Stanhope steam locomotive returns to West Lancashire Light Railway

Kerr Stuart 0-4-2 Saddle Tank Stanhope made a welcome return to the West Lancashire Light Railway.

Stanhope was loaned from home to the Apedale Valley Light Railway to help the West Lancashire Light Railway’s own saddle tank Irish mail with Santa’s homework.

He arrived at the railroad on a low-loader following the recent completion of a new loading track.

The West Lancashire Light Railway Santa Claus specials take place on Saturdays 11th and 18th December and Sundays 5th, 12th and 19th December.

Trains run to Toyland where Santa Claus will greet them. Children will receive a gift from Santa Claus and adults can enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a minced pie. The railway is on Station Road, Hesketh Bank, about 10 miles south of Preston in Lancashire.

Stanhope is owned by John Rowlands, a longtime member of the West Lancashire Light Railway. It was a resident engine from 1999 to 2010, but was transferred to Apedale Valley Light Railway, which is run by the Moseley Railway Trust, when their railway began passenger operations. In 2017 it made a brief return to the West Lancashire Light Railway for the railway’s 50th anniversary and will now remain on the railway until mid-2022.

Kerr Stuart built Stanhope at its California Works in Stoke-on-Trent in 1917. It was the first of the manufacturer’s Tattoo type to be fitted with Hackworth valve gear, a feature which eventually found use in the standard range of steam locomotives from Kerr Stuart.

Safer Stanhope’s the story can be seen at: https://avlr.org.uk/moseley-railway-trust/fleet-list/steam-locomotives/s4-stanhope

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Jose P. Rogers