KESR Peckett heads home

Rapido Trains UK and its General Manager Andy Hardy have purchased Peckett 0-4-0T 1631 K&ESR stalwart Marcia has been returned to the railway.

One of the smallest standard gauge steam locomotives – and weighing just 12 tons - Marcia was built in 1923 by Peckett and Sons of Bristol. It has worked under numerous owners throughout its life, starting out at Constable’s (Matlock Quarries) Station Quarry in Matlock, then moved in 1932 to Ballochmyle Quarry in Dumfriesshire, owned by Marcus Bain Ltd.

The locomotive will be available for hire joint owners Rapido Trains UK and Andy Hardy have stated.

After a decade it was moved again to the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company, only to be sold later that year to the Manchester Oxide Company. The locomotive was named Marcia after Marcia Clayton, wife of James Clayton, the Works’ managing director. The locomotive was donated to the KESR in 1962 and sold to Richard Beckett in 1965.

Following the owner’s death the locomotive was sold through two auctions. It was then that Rapido Trains and Mr Hardy stepped in to purchase the locomotive and return it to the KESR.

Mr Hardy said: “Owning a locomotive has always been a dream and one I thought I would never realise. Having enjoyed regularly driving Marcia’s sister Teddy in the past I knew just how much fun Marcia could be, and the opportunity to purchase Marcia and bring it back to the KESR was one that couldn’t be missed.”

Rapido Trains owner Jason Shron added: “Helping Andy realise a dream is a delight and an honour. While my personal interests are in oily things that thrash, Andy’s enthusiasm and drive for steam is obvious and we look forward to seeing Marcia return to her home of the last 61 years.”

The locomotive is set to return to Rolvenden in early Summer. Upon arrival, the annual boiler examination will be carried out plus some minor maintenance. Completion of both will see the locomotive return to traffic and it will also be available for hire to other heritage railways. 

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