Despite Newport being the headliner at the spring gala the locomotive I was most impressed with was number 24 Calbourne.
Calbourne is a member of LSWR O2 Class and was designed by William Adams as a suburban tank engine. Calbourne was built in 1891 at Nine Elms, London and originally numbered 209. After moving from Fratton (where I live ironically) to Exeter, it passed into Southern railway ownership in 1923 and moved to the Isle of Wight two years later where it was given it’s current name and number.
When she arrived on the island she had to be fitted with Westinghouse air brake equipment to allow her to haul island passenger carriages and had an extension fitted to her coal bunker to increase her range of operation.
She remained on the island under British Railway ownership and was retained after steam services ended, with W31 Chale, as a works engine for the Ryde to Shanklin line electrification until withdrawal in March 1967 when electrification of the line was complete.
Calbourne was acquired by the Wight Locomotive Society in 1967 as the flagship locomotive of the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, where she can still be seen today.
Calbourne is the only surviving O2 class locomotive, the remainder having been scrapped. I think we can all agree that we are very grateful that she survived as she is a stunningly pretty little loco.
Thanks for reading!