An award-winning attraction in Cornwall has added two diesel locomotives from a much-loved Norfolk railway that closed last year to their fleet.
‘The Duke’ and ‘Howard’ have arrived at Lappa Valley near Newquay from the former Wells Harbour Railway near Fakenham in north Norfolk, along with four semi-covered carriages. The engines will begin their working life at their new home this spring.
Both locomotives, built by renowned railway engineers Alan Keef, will join family favourite ‘Eric’, also built by Alan Keef, and ’Duke of Cornwall’ sharing the work of carrying passengers on the attraction’s half-mile 10.25” gauge Newlyn Downs Branch line.
Ben Harding, Operations Manager at Lappa Valley said: “We were sad to hear that Wells Harbour Railway was closing but pleased to be able to bring the trains and rolling stock to join our hardworking fleet at Cornwall’s secret world of play and trains.”
Lappa Valley also acquired the entire stock of rail, points, and turntables from Wells Harbour Railway. Members of the team spent a week in Norfolk working alongside the former owners dismantling the railway piece by piece, ensuring the track was lifted safely and stored correctly before the 400-mile journey to Cornwall.
“We plan to recondition the turntables and points during the summer,” said Ben “before installing them and relaying the Newlyn Downs Branch line next winter using the more robust steel rail that we acquired from Norfolk.”
Fans of the Wells Harbour Railway visiting Cornwall will be able to once again ride behind ‘The Duke’ and ‘Howard’ and see them in action in their new home where a total of three railways operate for visitors to enjoy.
Ben added: “There are generations of families that have enjoyed memorable days out with us at Lappa Valley. So, we understand the disappointment of those who loved visiting Wells Harbour Railway when it sadly closed. We hope that many will one day visit us to reconnect with those memories and make some new ones with us.”
Any visitors making a special visit to see the newly arrived engines are advised to contact Lappa Valley to confirm which days they will be running to avoid disappointment.