First runs for the Train from Spain

THE Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway’s Train from Spain has made a successful inaugural run for donors to the appeal that has supported its restoration.

Large crowds defied the weather to visit Ravenglass on May 17 to see the locomotive, which was on display for much of the morning, resplendent in its Caledonian Railway blue colours.

The Train From Spain appeal team was also joined by Neil Smith from BBC Radio Cumbria, who orchestrated three live interviews with TFS personnel during the morning programming.

The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway’s Train from Spain approaches Irton Road with a Dalegarth – Ravenglass train on March 24. Now painted in Caledonian blue livery, it entered service the previous weekend and will not be named Whillan Beck until its official unveiling on May 5, but was running on a gala weekend with a ‘Paw Patrol’ theme for children. DAVE RODGERS

The locomotive is Krauss Pacific No. 8457, which was built in 1929 to work at the Ibero-American Exposition in Seville, Spain, but had not worked since 1932. It was bought last year by the 15in gauge Cumbrian line’s preservation society and imported to the UK from Barcelona following the success of the £126,000 Train from Spain appeal.

Set to be formally named Whillan Beck in a ceremony on May 5, the train shunted its own carriages into the station for guests to see it at work.

The inaugural run was almost cancelled when fellow fleet member River Mite was failed at Dalegarth on its first trip of the day, but staff and volunteers rallied round to keep the other trains moving, such that the special train was not affected. River Mite made a full recovery to haul trains again the next day.

The run itself saw the engine glistening in the sunshine and battling through blizzards.

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