WSR plc Prairie will be sold to WSRA after volunteer buyout plan is rejected


HE West Somerset Railway plc has agreed to sell unrestored GWR 2-6-2T No. 4110 to the West Somerset Railway Association (WSRA), despite the latter not currently having the funds to pay for it.

The move comes after rejection of a proposal to acquire the 1936-built Large Prairie made by a group of WSR staff and volunteers in December.

The locomotive had previously been put on the market by the plc board to raise much-needed funds.

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Large Prairie No. 4110 stands at Minehead station on December 1. PETER NICHOLSON

On December 21, a group of 10 individuals from the WSR’s footplate and workshop departments launched an urgent £120,000 subscription appeal to buy the locomotive as a ‘people’s engine’ for the WSR, thereby safeguarding its future.

Their proposal was to set up a private limited company to raise the asking price of £100,000 (plus £20,000 in the short term for VAT).

In a statement the group said: “During the last few months news of the challenges that the WSR is currently facing have become public. In order for these challenges to be corrected the WSR plc requires significant sums of working capital to be raised quickly.

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