Lew locomotive

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L&B Crest
Lew was delivered in Southern Railway livery
Power type Steam
BuilderManning Wardle (England)
Serial number2042
Build date1925
Gauge1 ft 11.5 in
Leading wheel size2 ft 0 in
Driver size2 ft 9 in
Trailing wheel size2 ft 0 in
Wheelbase6 ft 6 in fixed
17 ft 9 in total
Length22 ft 4 in over buffer beams
Width6 ft 7 in
Height8 ft 11 in
Total weight27 Tons 5 cwt
Fuel typecoal
Fire grate area8.85 sq ft
Heating surface: Total383 sq ft
Cylinder size10.5 in x 16 in
Valve gearJoy
CareerSouthern Railway (L&B)
Somewhere in Brazil
LocaleDevon, South West England
Last runSeptember 1936
Dispositionsold overseas, believed to Brazil - final destination and fate unknown

Manning Wardle 2-6-2T built in 1925 for the narrow gauge Lynton and Barnstaple Railway.

Lew, like the earlier locomotives on the L&B, was named after the River Lew, a local watercourse with a three-letter name.

Lew was similar in design to the previous Manning Wardle locomotives built for the L&B, the main difference being a redesigned cab to eliminate a smoke trap, and give more room to the crew. She was sold at auction along with other L&B equipment in November 1935, after the railway closed. However, she was purchased in December by the dismantler and was used on this task until July 1936.

In September Lew Sailed on SS Sabor - believed to have been destined for a plantation in Brazil, but since leaving Swansea, has disappeared and hasn't been heard of since.

Lew has been the focus of several rail enthusiasts' search efforts. No new information has come to light, but many believe that there is a chance she still exists.

Perchance it is not dead but sleepeth

The tradition of naming L&B steam locos after local watercourses continues into the 21st Century, with Lyd, a replica of Lew (the fourth and final locomotive built to this basic design during the lines original existence), under construction at Boston Lodge on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway. Although an independent project, it is hoped that when completed Lyd will visit Woody Bay. In order to navigate Gernodd tunnel, but still look externally accurate to the original, Lyds cab is to be fitted with adjustable side panels.

Closer to The L&B, the railway's trust currently owns one steam locomotive - renamed Axe - which although it did not serve on the historic L&B, is being rebuilt for eventual use on the new line, currently centred at Woody Bay.