Whipsnade goes loco!
Friday 29 July 2005
There’s a platform party down at Whipsnade for the 35th anniversary of the railway this bank holiday weekend.
Our engines have been chugging their way past elephant and rhino for the past three and half decades and after being thoroughly buffed and brushed up they are ready to party!
The weekend should be a real engine extravaganza as our locomotives are to be joined by “Lord of the Isles” a 1915 Fowler traction engine which will be parked in between the station and the tiger enclosure. The engine will be in full steam over the three days and some lucky visitors may even get the chance to step up onto the footplate and see the workings of the engine from a much closer angle. Engineers will be more than happy to explain the history and workings of this most majestic of machines.
There will be plenty of other wild activities to keep the whole family happy including a fancy dress competition on Saturday morning. Any child dressed in an African theme will be given a free train ride and could even win the opportunity to name one of our lionesses. So, for a unique mixture of education, fun and entertainment, come along and join the party!
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Notes to editors
- Built in 1970 by Bill McAlpine of the McAlpine Construction family. The line was initially built in two halves.
- We currently have two steam locomotives Superior and Excelsior as well as two diesels Hector and Hercules.
- Superior returned to the park at Easter this year after a £75K rebuild. The rebuild took nearly two years as many of her parts had to be individually designed and built.
- Each engine pulls five carriages which carry up to 125 visitors on the 15 minute ride through the Asian region of the park.
- Animals which can be viewed from the train ride are: Asian elephants (including our two baby elephants), greater asiatic one horned rhino, bactrian camels, yaks, onagers and a host of deer and antelope.
- “Lord of the Isles” was built in 1915 and was initially used as a general purpose engine on an estate in Cambridgeshire for threshing and grinding corn and general haulage. It weighs 11 ton, travels at a top speed of 4.5 miles per hour, consumes half a ton of coal and 500 gallons of water per day. It takes l hour to get the steam up.
- Children under the age of 12 who wish to enter the fancy dress competition need to register at the main gate by 10.30am at the latest.
Julie Yorke - email@example.com - 01582 871 303