Woodhorn Narrow Gauge Railway
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History of the railway
In 1991, The Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives (Wansbeck Council) was given an ex-mining locomotive and three man-riding cars by the NCB, following the closure of Vane Tempest colliery in County Durham. It was decided rather than allow these vehicles to become a static exhibition, it would better serve the heritage of the community if they were made operational and allowed to develop their potential as a visitor attraction. Because of this, a volunteer group was formed to manage and build a railway on which the vehicles could operate.
The line was built, being completed in 1994 and ran from the site of the present Museum, along the side of the QE2 lake, terminating at the platform known as Lakeside Halt. The railway has operated ever since, with the exception of the years when the county Archives were built.
The Black Diamond (Hunslet) One of two current locomotives, the Hunslet is the line's longest serving machine. Delivered to Woodhorn in 1991, primarily as a static exhibit following the closure of Vane Tempest Colliery but is now the lead locomotive of the fleet. He has been renamed as the Black Diamond, out of respect for the industry in which he formerly worked because the name "Hunslet" is picked out on his radiator grill. He remains painted in original livery of green and black. He was built by the Hunslet Engine Company in Leeds. He weighs 9.5 tons, and powered by a four-cylinder water cooled diesel engine, and is in the region of 35 years old.
Edward Stanton (The Schoma) This locomotive came to the railway in 2008 and whilst he was built in Germany, the railway got him after he finished working on the construction of the Channel Tunnel Between England and France, meaning this locomotive is the youngest in our fleet. Edward is a three-cylinder air cooled diesel engine, weighing at around 4.5 tons. He arrived a white livery, but since then has been repainted, and both doors and windows have been added for better safety and operation.
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