THE Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway has reached halfway in its fundraiser to restore one of its original locomotives.

Writing on Facebook, a railway spokesman said: “Keeping the restoration of our historic locomotive, The Earl, on track is a mammoth task.

“You have helped us reach halfway in our fundraising efforts, but we must continue to build our resources to finance the completion of the locomotive.”

The railway has been the home of two historic steam locomotives – The Earl and The Countess. These engines were built for the railway’s opening, and are now ‘fan-favourites’, particularly when they appear hauling our replica 1930s W&L train.

The Earl is in the middle of a 10 year overhaul with the Vale of Rheidol Railway in Aberystwyth.

Undertaken by skilled engineers, steam locomotive overhauls are costly but necessary to keep engines in service.

Until the Covid-19 outbreak stopped all work, it was going well and it was planned to have The Earl back in service just after The Countess reaches her 10 year limit of service in February 2021.

This would have avoided any gap in the railway’s ability to run an original W&L engine.

If £30,000 is raised contractors will be asked to reassemble The Earl as a rolling chassis, essentially the bottom half of the locomotive, pending further restoration.

With £90,000, the job could be finished off completely.