Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 09:36 UK

Steam engine joins heritage fleet

West Somerset Railway new Steam Locomotive - Pic:Don Bishop
"Ditcheat Manor" visited West Somerset Railway in 1998

A steam engine built in 1950 will join a fleet of heritage locomotives at West Somerset Railway in Minehead.

The engine, which was built in Swindon in Wiltshire, is a 4-6-0 manor class loco and is called "Ditcheat Manor" after a local Somerset manor house.

It was withdrawn in 1965 and spent years in a Welsh scrapyard until it was rescued in 1980 by Ken Ryder, who has just sold it to West Somerset Railway.

They hope that a fast-track restoration will see it back in use by late 2008.

'Working order'

Robin White, Chairman of the West Somerset Railway Association, said: "The Manor class engines are ideal for the line and the intensive steam service we operate for most of the year.

"We have been able to purchase the locomotive through the wisdom of the association building up a locomotive purchase fund in past years and through the generosity of one individual member in particular.

"We are examining ways of returning "Ditcheat Manor" to working order as rapidly as possible."

Rail link reopens after 30 years
20 Jul 07 |  Somerset
New life for historic locomotive
27 Mar 08 |  Somerset

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