Denzil Shunts the stock in the main station in 2005 & an early view with Yeo Valley, Lorna Doone(1st) & River Churnet in 1993
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.
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.
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 in 2000
NGG13 No. 77
NGG15 No. 135
NGG16 Nos. 87#, 109+, 115, 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
New engine 296 on Test at Exmoor Sept 2000
A new engine (Merlin) No.296 ready for painting 1998
Amy Louise No.314 nears completion
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 are Ashorne & Denzil with all the available rolling stock
A 15 inch gauge 2-6-2T ST. Christopher No 311 in early stages of construction
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.
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
Lorna Doone a Denzil type engine but with larger boiler & cylinders was completed August 2006
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
The next 10.25 inch gauge 2-4-2T was well underway in Autumn 2007and was completed in Summer 2008 in maroon livery
Three maroon engines together at Exmoor on April 3rd 2008 - Dennis, Lorna Doone & Victoria
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
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 and Ellie on 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.
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 is at Exmoor for re gauging to 10.25 inch gauge for use at Rudyard lake 9 October 2005
Ashorne with original coaches passes over Denzil
Ashorne( Pendragon) tests the bridge
Ashorne or Pendragon basks in the sun
Trains pass at Exmoor
Double headed up the bank
Double headed sets of on the return
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
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or write to us at Rudyard Station, Rudyard,
NR. Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 8PF