Buzzrail’s latest baby steams into town

Steaming proudly into town, the latest addition to Buzzrail's fleet - Pedemoura
Steaming proudly into town, the latest addition to Buzzrail's fleet - Pedemoura

A new locomotive has joined the operating fleet at Leighton Buzzard Railway – and she’s the largest on the line today.

Built in Berlin in 1924 by Orenstein & Koppel, Pedemoura – or Ped to her fans – was made for the Pedorido coal mine in Portugal’s Douro valley.

She was imported to the UK in 1972 for preservation and was housed for many years at the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway at Gelert’s Farm, Porthmadog.

But the arrival of original Welsh Highland locomotive Russell put paid to work on her restoration and poor Ped was sidelined.

It was resumed when she came to Leighton Buzzard Railway in 2005.

Now a nonagenarian, she was last in steam almost 50 years ago.

Buzzrail vice president Alf Fisher said: “As far as we know, Pedemoura has never pulled a train with fare-paying passengers. It’s quite possible that until she undertook some test runs, she’d never pulled a passenger train of any kind.

“Ped is a powerful machine, at 90hp much larger than her two Orenstein & Koppel sisters based at Leighton Buzzard Railway – Elf, 50hp and P C Allen, 20hp.”

He added: “Weighing in at 13 tons, she will be well capable of pulling our heaviest trains and will be an invaluable addition to the fleet.”

Alf congratulated the dedicated team who’d worked so hard to return her to steam.

A formal rededication will take place in due course.

Leighton Buzzard Railway is an accredited museum with a history linked to the sand quarrying industry around town. In addition to equipment from that era, the Railway has built up a significant collection of Great War vintage narrow gauge material.

Buzzrail is based at Page’s Park and the line runs to Stonehenge Works adjacent to the sdand quarries which the original industrial railway was built to serve.

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