Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by robgolding96, Nov 17, 2008.
One could also say "why not" ! Then of course why rebuild the WHR, Tornado etc etc.
Well, I think for a start it's a story here because, well it's a narrow gauge engine, so that's why there is so much interest from the narrow gauge community...
It's also historically significant, being the only L&B locomotive to survive, and the mystery is well known so hence the interest
I'm a bit with John on this one as I've never seen why the L&B is held in such high status in the NG world. It wasn't like it was the FR of the West Country with groundbreaking technology and becoming internationally famous as a result. It seemed a rather ill-thought out railway and was pretty unsuccessful. Similar to some respects to the Leek & Manifold which closed in the same era yet has none of the mythical status as the L&B. I'm sure it's a nice ride through Exmoor but sometimes I'm not sure why is deserves the status it has obtained.
I think there's going to be a lot of people who will disagree with you there !!
I think a lot is to do with people's memories of summer holidays in the West Country, all mixed up with "Lorna Doone" and Camelot and the Atlantic Coast - why are west country branch lines popular when, say, NER ones are less so? Then add the fact that the line closed when the railway's were still in something of a golden age, and the L&B presents an inevitably romantic subject; and the story of Lew just adds to that mystique. Plus the L&B was very largely a passenger line, unlike some other narrow gauge line, so plenty of people (not enough, but plenty...) rode on it during its first heyday.
Whereas, with respect - a lost Jinty, or a lost 8F or USA 2-8-0? Really, who cares beyond a few nerdy railway enthusiasts. Very little romance in a workaday go-anywhere engine like an 8F being lost in a desert somewhere, and even less so when there are plenty of 8Fs still preserved here.
That said, removing my pragmatic everyman view of the world, and donning my nerdy railway enthusiast cape - surely there must be an Ilfracombe Goods somewhere hidden in Palestine? :cheer2:
Sorry Neil to totally disagree with you, but for me it has always had the Narrow Gauge project impossible tag, also unlike our Welsh cousins who are all hemmed up in one part of Wales and most of them have worked in industry. The L&BR, was built by a group of people who had money, power and contacts that most of us would give our back teeth to have today. Railways where build to make people wealthy. The L&BR was built to stop the likes of us getting to Lynton on Beanos and such like. It was a rich mans toy if you like, a bit like the RH&DR in Kent.
Its influence is far and wide and not only in Heritage railway terms, the L&BR is or will be the most modeled railway when in comes to something outside of Wales in 009 in the next few years.
Also you have the Southern Railway connection which very few other British narrow gauge railways had (except the V of R and Corris (GWR) and the L&MR (LMS)).
As Paul Gower keeps telling me the L&BR was like Marlyn Monroe, who lived and died young. I guess that is what attracts people to it.
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