L&B 2‑6‑2T factfile

Model Rail (UK) - - Reviews -

The Lyn­ton & Barn­sta­ple Rail­way prob­a­bly ranks num­ber one in the list of those closed railways whose rep­u­ta­tion far ex­ceeds its con­tri­bu­tion to the na­tion’s trans­port net­work. It was a main line in minia­ture, a strag­gling 20-mile trek across the edge of Exmoor, to link the pop­u­lar twin vil­lages of Lyn­ton and Lyn­mouth with Barn­sta­ple, a main line, and civil­i­sa­tion. The L&B or­dered three 2-6-2Ts from Leeds builder Man­ning War­dle, penned by Wil­liam W. Szlumper. They were hand­some ma­chines, al­most colo­nial in ap­pear­ance. They were un-num­bered but named af­ter lo­cal rivers, Yeo, Exe and Taw, and were de­liv­ered to North Devon in 1897. Yeo and Taw were em­ployed on works trains, while Exe re­mained in store; it was dur­ing the stor­age pe­riod that its in­jec­tor pipework was ‘mod­i­fied’. All three were in use when the L&B opened in May 1898. They’d been joined by a 2-4-2T from US firm Bald­win. They were built with open bunkers and a shrouded cab front, which trapped steam and caused vis­i­bil­ity prob­lems. Be­tween 1903 and 1913, Yeo, Exe and Taw were al­tered to en­close the bunker and cut back the cab front. They were de­liv­ered in dark green with red and black lin­ing-out, but with­out any iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of their owner. Fol­low­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions with the LSWR, the Lyn­ton & Barn­sta­ple Rail­way was ac­quired by the South­ern Rail­way just af­ter the Group­ing. Among its in­vest­ments, the SR or­dered a fourth 2-6-2T from Man­ning War­dle. Called Lew, it was sim­i­lar to the orig­i­nal trio but too dif­fer­ent for Hel­jan to tool as a model. Ini­tially, small plates in­di­cated a change of own­er­ship. Grad­u­ally, how­ever, Yeo, Exe and Taw ap­peared in South­ern colours with num­bers – 759, 760 and 761 re­spec­tively. They worked the line un­til the last train ran on Septem­ber 29 1935. All three went for scrap. How­ever, the re­born Lyn­ton & Barn­sta­ple Rail­way has started work on a replica of Yeo.

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