River Irt and Katie heading for the Great North Steam Fair at Beamish Museum 11th - 14th April

The event, which is held annually, will take place at Beamish from 11th – 14th April and displays a wide variety of road and rail transport exhibits in operation around the museum. A short demonstration line has been laid in The Colliery area and it will be possible for visitors to take a short ride on a train hauled by these locomotives. They will be the first 15-inch gauge locomotives to operate at the museum.

Celebrating its 125th birthday “River Irt”,  built in 1894, was originally named “Muriel”, while “Katie” was built in 1896. Both locomotives were built by Sir Arthur Heywood, and proved that the 15-inch gauge was the minimum that could be used for a practical and functioning railway system. Both locomotives found their way to the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway (R&ER) in 1916/17 and were used for both passenger and granite traffic.

“Muriel” was rebuilt at the Ravenglass workshop, and emerged in 1927 as “River Irt”, the locomotive has hauled passengers on the R&ER since. “Katie” was too small for the R&ER so was sold, first to the Southport Railway and then to the Fairbourne Railway, by 1929 the locomotive was dismantled. The remains of “Katie” found their way back to Ravenglass and after a long rebuild period, the locomotive returned to service in 2017 thanks to the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Preservation Society.

Monday 25th of February 2019

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