. With only a few teething problems to cure and more running in scheduled it wont be long before the 0-4-0 diesel will make a regular appearance at the railway on passenger duties.

Wickham Railbus

The Wickham railbus joined us back in the winter of 2008 and has been an extremely reliable and enjoyable addition ever since. Since its arrival there has been a number of small jobs to ensure it keeps its reliability, she can be seen on regular passenger duties on off peak days such as half term specials or quiet Sundays. Due to the greenhouse style windows that surround the loco passengers can enjoy an almost 360 degree view of the train ride including what the driver does.

Thumper unit 1133

The railways thumper unit 1133 is in her final stages of restoration, a job that has accounted for nearly 8 years. But all that work is finally paying off, 1133 is by far one of the best looking thumper units in the country. She has been seen on several occasions during the year including both the diesel gala in July and the recent steam, diesel transport gala. 1133 was set to run alongside Austin 1 on a two train service on the August bank holiday Monday but unfortunately due to wet filler not quite set she was replaced by Valiant. Our thumper is set to make a number of appearances at the railway next year on a more regular occurrence.