News and Events

2678 to Regain IOW Bunker

Published: Tuesday, 14 May 2019 11:40
2678 largely dismantled at Rolvenden on 11 May 2019 © Graham Hukins

The Trust's 1880-built “Terrier” locomotive, 2678, is to be fitted with an “Isle of Wight-style” bunker as part of the overhaul that is currently underway at Rolvenden Locomotive Works.

The work is part of Terrier 150 – the programme recently-launched by the two organisations that will encompass overhauls of 2678 and sister Terrier No. 3 Bodiam in readiness for decade-long series of activities to celebrate the 150th Birthday of the extremely popular class of tank-engines and to tell the story of the versatile and diminutive locos.

Amongst the first events marked as part of the progamme, will be the 80th anniversary of 2678 arriving on the K&ESR which falls early next year. 2678 was hired from the Southern Railway and pressed into K&ESR service on 15 February 1940 to cover a “temporary” locomotive shortage. The dearth of operational engines was in fact so severe that 2678 was based at the K&ESR for 6,821 days - eventually leaving in October 1958 when 03 Class diesels took over duties on the line. During her time on the K&ESR, traffic levels had soared during WWII, the line became part of British Railway with Nationalisation in 1948 and passenger services were withdrawn in 1954!

Announcing the news to the Trust’s AGM on 11 May, TTT Trustee, Graham Hukins, said, “2678 played a part through several key chapters in the K&ESR’s history and throughout that time, she had the distinctive Isle of Wight bunker fitted in the early 1930s when she had a spell on the island as W14 Bembridge. We feel it is right to take the opportunity afforded by the current overhaul and fund-raising appeal to restore her to that condition.”

K&ESR, Director, Robin White added, “The change is also being made with one eye on the future as the extended bunker will increase coal capacity which is an important consideration with future running to Robertsbridge a real possibility. The extra fuel storage will allow 2678 to complete two return trips from Tenterden to Robertsbridge without the need for a time-consuming stop for re-coaling.”

£150,000 is required to fund the Terrier 150 project with TTT and K&ESR having launched a fund-raising appeal in April. Graham said, “The initial response has been very encouraging with over one-third of the target being committed in the first few weeks but we need to keep up momentum and ensure donations keep pace with expenditure on the overhauls and the ambitious timescales needed to ensure 2678 and No. 3 are both in action for key anniversaries.”

Further details of Terrier 150 and details of how to contribute can be found at www.TerrierTrust.org.uk/appeal. The Donations, no matter how large or small and whether one-off or regular will all be appreciated and can be made by cheque, standing order or online. Donations of certain denominations, including £150, £650, £1872, £6821 and £32670 will attract additional benefits by way of a thank you. The figures corresponding to significant numbers in history of the two locomotives’, with the benefit for the top level being exclusive use of K&ESR and the two Terriers on a non-public running day for donor and up to 50 guests.