THE saga surrounding the sale of West Somerset Railway (WSR)-based GWR 2-6-2T No. 4110 took another unexpected turn on February 3 when it was revealed the unrestored Large Prairie had been sold to the Dartmouth Steam Railway (DSR) at Paignton.
The surprise announcement came just three weeks after the loco’s owner – West Somerset Railway plc – and the West Somerset Railway Association released a joint statement announcing the association was buying No. 4110 in order to safeguard its future for the WSR (RM Feb).
This in turn came after an ‘in-house’ bid to acquire the loco by a group of WSR volunteers and staff (as GWR4110 Ltd) was rejected by the plc board.
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A further joint statement released on February 3 said: “It is with regret that we have to announce that even with the three organisations working closely together, we have been unable to find a way to keep 4110 on the WSR.
“As late as January 25, 2019 we were still in joint discussions to try to find a way to deliver this objective.”
Read more in the March 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now