West Lancashire Light Railway (photos)

The west Lancashire light railway is a short line narrow gauge steam railway in the north west of England. Situated close to Preston, at Hesketh bank (PR4 6SP), it is the perfect day out for any train enthusiast or family. Tickets are really well priced and they have food and drinks too, what more could you ask for.

With a large collection of steam, diesel, electric and petrol locomotives it is a fantastic chance to see a wide variety of industrial machines. Some of them are lovingly restored already, some are in ‘as received’ condition, which in all honesty can be as fascinating to see.

Of course the main attraction is the 400m line, offering stunning views in to the woods as you are gently pulled down the track.

The steam engine in use on the day I went down is Joffre, Joffre was built by Kerr-Stuart in 1915, works no.2405. It is an 0-6-0 tank + well tank, one of a batch of 70 made under licence from Deauville for the French Government Artillery Railways.

After the war five were purchased by a quarry at Rinxent, near Calais. These are the only examples known to survive. All returned to the UK in 1974.

The West Lancashire Light Railway acquired one of the locomotives, and it arrived on site in 1974. After some twenty years in storage restoration work began. It was completed in 2012. This was Joffre’s final day before being sent away for it’s 10 year inspection.

A brilliant day out for the whole family and definitely one of Lancashire’s finest steam lines.

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