Volunteers are on track to keep a visitor attraction running thanks to a donation.
Woodhorn Narrow Gauge Railway is celebrating the arrival of a new locomotive thanks to £4,400 from the Rio Tinto Legacy Fund.
The railway, in the grounds of Woodhorn Museum, used the money the buy an 18-year-old, 25bp Hunslet engine to take the strain off its current Hunslet locomotive, which is close to 40-years-old.
Stan Lawler, secretary of Woodhorn Narrow Gauge Railway Society, said: “Keeping our original Hunslet in service was becoming increasingly difficult.
“The Leeds-based factory closed in 1995, making it both problematic and costly to find replacement parts.
“With Rio Tinto’s funding, we have been able to buy another Hunslet that’s in fantastic condition with just a few hours of running time on the clock.”
Joanne Hannay, regional economic development assistant at Rio Tinto, said: “This is a project that touches the lives of so many of our former colleagues and the wider community. We are delighted to be able to support the railway and help to preserve an important part of local history for future generations.”
Minor modifications are taking place on the new engine, which will be called ‘Rio-Gen’.
The railway operates from February 1 to December 24, and attracts more than 18,000 visitors a year.