Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Groudle Glen Railway launches two new steam locomotives

Steam engines Brown Bear and Otter side-by-side Image copyright GGR
Image caption The new engines have started operating on passenger services

Volunteers at a Manx heritage railway have launched two new replica steam engines based on century-old models.

Named Brown Bear and Otter, the trains have been added to the rolling stock at Groudle Glen Railway in Onchan.

The narrow-gauge locomotives are modelled on plans for engines first built in the early 1900s by Bagnalls in Stafford.

Brown Bear is a replica of a train named Polar Bear, which ran on the line from 1905.

Image caption Passengers had the chance to see the new engines in action on Sunday

The names were inspired by animals kept at a zoo that was in the glen during Victorian times.

Railway chairman Trevor Nall said it was a "very special day".

The six-year project to build Brown Bear cost £120,000, collected through a fundraising campaign, while Otter cost about £70,000, partly paid for through a charitable grant.

Image caption The names of the trains were inspired by a former zoo

Steve Oates, chief executive of the Heritage Railway Association, said heritage railways had "huge value in drawing visitors" and the launch of two new locomotives was "great news".

Opened in 1896, the railway fell into disuse after World War Two but was restored in the early 1980s.

Image copyright GGR
Image caption Brown Bear was officially unveiled by Tynwald President Steve Rodan
Image caption Richard Booth, who helped to restore the railway in the 1980s, said the engine was "working very well"
Image copyright GGR
Image caption Brown Bear will now work alongside original locomotive Sea Lion
Image copyright GGR
Image caption Polar Bear was originally brought in to work alongside Sea Lion in 1905
Image caption The railway boasts cliff top views from Onchan Head

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