The West Somerset Railway has announced that they have been unable to find a way to keep GWR 4110 on the WSR.
Even with 3 organisations working together, no way has been found. Even on the 25th January 2019, the railway was still in discussions to deliver this objective.
The WSR plc is in a position where it needs cash immediately. The directors have been left with no choice but to maximise the return for the locomotive.
The Directors of GWR4110 Ltd and the WSRA Trustees understand this is the reason the locomotive cannot be made available at a lower price.
An internal bid which was led by GWR 4110 Ltd and supported by the WSRA, who would have taken a shareholding and they worked hard in a short period of time to secure the funds but were unable to make a competitive bid within the time required.
It has been agreed that 4110 will move to the Paignton and Dartmouth Railway, with the sale now agreed, however, 4110 will return to the WSR to appear at a gala at no extra cost.
However, there is still plenty to do on the WSR before the start of the operating season, 9351 nears completion at Williton. At Minehead, staff are busy preparing other members of the locomotive fleet including 53808 ready for the new season.
What did the officials say?
Paul Orrells, Chair of GWR 4110 Ltd said
“To all our friends and colleagues, on the WSR and further afield, who took the trouble to offer their encouragement and support we offer our thanks”
Jonathan Jones Pratt, Chair of WSR plc said
“It was with regret that the decision had to be made to dispose of 4110 but such was done in the best interests of the overall Railway and where we stand today. The collective buy in has been tremendous and I wish to thank every one of you who have tried to help, sadly the decision had to be made as we were unable to bridge the gap between offers.”
Paul Whitehouse Chair of WSRA said
“It was hugely encouraging to see so many WSR supporters come together to try to keep 4110 on the railway”