Published 11th September 2012
ISLE OF WIGHT - A joint statement has been issued by The Isle of Wight Steam Railway (IOWSR) and The East Somerset Railway (ESR) concerning a swap of locomotives.
The two railways have said that they are very pleased that agreement has been reached in principle to enable the London Brighton & South Coast Railway ‘E1’ Class 0-6- 0 tank locomotive Burgundy and London Midland & Scottish Railway built Ivatt designed 2-6-0 No. 46447 to be restored to working order.
The final details are currently under negotiation but the innovative arrangement will see both engines steaming in preservation, the Ivatt for the first time. The IOWSR will acquire Burgundy from the present owner, Richard Bellchambers, and restore it whilst making available to the ESR No.46447 for restoration.
The IOWSR has said that a generous bequest to the railway will fund the purchase and restoration of Burgundy. Ivatt No. 46447 was donated to the IOWSR along with two Ivatt designed 2-6-2 tanks, Nos. 41298 and 41313, by the Ivatt Locomotive Trust.
These two engines have never been steamed since being withdrawn from British Railways in the mid 1960s but No. 41298 has had a huge amount of work carried out on it including the boiler being overhauled nearly 20 years ago.
They were based at The Buckinghamshire Railway Centre (BRC) near Aylesbury but never steamed there, being stored in a shed for almost 40 years. The Ivatt Trust was in reality two school friends from the 1960s, Roy Miller and Peter Clarke, who set up the BRC in the late 1960s.
Mr Miller was instrumental in organising the Steam on The Met events which ran for 10 years ending a decade ago when London Underground was subject to the failed PPP financial operation.
The IOWSR had not intended to operate the Ivatt tender engine as this size locomotive never ran on the island, whereas the tank engine versions were to be introduced in the mid 1960s. But as most of the islands rail network was closed in 1966, the transfer never happened.
The railway will provide the ESR with 1946 built 46447 on the basis that it will be restored to running order at their base at Cranmore. All the major components will be supplied by the IOWSR and the locomotive then loaned to the ESR for ten years, the length of operating time for a steam locomotive between overhauls.
The E1 locomotives worked on the Isle of Wight alongside the famous 02s but none of those which worked on the Island were preserved. Burgundy is not a true Island engine but it is the last survivor of its type, having been sold out of service by the Southern Railway into industry in the 1920s. It was rescued by Mr Bellchambers and others and has been at Cranmore for many years.
The Ivatt 2-6-0 tender locomotives worked along the Cheddar Valley line and therefore it is very appropriate to have a representative of the class at the East Somerset Railway. The presence of a tender engine will be an added attraction for the ESR as it will be capable of pulling the heaviest trains there while being economical to run.
Both railways are extremely pleased at the prospect of these locomotives being returned to operational condition. The tender engine is expected to leave the IOWSR by the end of September taken by John Antell on his specially adapted low-loader in two shipments with the infill trip bringing the ‘E1’ to the Island.