A VOLUNTEER train driver has bought his own steam locomotive.

The locomotive, one of the last to be built for British Rail, has begun operating once again 45 years after it was condemned.

British Railways 9F locomotive 92214 will run on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) for the foreseeable future after it was bought by Stuart Whitter, one of the railway’s volunteer drivers.

The engine, built in Swindon, Wiltshire, in 1959, at a cost of £33,497, was the subject of a painstaking restoration by a charitable trust in 2002.

It was recently purchased from the trust by Grosmont company PV Premier, owned by Mr Whitter, who has been a volunteer driver on the railway for more than 30 years.

The locomotive, which was made to haul heavy freight, was scrapped in August 1965.

Bosses at the NYMR say its hauling capability makes it an ideal engine for the heritage railway’s steep inclines and eight-carriage services.

Mr Whitter said “The locomotive is already proving a great success and is drawing the crowds at the North York Moors.

“This massive, yet graceful, machine has people flocking around it whenever it enters a station.”