by Phil Marsh

The train from Spain will run mainly ….in the Cumbrian Fells

Published: 20 January 2016

Nearly-new 86 year old loco heads for Ravenglass

– travel there by 1960s diesel power on the national network

The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Preservation Society (RERPS)is purchasing 1929-built Krauss 4-6-2 No. 8457 – a locomotive which has seen remarkably little use since its construction.

A RERPS team inspected the 4-6-2 tender locomotive in a workshop at Mataró, just north of Barcelona in Spain late 2015. They found it was in excellent condition and would be suited to R&ER operating conditions and could enter service in 2016. Their recommendation to purchase was endorsed by an Extraordinary General Meeting convened by R&EPS on December 15 when 644 members voted in favour with five against and four abstentions.

Train From Spain appeal

Following the decision to buy the loco, the Society launched ‘The Train From Spain’ appeal which aims to raise £126,000 to help finance its acquisition, transport and return to steam. Commencement of its relocation some 1,200 miles from Barcelona to Cumbria was set to take place on January 22.

The new loco for the 15in gauge Ravenglass & Eskdale line is one of 15 locomotives designed by Roland Martens built by Krauss & Co., Munich, with a further three to a slightly modified design by Krupp of Essen, constructed between 1925 and the 1930s. The Krupp-built trio are all now in Britain, Männertreu and Rosenkavalier at Bressingham’s Waveney Valley Railway and Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway’s Black Prince.

The latter two have both visited R&ER, proving the suitability of the type for the line. Several of the Krauss builds remain operational at park lines in Germany and Austria, including sister locomotive No. 8455 which now resides on the Killesbergparkbahn in Stuttgart.

Virtually ‘as-new’ condition

No. 8457 was one of four locomotives built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition in Seville. It ran daily through the 14-month event, then only occasionally until 1932 when it was put in storage until the 1960s following which its wheelsets were ‘donated’ for use under a diesel loco.

It was purchased for a projected seafront line in Mataró which never materialised but restoration continued, including construction of a new tender body just prior to the inspection teams visit. The boiler and frames were found to be virtually ‘as-new’, a reflection of the very short period when No. 8457 saw use.

Cheaper and quicker than building a new loco

For some time RERPS has been looking at acquiring another steam locomotive. The prime focus had been on construction of a new tender locomotive with volunteer-led development team preparing CAD drawings of a potential design and design review meetings held with R&ER staff representatives. A potential £450,000 budget for the project was indicated.

Purchasing this pre-owned machine, reportedly in excellent condition, slashes the cost of providing extra motive power for the line known colloquially as La’al Ratty. Moreover, it will be available to enter service far more quickly than a loco built from scratch.

Golden anniversary of charity appeal

The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Preservation Society is a registered charity run by volunteers. It supports the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Company through financing of projects, providing volunteer labour and hiring its front-line locos Clarkson 2-8-2 River Mite and Bo-Bo diesel Douglas Ferreira to the railway. The appeal has been launched 50 years after the Preservation Society funded construction of River Mite in 1966 – quite a way to celebrate this golden anniversary!

Main line connection but no through services!

The seven-mile Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway runs from the former Roman port of Ravenglass to Dalegarth station in the Eskdale foothills. It was opened in 1875 as a 3ft gauge railway and converted to 15in gauge in 1915.

Ravenglass station is also served by National Rail operator, Northern Rail on the scenic Cumbrian coast route linking Carlisle, Barrow and Preston but there have never been, and cannot be any through services as the track gauge is different!

Travel by a 50 year old train to the R&ER

Some of the trains running through Ravenglass are an attraction in themselves being 50 years old hauled by Class 37 diesel locomotives. Two of these trains are in service operated by Direct Rail Services on behalf of Northern Rail. They have bars across the door windows due to very narrow clearances on the route which itself is amongst the most scenic in Britain following the coast and the Lake district mountains.

They connect into Virgin, Cross-Country and Transpennine Express and Scotrail services at Preston and Carlisle. The vintage trains are used on the following Cumbrian coast services and tickets for all services can be purchased from

Weekdays to 13th May 2016

Train 1

2C32 05:15 Carlisle - Preston (a. 09:35)

2C47 10:04 Preston - Barrow (a. 11:33)

2C41 14:37 Barrow - Carlisle (a. 17:28)

2C42 17:37 Carlisle - Barrow (a. 20:29)

Train 2

2C33 05:46 Barrow - Carlisle (a. 08:33)

2C40 08:42 Carlisle - Barrow (a. 11:30)

2C49 11:38 Barrow - Carlisle (a. 14:26)

2C34 14:35 Carlisle - Barrow (a. 17:22)

2C47 17:31 Barrow - Carlisle (a. 20:31)

And on Saturdays to 14 May 2016

Train 1

2C33 05:46 Barrow - Carlisle (a. 08:33)

2C40 08:42 Carlisle - Barrow (a. 11:30)

2C45 11:38 Barrow - Carlisle (a. 14:24)

2C34 14:33 Carlisle - Barrow (a. 17:23)

2C47 17:32 Barrow - Carlisle (a. 20:29)

Train 2

2C32 05:15 Carlisle - Barrow (a. 08:04)

2C41 08:45 Barrow - Carlisle (a. 11:35)

2C48 11:56 Carlisle - Lancaster (a. 16:08)

2C31 17:31 Lancaster - Barrow (a. 18:40

Many thanks to for providing a timetable simplifier of these trains.

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