EXMOOR STEAM RAILWAY - DEVON - UK

Denzil shunts whilst Bella waits its next tripThree engines (Yeo Valley, lorna Doone, River Churnet) at Exmoor in 1993

Denzil Shunts the stock in the main station in 2005 & an early view with Yeo Valley, Lorna Doone(1st) &  River Churnet in 1993

History

The Exmoor Steam Railway ran at Bratton Fleming on Exmoor in North Devon and was built by the Stirland Family and opened in August 1990. It sadly closed to the public in 2001 when the family decided to concentrate on building steam engines and railways. It's also home to a collection of 2 foot gauge Beyer Garratt engines re imported from South Africa. Exmoor is probably the most prolific  builder of significant sized steam engines in the world. Currently 2 or 3 new steam locomotives emerge each year for gauges from 7.25 inch to 2 feet. A stream of engines departing for service or returning for overhaul takes place. The 12.25 inch gauge railway was extended during autumn 2008 and 2009.  This added a very steep section with a down gradient of 1 in 25 and then an up gradient of 1 in 28. This tests even the most powerful steam locomotives.

As the following pictures show the 12.25 inch gauge railway is still in occasional  private use.

Lorna Doone raises steam August 8th 2006

A resident engine No330 Lorna Doone steams up in August 2006

The Exmoor Steam railway was the main driving force behind the building of the very successful railway at Exbury Gardens in Hampshire.

The video was taken in 2008 on a private test steaming and shows Lorna Doone

Equipment & Trains

The railways at Exmoor are of two main gauges. The railway built to take visitors around the gardens is 12.25 inch gauge. The resident steam engine is an 0-4-2 Tender tank Locomotive Denzil Built in 1995. A number of locomotives have run here either on trial before delivery or prior to re gauging for other railways. There are bogie coaches and  bogie wagons available for use on this railway. Short sections of 10.25 & 15 inch gauge track are also present for testing new locomotives.

Denzil & Lorns Doone August 2006

Lorna Doone & Denzil wait to leave August 8th 2006

However there is also a large collection of nominal two foot gauge locomotives including 4 Beyer Garratt  steam locomotives of classes NGG 13 & 16 re-imported into the UK from South Africa. there is also a 2-8-2 NGG 15 class tender locomotive from South Africa. The numbers are:

Beyer Garratt No.109 at Exmoor

Beyer Garratt No 109 at Exmoor in 2000

NGG13 No. 77

NGG13 No.77

NGG15 No. 135

NGG16 Nos. 87#, 109+, 115, 130

NGG No.115

NGG 130

 #No. 87 built by Cockerill works No 3267 built 1937 has been sold for use on the Welsh Highland Railway in Wales and moved to Portmadoc on 3 February 2006. It returned to regular service in 2009.

+No. 109 was sold to the Waterman Trust in 2009 and moved to Crewe for repair. It is likely to move on to the Welsh Highland Railway when restored to working order.

There are also 3 diesel locomotives and a variety of rolling stock of 2 foot and 2 foot 6inch gauge on the site

New Exmoor Built Locomotives

Merlin on test Sept 2000

New engine 296 on Test at Exmoor Sept 2000

Merlin ready for painting in 1998

A new engine (Merlin) No.296 ready for painting 1998

Amy louise is haeded for brookside garden centre Cheshire

Amy Louise No.314 nears completion

The sadly never completed Meyer type engine

A Meyer No.298 is one of a number of the fascinating engines that have never emerged from Exmoor

The works at Exmoor build their locomotives from scratch including the boilers to a very high standard. They have also advised and assisted many people to set up or expand public and private railways.

 Double Headed at Exmoor

Double headed at Exmoor are Ashorne & Denzil with all the available rolling stock

St Christopher at Exmoor Sept 2000

A 15 inch gauge 2-6-2T ST. Christopher No 311 in early stages of construction

Two exmoor engines plus E. R. Calthrope ar rudyard lake

Two Exmoor engines King Arthur & Pendragon contrast with the scale Leek & Manifold Engine from Trago Mills at the Rudyard Lake Rly in Sep 2007

If you want a steam locomotive of this type built you can do no better than ring/Fax  Trevor Stirland on  01598 710711. It must be emphasised that this is a private site and not open to the public or callers without a specific pre arranged appointment.

