It will be back to the 19th century at the Leighton Buzzard Railway on the weekend of 15th-16th September, when the annual Steam-Up event sees one of its most popular steam engines restored to its original condition.

“Chaloner” was built in 1877 in Caernarfon, North Wales, to work in the local slate quarries, and is the only one of this “coffee-pot” vertical-boiler type in working order. Despite the adverse climate high in Snowdonia, it was always believed to have no weather protection for the crews—until now!

While “Chaloner” was on display in Caernarfon last year, somebody brought in a photo of it when new, showing very clearly that it originally had a cab, and that this changed its appearance completely. It had been sold to another quarry in 1888, and it is believed the cab was removed there, because of tight clearances in tunnels.

Never ones to refuse challenges, its owners set about recreating the original appearance, calculating measurements for a new cab from the photo. It was manufactured in Leighton Buzzard by B & Z Metalcraft, and will appear in public for the first time at the Steam-Up event.

The theme of the event will be the slate quarrying industry, where British narrow-gauge railways first started, with no fewer than three steam engines with slate-industry backgrounds visiting for the first time.

An intensive passenger service will run on both days, with departures every 35 minutes, and lots of engine changes and photo opportunities. Miniature trains, also with a North Wales theme, will operate at Stonehenge Works station.


Another addition to the Leighton Buzzard Railway’s steam locomotive fleet should have been delivered in time for the Steam-Up event on 15th-16th September.

Named “Nutty” after the nickname of its driver, it was built in Shrewsbury in 1927 for a London Brick Company works near Peterborough, and others of the same type were used in the Marston Vale brickfields. It was replaced by diesel power in the 1960s, and bought for preservation by a group of enthusiasts, since when it has had several homes.

It is not in working order, and is on long-term loan as a static exhibit only. It will be located under cover at Stonehenge Works.

Like the much older “Chaloner”, it has a vertical “coffee-pot” boiler, but is a more advanced machine, with high boiler pressure and chain drives to the axles.

• For photo requests and other media enquiries concerning the Leighton Buzzard Railway, please contact Mervyn Leah marketing@lbngrs.org.uk . Public enquiries are on 01525 373888, or station@lbngrs.org.uk. For the full story, visit our website at www.buzzrail.co.uk.

Posted on: 06/09/2012