Kerr Stuart 0-4-2 saddle tank Stanhope has made a welcome return to the West Lancashire Light Railway.
Stanhope has been loaned from its home at the Apedale Valley Light Railway to help the West Lancashire Light Railway’s own saddle tank Irish Mail with Santa Duties.
It arrived at the railway on a low loader following the recent completion of a new loading track.
The West Lancashire Light Railway Santa Specials are running on Saturdays 11th and 18th December, and Sundays 5th 12th and 19th December.
Trains run to Toyland where Father Christmas will greet them. Children will receive a present from Santa, and adults can enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. The railway is on Station Road, Hesketh Bank, about 10 miles south of Preston in Lancashire.
Stanhope is owned by John Rowlands, a long-standing member of the West Lancashire Light Railway. It was a resident engine from 1999 to 2010 but moved to the Apedale Valley Light Railway, which is run by the Moseley Railway Trust, when their railway started passenger operations. In 2017, it made a brief return to the West Lancashire Light Railway for the railway’s 50th Anniversary, and will now stay at the railway until the middle of 2022.
Kerr Stuart built Stanhope at its California Works in Stoke-on-Trent in 1917. It was the first of the maker’s Tattoo type to be fitted with Hackworth valve gear, a feature that was eventually employed across Kerr Stuart’s standard range of steam locomotives.
More on Stanhope’s history can be seen at: https://avlr.org.uk/moseley-railway-trust/fleet-list/steam-locomotives/s4-stanhope