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Fifty years of ironstone quarrying at Pilton in rural Rutland finally came to an end on 7th June 1969 when quarry steam locomotive STAMFORD worked its last train load of ironstone at Pilton Ironstone Quarry in Rutland. Upon quarry closure the STAMFORD locomotive assisted with track lifting on the quarry railway as required until October of that year when it was secured for preservation and taken to the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex.


This black and white image shows loco Stamford at work in the ironstone quarry in Rutland

In 2010 the locomotive returned to Rutland being on loan to Rocks by Rail – the Living Ironstone Museum situated near Cottesmore, Rutland. Last year the Bluebell Railway agreed to sell this historic locomotive and the Museum launched a campaign to raise funds to retain the locomotive within Rutland and to conserve it as a museum exhibit at the volunteer run museum on public display. Built by the Avonside Engine Company in Bristol in 1927 STAMFORD is one of only a very few steam locomotives that worked in Rutland’s ironstone quarries to survive into preservation.

The museum is now delighted to announce that fund raising to acquire the locomotive has been successful and that loco STAMFORD will now be staying in Rutland, where it spent all its working life. The Museum Trustees would like to thank Cottesmore Parish Council, Museum Members and the public for making donations to secure the loco’s purchase. Whilst the purchase price has been raised the Appeal Fund will remain open and the museum would be pleased to receive any other donations, large or small, which would enable us to ensure that this historic 94-year-old steam locomotive can be repaired and conserved.


Museum Trustee David Atkinson hands the final instalment to Paul Russell, Locomotive Engineering Director of the Bluebell Railway, to secure the loco’s purchase on 27th November 2021 at Sheffield Park Station, Bluebell Railway  


The Museum would welcome any offers of help and donations in the furtherance of this project. Any donations by way of cheques should marked on rear “Stamford Loco Appeal” and be made out to Rutland Railway Museum and sent to:

Mr A Salmon, RBR Treasurer, 4 Main Street, Stanford on Soar, Loughborough  LE12 5PY

For donors willing to donate as Gift Aid there is an RBR Gift Aid Form which is available via email from the Curator


For donors wanting to make their gift by bank transfer please contact the Treasurer for these details on email

Rocks by Rail – The Living Ironstone Museum, Cottesmore Iron Ore Mines Sidings, Ashwell Road, Cottesmore, Rutland LE15 7FF

Tel: 01572 868415