At its opening in May 1898, the legendary narrow-gauge Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in North Devon was equipped with three Manning Wardle 2-6-2 tank engines. Two months later they were joined by a Baldwin 2-4-2 and all four locomotives were named after three-letter Devon rivers. The Baldwin was named 'LYN' but was commonly referred to by the staff as 'the Yankee'. When the Southern Railway took over the line in 1923, they also gave LYN a number: E (For Eastleigh - the Southern shed Pilton was attached to) 762.
The original LYN was built to a unique design, ordered and delivered in a very short time by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, USA and worked on the line until closure. After the auction sale it was reduced to scrap very quickly with only the nameplates surviving. Despite a few teething problems, LYN was a popular and distinctive engine that was also the most powerful on the line - on occasion pulling five-coach trains, one more than normally allowed.
The 762 Club - a registered charity - has been formed to construct, own and maintain a replacement Baldwin 2-4-2 - also named LYN of course - for operation on the renaissant Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. This is your chance to become part of the team that is building the new locomotive, and to ensure that LYN is completed in as short a time as possible.
The resurgent Lynton & Barnstaple Railway is planning to increase the length of line and services, to reconstruct most of the original railway, linking Lynton to Barnstaple again. (See the All Aboard! campaign on the L&B Website.) As part of this, the Railway needs to obtain appropriate locomotives and rolling stock. LYN is the most suitable of the original locomotives for the line in the short to medium term, being efficient, flexible and comfortable - very necessary given the exposed location of the railway. Planning for the design and construction of the new Baldwin has been progressing steadily using original drawings and details with the inclusion of modern requirements. The intention was originally (in 2009) to complete construction by 2012, but 2014/15 is now a more realistic target date, depending on how quickly funds can be raised.
We are building a new locomotive which will have all the appearance of the original - in the condition that it returned from a rebuild at Eastleigh works in 1929. However, we are intending to provide an efficient, easy-to-maintain and powerful engine that is fit for very many years service in the 21st Century. So, for example, there will be roller bearings for the wheels, coupling and connecting rods, higher boiler pressure, welded tanks (with dummy rivets!) and various other improvements.
In this way, we will put the LYN back into the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. The 762 Club is based on a membership - limited to 350 - to provide the finance required to complete the design and construction. In addition there is a list of items both large and small which can be sponsored. This will enable you to provide components and assist the project in the short construction period.
If you would like any further information, please let us know via the contacts page.