New Arrival At Cheddleton
The Churnet Valley Railway became home to a popular locomotive on Sempteber 2nd, when Andrew Barclay no. 2226 of 1946 arrived on the railway. Purchased by one of the line's long serving volunteers "Katie", as the loco is named, will be recognisable to many as the locomotive from the nearby Brookside Garden Centre at Poynton where she has been on display since 1992.
Built in 1946 no. 2226 was sent to ICI Dyestuffs in Huddersfield, where she operated trip workings through the extensive network of sidings. She was one of the last steam locomotives to work the site, but was bought by the newly formed Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in 1968. Here she helped to operate the line's early trains, but as these became more popular and bigger locos became available, no. 2226 became used less and less until the expiry of her boiler ticket.
She was eventually sold by the KWVR, from where she was moved to Poynton and formed the focal point of the new picnic area where visitors were able to board her cab at the Garden Centre that she now resided at. A popular attraction, particularly amongst younger visitors, in 2015 information was received that the owner was looking to Katie on, and so CVR MPD volunteer Rob Alcock made an offer to buy the loco he himself remembered climbing on as a child.
The locomotive has now been positioned at the front of Cheddleton MPD whilst Rob completes some other projects around the railway, but the locomotive is considered 95% complete with only a handful of cab fittings missing. It is hoped to commence the overhaul of Katie towars the end of 2017, which once complete will see the locomotive become Cheddleton Station Pilot whilst also being available for hire for special events at other preserved railways.