Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Isle of Wight Steam Railways first “Island Days” event of 2015 and had a brilliant time. The timetable featured one passenger service and a freight train so I was very happy to discover that Calbourne was running. Despite seeing her several times before some locomotives are so iconic that when you think of a railway or museum they are the first thing that comes to mind, with the National Railway Museum its Mallard, with the Mid Hants Railway its Lord Nelson and with the Isle of Wight its the mighty Calbourne.
The locomotive was designed by William Adams as a suburban tank engine for the London and South Western Railway. This locomotive was built in 1891 at Nine Elms and originally numbered 209. After moving from Fratton 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. After passing into British Railways ownership, Calbourne stayed on the Isle of Wight and remained there until withdrawal in 1967, when W24 was purchased by the Wight Locomotive Society. Sadly no other members of the ex-LSWR 02 class survived into preservation.
Thanks for reading.