S160 2-8-0 No. 6046 has commenced test runs on passenger services today on the Churnet Valley Railway.
It has undergone an extensive restoration over the last 4 years in our workshops at Cheddleton. This is a truly historic occasion for the railway, as it is the first time it nearly 15 years that a locomotive has been fully rebuilt on site, and it is also the first time that 6046 has actually operated a service in the UK since delivery from the USA.
We hope that you will understand that as with all things mechanical that problems do and will arise. Whilst we will do our utmost to keep the locomotive in traffic, it must be understood that during this running in process in maybe necessary to remove the locomotive from the passenger service should a fault develop.
After some initial running in at Cheddleton the locomotive will move up to the North Yorkshire Moors railway where it will fulfil a short term hire contract.
It is due to return to Cheddleton in November in readiness for the Santa service and the 2013 season. The locomotive will nominally be based at the Churnet Valley Railway but will see periods on hire to other railways when the CVR steam fleet permits.
Ultimately the locomotive will be prepared for use on Network Rail; therefore there is the possibility that you will see it out and about on the national network showing just what an American 2-8-0 can do.