The restoration of 15” gauge Krupp locomotive ‘Mannertreu’ built in 1937
In 1972 Bressingham Steam Museum founder Alan Bloom rescued two redundant 15” gauge steam locomotives named ‘Mannertreu and Rosenkavalier’ from an amusement park in Germany. They were soon returned to running order and Bressingham’s Waveney Valley Railway was constructed especially for them.
These iconic locomotives ran tirelessly at the museum until they were retired from service, Mannertreu in 2008 and Rosenkavalier in 2010. They have spent well over half of their lives running at the museum as one of our most popular exhibits.
In April 2017 ‘Mannertreu’ was brought out of storage and put on public display for the first time in almost 10 years.
It is in this display area where the engine has been dismantled and the continued restoration will occur. This allows for the public to learn about engineering and steam power as the restoration project progresses.
The museum is seeking funding to help complete this project. The locomotive requires a full overhaul with significant boiler work which will have to be outsourced to a specialist contractor. We need to raise £36,000 to enable Mannertreu to return to steam and to run on our Waveney Valley Railway once again .
Why is this project important to industrial heritage and history?
Friedrick A. G. Krupp of Essen, who generally built larger locomotives, built three 15" narrow gauge 4-6-2 locomotives in 1937, providing passenger transport between exhibition areas at the Düsseldorf Creative Folk Exposition in 1937. These three locomotives are important to industrial heritage because they are the only 15” gauge locomotives ever manufactured by Krupp.
In the following years, between 1938 and 1972, they ran intermittently (approximately only 6 years in total) at other temporary shows and exhibitions throughout Germany, spending many years in storage.
Unlike their previous short and intermittent operation, these iconic locomotives ran tirelessly at Bressingham until they were retired from service. They have spent well over half of their lives serving South Norfolk tourism and remain as one of our most popular exhibits.
This locomotive type and gauge are of cultural significance as small railways from the 1930s became a regular part of the holiday experience for many across Europe. It provides an example of a foreign designed and built machine derived from an essentially British origin. It shows how influential British engineering was at the time, when the designer copied much that was laid down by Henry Greenly but developed it further.
The robust construction of the engine was quite ahead of time for a 15” gauge locomotive and much that has been adopted in 15” gauge design more recently is mirrored by it.
How can you help support this project?
Bressingham Steam Museum is an independent museum and registered charity. We have to find our own funding to finance projects. We need to raise £36,000 to enable Mannertreu to return to steam and to run on our Waveney Valley Railway once again. The restoration of the locomotive would facilitate Bressingham Steam Museum’s continued regeneration into a museum telling the story of the past in a context for the future.
Ways to give:
To make a donation online you can:
- Visit our project appeal webpage: www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/Krupps
- Make a donation to the project at the ticket office in person or over the phone (01379 686900).
We have also applied to a number of grant funding bodies for which we are awaiting outcomes but we will require more support if we are to succeed.
This project was initiated by the volunteers. There is a dedicated team who will lead the project with specific support from our skilled engineering staff when required.
If you are interested in the project and would like to get involved with the restoration, why not consider joining the team and become a Bressingham Volunteer?