Doll steams again at Leighton Buzzard

The Leighton Buzzard railway can now field seven operational steam locomotives, as the overhaul of Andrew Barclay 0-6-0T Doll is nearing completion.

Andrew Barclay 0-6-0T Doll blows off steam outside Page’s Park shed at the Leighton Buzzard Railway on March 5. MARK CLIFFORD

Andrew Barclay 0-6-0T Doll blows off steam outside Page’s Park shed at the Leighton Buzzard Railway on March 5. MARK CLIFFORD

The locomotive moved under its own steam for the first time in over four years on March 5 at the railway’s Page’s Park terminus, steaming over a short length of track in the yard.

LBR Press officer, Steve Doughty, said: “It will be a while before she is ready for traffic as the air brake system remains to be completed plus of course running-in trials.” 

The overhaul was started in 2015 after the LBR’s Orenstein & Koppel 0-4-0WT P. C. Allen had been returned to steam. Doll received a full ‘bottom end’ overhaul and the boiler was re-tubed.

Once Doll returns to traffic, it will join P. C. Allen, Baldwin 4-6-0PT No. 778, DeWinton 0-4-0VBT Chaloner, Bagueley 0-4-0ST Rishra and O&K 0-6-0WTs Elf and Pedemoura – the latter hauling its first revenue-earning services in preservation in July last year.

Built by the Kilmarnock firm in 1919, Doll was one of three identical locomotives ordered for the Sydenham ironstone quarries near Banbury in Oxfordshire. The 2ft gauge locomotive was withdrawn in 1959 from the Bilston steelworks near Wolverhampton in 1959 and preserved by preservationist and multiple locomotive owner Max Sinclair the following year. A decade after its withdrawal, Doll arrived at Leighton Buzzard and has stayed there ever since.