L&B restarts new-build Manning Wardle scheme

THE Lynton & Barnstaple Railway has revived its mothballed plan to build a new Manning Wardle 2-6-2T – and intends to build a second one at the same time, at a cost of £1.1 million.

The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust will be launching a project to build the pair at the line’s September 29-30 autumn gala. The gala will see the two existing L&B new-builds, the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways’ updated version of Lew which was built by Manning Wardle & Co for the L&B in 1925, and the recently completed Baldwin 2-4-2T Lyn running together.

The original Yeo and Exe at Barnstaple Town in the 1930s. LBR

At Woody Bay, it will be possible to see – and hear – two L&B engines in action together for the first time since 1935, and on home ground too.

When the heritage line is extended from its present mile to 5½ miles following the Exmoor National Park Authority’s decision to grant planning permission in March, more locomotives and rolling stock will be needed.

As the L&BR Trust is dedicated to rebuilding the line as close to the original as possible, a new Yeo and a new Exe will be built to join the new Lyn. Like the new Lyn, the new Manning Wardles will be identical externally to the originals (with the modified cabs introduced just before World War One) but incorporate subsequent design improvements internally to make them both more powerful and more economical. They will therefore be new engines, not simple replicas.

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