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Page last updated at 12:59 GMT, Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Jersey train at risk from thieves in South Africa
La Moye
The La Moye engine is currently in South Africa

In Jersey planes, cars, boats and buses are modes of transport we are all familiar with.

But there was a time when trains used to run along the sea front.

They ran in one direction from town out towards Corbierre, and in the other direction out to Gorey, although this was a long time ago.

But what has been described as the last surviving Jersey Railway Engine is now said to be at threat out in South Africa.

It is reported there are attacks on steam locomotives by gun-wielding metal thieves in the country.

La Moye engine
The La Moye engine is at a museum in South Africa

The Steam Railway magazine describes it as an irreplaceable relic, and said the thieves are causing preservations worst-ever international tragedy.

The engine is currently in the South African National and Railway Steam Museum, but parts of it have been taken by thieves for scrap metal.

According to reports, much of the motion, two of the sidebars and most of the brass fittings have been stolen.

Liz Vivian, trustee of Jersey's Pallot Steam Museum, said it was a tragedy.

She said: "It's really sad, it is a tragedy really because it is very rare and irreplaceable.

"It is really frightening to think this can go on and a lot of damage done to locomotives that just can't be replaced."

Jersey's Pallot Steam Museum could rescue the engine if the enthusiasm was there.

That is the suggestion from Howard Johnston, who is an expert in steam engines.

La Moye engine
It's thought to be the last remaining engine from the Jersey Railway

Howard Johnston suggested the Pallot Steam Museum could step in and bring the engine back to the island.

He said: "I think there are ways and means, there are structures in place and people who could provide advice.

"These things aren't cheap, you're talking about thousands of pounds but certainly not tens of thousands of pounds.

"La Moye isn't that big of a locomotive so I don't think it would be too much of a problem if one a sponsor can be found and secondly the enthusiasm was there to do it.

"I think there should be because this is really one of the crown jewels of Jersey."

Have your say
Should money be found to help cover the costs of bringing the engine to Jersey?

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David, Dublin, Ireland

I totally agree with David from St Brelade. Why on earth did they remove the railway tracks from Jersey. Maybe food for thought there. I often go to Jersey and stay in StAubin and I find the StAubin Rd to Victoria Avenue is getting worse traffic wise. They should have a kind of tramway system where the tracks were.

David, St Brelade

definitely bring it back to Jersey. Why did Jersey not keep its railway - when you see the traffic jams now on the coast road from St Helier to St Aubin and vice versa !! They should have had better vision of the future.

Ian, St Clement

Has anyone asked the South Africans? they may want to keep it; after all, the Jersey Railway sold it and was running in S.A. for a lot longer than in Jersey.

Trevor, Scarborough North Yorkshire

Well i have worked in Jersey for over 28 years as a welding contractor each year maybe 5 days or 12 weeks or more depending on the work.

I know Jersey quite well and to bring back that train would great, it would be one great challenge for the steam museum if funding could be sourced. To get it back does not create any engineering problems it's just cost?

After all, you already have some lines and trains at the museum. Come on some of you guys who can afford the costs. What a chance to get some good advert coverage for you Company.

Richard, St Martin

if this what happing to the train then we shourd try a see how we can get in back to jersey in the steam museum here where it will be look after with care from the jersey people

Andrew, St Ouen

I want bring back from South Aficra Steam Locomotive to Jersey so to Museum and display so hop working order shame it is 3ft 6in gauge for Jersey Western Railway it build in Scotland by Andrew Barclay can keep them NOT scarp them only Jersey Stream locomotive (1907) it real so improve in tourism likes in UK and Europe plus rest of world.

Tony, St Brelade

Other items - like War medals - have been brought back to Jersey by subscription, with lots of people joining together to raise the money. I'd be happy to give to something like that and help fund raising for the train if we knew the cost and it could be properly organised.

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