No.16 Robert Snooks

Robert Snooks

Robert Snooks and was built by Alf Manktelow in 1999 to the Moors Valley Railway large tank engine design principles first laid down with the construction of Jason in 1986.

The main difference was the wheel arrangement, with Robert Snooks being an 0-4-4T as opposed to the more standard 2-4-4T wheel arrangement seen on Jason.

Like Jason, Robert Snooks featured 3½″ bore cylinders and Walschaerts valve gear making it a very powerful locomotive for its size and capable of hauling the 13 coach trains running during the summer season.

The styling was based on that of the ex-Southern Railway 0-4-4T class 02 tank locomotives that used to run on the Isle of Wight for many years, and the loco was finished in full British Railways lined black livery.

As a former engineman from the days of BR steam, Alf paid careful attention to detail including fitting a full set of lamp brackets, head-code discs and even a notebook holder in the cab, all of which gave it the feel of being on the footplate of a full size engine.

The loco was sold in 2016 and was moved away to the East Herts Miniature Railway where it was renamed Ettie Faith by its new owner. It has since been sold again and can now be found running at the Echills Wood railway in Sutton Coldfield.