Replica 3ft Southwold tank within two years?

A NEW-build working replica of one of Southwold Railway’s original locomotives is set to be built in Darlington – and it could bring steam to the Suffolk resort within two years.

As we closed for press, NBR Engineering Services, the engineering arm of Scarborough’s North Bay Railway, was set to sign a contract to finish the building of the replica of 3ft gauge Sharp Stewart 2-4-0 No. 3 Blyth.

One of three sister engines supplied to the line when it opened in 1879, Blyth was the only original locomotive that was in service throughout the entire 50 years of the legendary railway’s operation until it ceased operations in 1929.

A section of a general arrangement drawing of the new Blyth. NBR ENGINEERING LIMITED

The Southwold Railway Trust has already built several components for the locomotive in the main frames, buffer beams and frame stretchers, footplating, footplate brackets, cab floor, motion brackets, chimney, and smokebox door, and has completed much of the design work.

The trust is now busy developing its Southwold Railway Steamworks visitor centre in Blyth Road, on a former gasworks site next to the original formation of the line, and which includes a 7¼in gauge miniature railway.

NBR Engineering Services, which has moved to Darlington, the town where A1 Pacific Tornado was built and where P2 No. 2007 Princes of Wales is rapidly taking shape, has an established track record of its own in building replica steam locomotives.

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