In the winter of 2014 the Lavender line welcomed the arrival of a new steam locomotive in the shape of Belgium VBT engine ‘Yvonne’. This unique and curious looking steam engine represents a different side to steam when parts of Europe were experimenting with new designs of steam locomotives to improve efficiency and running costs. 0-4-0 VBT Cockerill ‘Yvonne’ shows that unique design perfectly, with a vertical saturated steam boiler mounted on a ridged steel chassis and supplied with 2 outside cylinders combined with Stephenson’s link motion she truly shows a different side to steam.
‘Yvonne’ was built in Belgium 1920 to a post war design. She spent most of her working life at the Brussels gas works shunting goods around the massive yards that served the works. She proved to be an efficient and much loved loco with her unique designs and great short distance pulling power. After retiring in 1967 she has been seen at a number of preserved railways in the midlands including a spell on the Telford railway where she ran passenger trains. ‘Yvonne’ has spent the past 5 years residing at the Hollycombe steam collection where she has been used on several occasions propelling trains on their standard gauge running line.
In the autumn of 2013 her owner decided to relocate ‘Yvonne’ to a railway that would benefit her use and enjoy the final year of her boiler certificate amongst working members. ‘Yvonne’ arrived at the Lavender line on the weekend of 25th January where she has been assessed for driver training. There are only four Cockerill 0-4-0 VBT engines residing in the UK and ‘Yvonne’ is the only working Cockerill in the country.
‘Yvonne’ is a regular steamer here at the Lavender line as well as having the opportunity to pair up with our resident steam engine Austin 1. Keep an eye out on our latest news and timetable for ‘Yvonne’ running days over the coming months where you can have the opportunity to ride behind this unique and noisy steam engine.