Wilbert the Forest Engine is an 0-6-0ST Hunslet Austerity that lives at the Dean Forest Railway (DFR) in Gloucestershire, UK. The engine is famous for starring in the Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends Series as 'Wilbert the Forest Engine' and has his own book (series no. 38) and model relating to the famous series. The engine has given years of sterling service to the Dean Forest Railway conveying many delighted children and parents during the Day Out With Thomas events held at the DFR, and is now in need of a major boiler refurbishment.
At least £5000 is needed to kick start the boiler refurbishment work in the right direction; and any funds above and beyond our target will be put towards any further remedial work that the locomotive may require.
History of Wilbert the Forest Engine
Hunslet 3806 ‘Wilbert’ is a Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0 Saddle Tank built by the Hunslet engine company at its Leeds works in 1953. The loco was originally purchased by the National Coal Board, with its life in preservation starting after it was purchased from Rugely, Staffordshire. It was delivered to Parkend station in 1976 and was then moved to the Steam Centre at Norchard in 1978 for full restoration.
In August 1981 the Rev. W. Awdry named the loco “G.B. Keeling” after the first Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Severn & Wye Railway following a members’ ballot for a name for the engine. On September 13th 1987 the Rev. W. Awdry named it “Wilbert”, in his honour, following a major overhaul and repainting. On November 8th 1983 “G.B. Keeling” hauled the Royal Train on DFR when HRH the Duke of Gloucester visited, and rode on the engine (as seen opposite).