The Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway is a heritage railway in North Yorkshire, opened in 1981. On Tuesday, 4th July 2017 members of Bishopthorpe Camera Club and their friends visited the Steam Railway for a photographic outing.
The preserved railway was part of the former Midland Railway route from Skipton to Ilkley which was closed down by British Railways in 1965 over 15 years before the reopening of part of the line.
"Norman" - NCB No. 35 - was built in 1943 and originally used by 154 Railway Operating Company, Long Marston, 24th April 1943 in khaki livery, in readiness for the D-Day landings.
In 1946 "Norman" was bought by the Doncaster Amalgamated Colliery Ltd, and numbered No. 35.
"Ann", a vertical boilered Sentinel locomotive built in 1927, is believed to be the oldest original example of a Sentinel locomotive. All her working life was spent at British Tar Products at Irlam, near Manchester, until about 1969.
An attempt to overhaul this tiny sentinel took place during the 1980s, when a school metalwork teacher took it to the school as a project for some of his students. When the students left, the loco returned to Embsay where she lay derelict and then partly restored for the next 36 years until taken on by Ian Douglas, the railway's Treasurer, as his own project in 1995.
The return to steam was achieved in early 1998, since which it has been used in winter to provide a source of carriage heating in the mornings so that passengers can enjoy warm coaches. Ann is well suited to this as steam can be raised in 45 minutes from cold, or about 15 minutes if the fire is lit the night before.
Great textures - is this a good excuse for me to avoid painting at home?
Wheldale came to the railway from NCB Wheldale Colliery, Castleford, where it had been at work until the early 1980’s. A sad, forlorn looking Wheldale can be viewed at Bolton Abbey Station – at the far end of the platform. It’s expected to move to Embsay when restoration starts in earnest.
Wheldale, a standard Austerity from one of the first batches to be built by Hunslet Engine Company, Leeds, became one of the main locomotives in the railway’s fleet.
A huge fundraising effort is underway to fund its restoration. The cost of this will be well in excess of £100,000 – and that’s using volunteers with free labour!