THE East Lancashire Railway has launched a £340,920 appeal towards the cost of buying current resident Bulleid West Country Light Pacific No. 34092 City of Wells from its three owners.
Richard Greenwood, Graham Bentley and John Adams were approached by the railway about selling the locomotive, dubbed ‘The Volcano’ for its storming main line performances in the Eighties, and lava-like chimney ‘eruptions’ when working hard.
City of Wells visited the ELR on loan, but was unable to return to its longtime Keighley & Worth Valley Railway home because of a bridge failure in Keighley preventing its return by low-loader. Now the line has agreed to buy it outright for an undisclosed sum.
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ELR chairman Mike Kelly said: “Over the past two years we have been honoured to host City of Wells, which since its arrival in July 2015 has become a stalwart of the railway’s locomotive line-up.
“Come rain or shine, from snowy Santa specials and haunted Halloween services to steam galas and luxury diners, Wells has proudly represented the railway and done its bit for our cause and community. It has looked after us and it’s now time for us to look after it.
“The locomotive has resided in the North West for many years, and with the help of our supporters, we can ensure it stays here for many more!
“As a not-for-profit organisation we simply do not have the funds to secure the engine’s future, which is why we are calling upon the support of our railway family to give Wells the home it deserves.
Read more in Issue 235 of HR – on sale now!