The Plym Valley Railway Co. Ltd can today announce that it has purchased Andrew Barclay 0-4-0 steam locomotive "Albert" from its private owners meaning that for the first time the Plym Valley Railway (PVR) now owns an operational steam engine- one of our long term goals.
Aaron Cook, Director of Motive Power and Rolling Stock, at a small ceremony at Marsh Mills "Today we are here with a bit of an announcement but before I make the announcement I would like to say a few things. Firstly a massive thank you to everyone who has donated towards the appeal. I can't press home how much this has helped. When Mr and Mrs Liddicoat approached to say the engine is going to be put up for sale we could have never have afforded it and we honestly thought the PVR would be without steam once again. So we started looking at lots of options which include becoming a diesel only railway, hiring a steam engine or the restoration of another steam engine. But it became very quickly apparent that if 'Albert' was to go this would probably mean the end of PVR steam. Knowing how important a steam engine is but also knowing we couldn't possibly afford one as a company we launched the SOS (Save our Steam) appeal. We did wonder if the SOS would be successful as past efforts to raise money have not always been so. This time I can honestly say a massive thank you and I'm so pleased how well we have all done. The Plym Valley Railway Association has given the SOS a massive amount. Thank to all of the community for this. The Plymouth Scouts did a fantastic event for us which raised a large amount of money and was a fantastic day for all. Bernard Mills who I am sure we all know and have seen his many books did a fantastic evening for us and of course all of you who have put your hands in your pockets and donated. Thank you. We managed to get to a total of £31180 of the £40,000 target. I feel we have done really well. This total has allowed the railway to purchase "Albert" which it would not have otherwise done so".
"Albert" is currently undergoing it's annual service and inspection so sadly can't be in steam today. We will organise an event and handover in the year for everyone who has donated and will hand out thank you gifts. If anyone is wanting to still donate to the SOS it is still open https://plymrail.digitickets.co.uk/category/49900 but now at least you know what your donations are going towards. We will be closing the SOS on the 1st February so we can start ordering the gifts and sort the event day. Thank you all once again. Stood next to me is owners Mr and Mrs Liddicoat, I would like to thank them for bringing Albert to the railway and letting us use the engine. "Albert" has kept us in steam for many years and has been the face of the railway. It has been a fantastic engine which they have worked so hard on, especially in the beginning of Albert's time with us. I would also like to thank them for the advance notice and their cooperation every step of the way in giving us the opportunity to acquire the engine."
"Now for the announcement. For the first time ever in the Plym Valley Railway Co. Ltd's history it gives me great pleasure to announce we have been successful in purchasing Albert a full operating steam engine"