FAIRBOURNE Railway locomotive Yeo is celebrating its 40th birthday this year.
Built in 1978 as works number 1078 by David Curwen and a half-scale replica of a Lynton & Barnstaple Manning Wardle 2-6-2T, it first ran in France on the short-lived Réseau Guerlédan line in Brittany.
FR publicity officer Graham Billington handed over a commemorative headboard to general manager Murray Dods in July. The wording Yeo Ruby Jubilee is a reference also to Yeo’s original name, Jubilee, which the locomotive again carried during the 2012 season to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
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Meanwhile, in addition to paying its visit to the Littlehampton Miniature Railway as part of that line’s 50th anniversary celebrations, the opportunity was also taken for Sherpa, the FR’s 0-4-0ST+T, to call in at the other south coast 12¼in gauge line at Exbury Gardens. There it spent two days working in a variety of combinations with the home fleet, but could not work trains by itself due to a lack of air brakes.
In a reciprocal move, the EGR’s 0-6-2T+T will visit the FR on July 28-29 for the annual gala, the first visiting 12¼in gauge steam locomotive for many years. It will be joined on the 15in gauge dual-gauge track by Evesham Vale Light Railway-based 0-4-0T+T Saint Egwin and former FR 0-6-0 diesel Rachel.
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