Apologies for the late arrival of this train...

Photo: Keith Herbert.
Photo: Keith Herbert.
13 September 2017 3:36PM

A celebration event to mark the launch of the Train from Spain has been cancelled as work on the locomotive is not complete.

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Preservation Society planned to unveil the train next month but has now pulled its Oktoberfest event.

Organisers say delaying the launch will allow adequate time to complete work on the Krauss locomotive No.8457, now known as the Whillan Beck, which the society purchased last year.

Four other locomotives, which had been set to visit in October, are also unable to attend.

The preservation society’s chairman Sam Dixon said: “We anticipated 12 working steam locomotives employed on an intensive week-long gala timetable, with themed food, drink, music and entertainment in support.

“Unfortunately in recent weeks the vision has been eroded by a series of developments largely out of our hands that collectively have significantly reduced the attractiveness of the event.”

The Oktoberfest gala, which had been set to take place between October 21 and 29, had hoped to display two German Krauss steam engines alongside the Whillan Beck.

The Train from Spain was brought to the Lake District from its former home in Mataró, near Barcelona, in February, after a successful fundraising campaign.

Rail enthusiasts voted to rename the train Whillan Beck, after the water course which passes under the railway at its Dalegarth terminus.

They will also change its colour scheme to Caledonian Railway blue.

The locomotive will run on the La’al Ratty line once fully restored.

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