Great Central memories are rekindled at Finmere station

BRIAN Stabler named his 88DS class 4wD No. 46 (Ruston & Hornsby 242868 of 1946) Heather, in honour of his wife, on October 15.

He bought the loco in 2015 and moved it from the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway to the private site at Finmere station (ex-GCR), Oxfordshire, in 2016, following completion of restoration.

Owner Brian Stabler reveals the name Heather on his Ruston & Hornsby at Finmere station on October 15, but his wife was unable to be present as she was in a nursing home. Sadly, she passed away in early November. PHIL MARSH

It now has a solar panel on the cab roof to keep the battery charged, and is dual-braked. It sees use shunting the growing amount of stock at the Finmere site.

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Previously, the loco had been based at the Northampton Ironstone Railway Trust, Hunsbury, and on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway. It was delivered new to the Gas Light & Coke Co, Southall from Ruston’s Boultham Works on November 1, 1946.

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