A HUGE crowd gathered to catch a glimpse of a stunning 90-year-old locomotive originally from Spain – which has now been officially adopted in Cumbria.

Formerly known as The Train from Spain, the locomotive, which was originally built in 1929, was renamed Whillan Beck , after the water course which passes under the railway at its Dalegarth terminus, during a ceremony at the weekend.

Its new home is on the popular Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, a heritage rail line known affectionately as the La’al Ratty.

A group has spent years working on the project to get the German-built Krauss steam locomotive restored and into action on the line.

Extensive works have been carried out over two years to bring it back into working order after spending much of its life off the tracks.

Originally in use in the Seville area of southern Spain, it was put into storage during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.

A group of the locomotives were bought by a Barcelona-based company in the early 2000s who intended to restore them and build a small railway along the coast.

However, the scheme failed to take off and this model was eventually bought by the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway Preservation Society.

Last winter the locomotive was trialled at Ravenglass following initial works undertaken at Old Hall, near Ulverston.

Following the painting of the locomotive in its new Caledonian Railway blue livery, the engine moved north to its new home.

The works carried out include re-machining the interior of the cylinders and improvements to the wheel profile, which made it fully compatible with Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway track.

The locomotive has been in service since March but Saturday’s ceremony marked its official renaming.

The first public train after the naming ceremony departed Ravenglass at 3.10pm that day.

During the ceremony the dedicated team who have worked tirelessly to get Whillan Beck into service were thanked.

Sam Dixon, honorary chairman of the preservation society, said: “Fifty years after introducing their steam locomotive River Mite to the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, the preservation society is delighted to be formally launching and naming their magnificent new Krauss steam locomotive Whillan Beck .

“In service on the railway since March, it has already proven itself to be more than capable of handling the busiest of trains on the railway; a remarkable feat after 85 years stored in Spain.

“We look forward to the locomotive delivering reliable service to the railway for decades to come and continuing as a significant new attraction for the railway.”