7.25 inch gauge 0-4-2T under construction

A seven an a quarter inch gauge 0-4-2T nears completion Sep 2000

A busy production scene 2006

Pendragon after re gauging and Brasken a brand new engine 5 March 2006

Side view of Lorns Doone August 8th 2006

Lorna Doone  a Denzil type engine but with larger boiler & cylinders was completed August 2006

Victoria was intended for the Tintern steam Railway

Victoria was completed in late 2007 for the sadly abortive Tintern Steam Railway. It was sold on for use on a new line in Yorkshire

10.25 inch gauge 2-4-2 for the Mortocombe railway

The next 10.25 inch gauge 2-4-2T was well underway in Autumn 2007and was completed in Summer 2008 in maroon livery

Dennis, Lorns Doone & Victoria at Exmoor in 2008

Three maroon engines together at Exmoor on April 3rd 2008 - Dennis, Lorna Doone & Victoria

Dennis basks in the sun

Dennis is now 12.25 inch gauge ( was 15 inch gauge) and back home at Exmoor after returning from its former home in Cornwall

This engine is arguably Exmoor's finest so far for the Exbury Gardens Railway in Hampshire in May 2008

Mariloo is a 2-6-2 tender engine destined for Exbury Gardens

Mariloo on completion

The new 2-6-2 Tender engine Mariloo No.326 was destined for Exbury Gardens and nears completion in April 2008

It was delivered and took the Queen for a ride at Exbury on Saturday May 3rd after she had formally named it. A sister engine was completed in 2009 and visited Exbury gardens for their steam gala. Informally known as Black Beauty it went in company with Lorna Doone and Ellie.

Black Beauty & Eillie pull up the 1 in 28Ellie at Exmoorin 2009

Black Beauty and Ellie on 1 in 28

No. 325 Black Beauty on the approach to 1 in 28

No.325 poses in the sun October 2009

A number of engines of different gauges are under construction in 2011 as usual.

Eight Exmoor built engines lined up in 2011. The largest gathering yet

A stunning view of 8 Exmoor engines in 2011 (copyright Exmoor Steam Railway)

This website and testimonial comes unsolicited from a satisfied customer who has the privilege of experiencing operating four of these excellent locomotives at Rudyard Lake Steam Railway in Staffordshire. These are Excalibur, Pendragon, Merlin & King Arthur.

Tribute To Ashorne Hall Railway

The Ashorne Hall railway closed in 2002 and by coincidence all the rolling stock was at Exmoor in October 2005 for re-gauging before moving to its  new owners in the Midlands. Special trains ran on October 9th using all the available stock.  The following shows a snapshot of the day. Click here for the story of the  Ashorne Hall Railway . Ashorne  emerged renamed and regauged as No.9 Pendragon in 2006 named after Uther Pendragon who was King Arthur's father.

Ashorne rides the turntable 9 October 2005

Ashorne is at Exmoor for re gauging to 10.25 inch gauge for use at Rudyard lake 9 October 2005

Ashorne & Denzil

Ashorne with original coaches passes over Denzil

Ashorne( Pendtagon) test a bridge at Exmoor

Ashorne( Pendragon) tests the bridge

Ashorne (Pendragon) sits in the sun at Exmoor

Ashorne or Pendragon basks in the sun

Trains pass at Exmoor

Double headed with all the available rolling stock

Double headed up the bank

Double header sets off back on the return with all the stock

Double headed sets of on the return

Ashorne (Pendragon) is driven off the turntable by its new owner

Eileen Hanson puts Ashorne away for the final time  in 2005 before it emerged as Pendragon in March 2006

If you are in the area visit the Trago Mills Steam Railway

Exmoor Steam Railway is a member of Britains Great Little Railways         LTM Engineering build similar coaches, wagons & bogies for these gauges

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Contact us by telephone / fax on 01995 672280

or Email:  info@rlsr.org

or write to us at Rudyard Station, Rudyard,

NR. Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 8PF