Edwin Richard is a tank engine.
A Kerr-Stuart 0-6-0T "Joffre" class locomotive built for service in WW1and used as a regimental mascot at a Royal Engineers Barracks for many years; with the closure of the Barracks however, the engine’s future looked bleak, until the MoD found a place for it on the Skarloey Railway during a locomotive crisis in 1983.
Originally numbered ‘WD 66’, the engine became the SR’s #10, and was named ‘Edwin Richard’ after the Fat Clergyman. Edwin was thus present for Sir Handel’s 1984 return from Wales in ‘Great Little Engines’, but was not depicted in illustrations due to the publishers not wanting to confuse readers with the unexplained appearance of this ‘new’ engine.
The locomotive went on to become one of the most powerful of the Skarloey fleet, however, his services were found to be in need elsewhere on the Island with the rebuilding of the ‘Mountain Road’ section of the Mid Sodor Railway following an unfortunate accident, where Buzz was withdrawn for repairs in 1996 around the completion of Ivo Hugh (hence why he does not appear in the illustrations for ‘New Little Engine’). Edwin stayed there throughout late 1996 and early 1997, completing the extension to Ballamoddey in time.
After this, there was significant interest from the society in buying up Edwin Richard, but the Skarloey Railway were reluctant to accept offers at this time. However, in 2004, while the new MSHR engine is nearing completion and the new extension to Ulfstead Road is looming, a fresh bid was put forward to bring Edwin Richard's power to the Mid Sodor Heritage Railway again. This time, with the Skarloey Railway looking to build or buy a more powerful Diesel, the agreement is struck and Edwin was sold.
Upon arrival at King Orry’s Bridge in mid 2004, Edwin Richard was taken out of his Skarloey Railway guise and received a new coat of burgundy red, with black and yellow lining and made his official debut on the line in their Summer Steam Gala.
Upon arrival at King Orry’s Bridge in mid 2005, Edwin Richard was taken out of his Skarloey Railway guise and received a new coat of burgundy red, with black and yellow lining prior to the opening season in 2006.
Edwin Richard arrived on the Skarloey Railway with a strong Military ethos and state of mind still firmly intact, and used it to lord over the other engines. He soon settled down however, but retained a sense of discipline and general bossiness which tied in with his appreciation of all things Military related.
Upon hearing of his redeployment to the Mid Sodor Heritage Railway, Edwin Richard was unenthused about the prospect of having to operate under the management of amateurs who he claimed would be simply “playing at trains”, but soon came around when he realised the difficult mission that lay in front of the brave and determined volunteers. Upon his deployment there on a full time basis in 2004, he was happy to return again, realising the nature of the line’s arduous topography and realising that he would be essential to its successful running in the future.
As the most experienced engine in the shed, he is very much the Grand Old Man of the group, and has taken a particular interest in Rognvald, mentoring the young engine much as Duke once did Stuart and Falcon.
Edwin Richard is based on the Kerr Stuart Joffre 0-6-0Ts that served in World War One, and saw active service in the trenches.