blythUpon opening, the 3-foot gauge Southwold Railwayrailway took delivery of three 2-4-0T tank engines built by Sharp, Stewart & Co. Ltd – affectionally known as “Sharpies”. They were supplied on hire purchase (!) and named as follows; No.1 Southwold, No.2 Halesworth and No.3 Blyth. [No.1 was returned as ‘surplus to requirements’ after a few years, only to be replaced a few years later with a 2-4-2T with the same name and number.]

Virtual model of Blyth
Virtual model of Blyth

Here at the Southwold Railway Trust we are constructing a replica of No.3 Blyth – the only original locomotive that was in service throughout the whole 50 years of the railway’s operation. Blyth is a key part of the our Heritage Train Project to re-create a complete mixed train such as those running on the line upon opening in 1879. We have completed the design work necessary to create a replica that can run in the 21st Century, as well as a certificated, insured boiler/firebox design designed by Graham Morris. We have already built the main frames, buffer beams and frame stretchers, footplating, footplate brackets, cab floor, motion brackets, chimney, and smokebox door! As well as our own volunteers we also are working with UK companies who have locomotive building expertise.

As we were working from the 19th century general arrangement drawing, it has been necessary to re-design this locomotive almost from first principles: this long and expensive process is now complete, proving an up-to-date 3D Solidworks CAD of the entire loco. A change to the boiler design, to allow us the widest possible range of options for the build, has also been done.

Quotations have been received from a number of locomotive manufacturers and so the locomotive project can be re-vitalised, on a more professional basis, with a new and dedicated team of experts in charge. Further updates will be published here and in the blog.

landscape chimneyOriginally funded by the ‘2-4-0 Club’ – with sponsorship available for individual components – we have now made it even more simple for you to contribute towards this exciting project. Just click below to find out how you can help us return narrow gauge steam in Suffolk to where it rightly belongs!




If you would like to help us build Blyth please click the Donate button below to send us a contribution through PayPal or, if you prefer, you can donate by making regular payments by Standing Order or Direct Debit. If you wish to donate using either of the two latter methods, please contact our Treasurer, Nick Evans, on