NEW! Check out our Sponsorship Page for a last-gasp opportunity to support LYN with the final components needed!
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 which was reassembled at Pilton. All four locomotives were named after three-letter Devon rivers. The Baldwin was named 'LYN' but 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 - was formed in 2009 to design, construct, own and maintain a replacement Baldwin 2-4-2 - also named LYN of course - for operation on the new Lynton & Barnstaple Railway. Some eight years later, LYN is almost complete, and was launched at the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Autumn Gala on 30 September 2017.
The resurgent Lynton & Barnstaple Railway is planning to increase thelength of line from Woody Bay to Wistlandpound via Blackmoor gate and eventually 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.
The new locomotive has been built to have an appearance very similar to the original - in the condition that it returned from a rebuild at Eastleigh works in 1929. However, we have also provided an efficient, easy-to-maintain and powerful engine that is fit for very many years service into the 21st Century. So, for example, there are roller bearings for the wheels, coupling and connecting rods, higher boiler pressure, welded tanks and numerous other improvements.
Whilst memberships are now fully subscribed we still require funds to complete the project, so why not join us today!?
Join us now, and get acquainted with "LYN"
If you would like any further information about the 762 Club, please get in touch with the team via the contacts page.
Now that LYN has arrived at Woody Bay, currently undergoing commissioning trials, The 762 Club is on the last lap of this unique, fascinating and exciting project, and we have - at the time of writing - created the world's newest steam engine, of which we are all very proud.
There is still some work to be done - and funds to be raised - before LYN can be formally handed over to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway to operate from Woody Bay and, once the current expansion plans have been realised, to Blackmoor, Wistlandpound and all points north and south!
If you would like to help out with funding the final phase of the 762 Club project, please see our sponsorship pages for details of the last few components needed to be paid for, download our Commissioning Appeal leaflet, or contact us about making a donation, however big or small, to support LYN into a long and profitable working life...
In 1923, The Southern Railway took over ownership of the line, and introduced a number of improvements including, in 1925, ordering a fourth Manning Wardle - LEW - for the line.
Apart from LEW, all the locomotives were broken up for scrap in the railway's yard at Pilton shortly after closure in 1935. Being the newest, LEW was saved for use during the dismantling of the line, and was eventually refurbished and shipped off to somewhere in South America and an uncertain, obscure, and so-far undiscovered future.
Who knows what might happen regarding replacing those long-lost locomotives, but well, WATCH THIS SPACE!...