Posted by: travelrat | May 7, 2008

Mariloo’s First Day at Work.

On Sunday, I was invited down to the Exbury Garden Railway. The occasion was the Press launch of their new locomotive, Mariloo.


Now, I’m not going to give a history of the EGR here; I blogged about it last year at  and there’s a link there to an article I wrote for Just Say Go about it.
But, to put things in a nutshell, the railway proved more popular than anyone expected, and, since the two existing steam locomotives could only pull four carriages each, a more powerful engine was required so that, if needed, six carriages could be hauled at busy times.
Once more, owner Leopold de Rothschild (or, ‘Mr. Leo’, as he’s affectionately known) approached the Stirland family, of the Exmoor Steam Railway. Their business is building narrow-gauge steam railways from scratch, and had already built all the EGR’s engines and rolling stock.


‘Make it different’ he said ‘but make it blue, like the others!’


The result was Mariloo,which was the family’s name for Mr. de Rothschild’s mother. I’ll let you judge from my slide show how beautiful the engine is. There may possibly be a podcast later, and some video … although I think I’ll just put in a link to this, rather than embed it in the blog.

After the speeches and presentations, we took a ride around the gardens in a train pulled by Mariloo. It would be tempting to say we were the first passengers, but we weren’t. The previous day the Queen, on a private visit to Exbury, had ridden on her.

 But, as we alighted from the train at the end of the ride, I saw my friend Roger in the waiting crowd on the platform … and he said, later, that at least he could claim to have been among Mariloo’s first fare-paying passengers!

(10/12/11 I’ve had to change the slide show. Click on any image in the gallery to start the carousel)


Thanks to Glenn Brewer for sending me this link to the report on the Queen’s visit













  1. Beautiful pics, and a super loco. Worth clicking on ‘view all images’ to see them individually. I’ll be making use of myself…

  2. I think is great if you have a lot of pictures you want to show … if nothing else, it saves a lot of scrolling down!

  3. I’m going to try myself. And what a gorgeous little train.

  4. […] the basic functions of – take a look at Keith Kellet’s Travel Rat posting about the new narrow gauge steam loco in Exbury Gardens to see some other effects. We live in exciting times. I wonder how long it will be before someone […]

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