Published: 31st October 2014
The Scottish Railway Preservation Society is purchasing a Glasgow- built LMS 8F 2-8-0 locomotive that spent most of its life in Turkey. Built at the North British Locomotive Works in 1942 for the Ministry of Supply, it was loaned to the LMS then sent to Turkey in 1943 as part of the war effort. At the end of WW2 it became No. 45170 in the Turkish Railways fleet.
No. 45170 was one of two 8Fs repatriated from Turkey at the end of 2010 by The Churchill 8F Group. It was displayed at Locomotion from January 2011 until being purchased by a private owner and moved away to a storage site in September 2012. That owner subsequently put it up for sale and a contract for its purchase by the SRPS was signed in mid-October. The loco imported with it, 8F 2-8-0 No. WD 341, was sold by the Churchill 8F Group in November 2012 and shipped to Israel.
The loco is over 90% complete and well preserved having spent much of its life in an arid climate. Late in its operating life it was subject to a heavy overhaul and is rated a good candidate for restoration to working order and potentially main line condition.
SRPS operates the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway and No. 45170 meets a significant gap in the society’s collection being a large Scottish-built tender engine. The type has good route availability and while not particularly fast (being limited to 50m.p.h.) its hill climbing ability should mean it is well suited to working Scottish main line routes.
On arriving at Bo’ness the locomotive will be housed in the Museum of Scottish Railways where it will be on view to the public. Pending overhaul it will receive some ongoing cosmetic restoration to be undertaken as a youth group project.
Restoration to steam will depend on availability of funds (an appeal has been launched) and how the overhaul of locomotives in the current queue at Bo’ness progresses. Potentially, work could start in three to four years’ time.
The National Museum of Wales has donated Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST Victory (AB2201/1945) to The Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway. Built for the Stewarts and Lloyds steel works in Newport, it was named Victory to commemorate the end of WW2. On withdrawal it was acquired by the National Museum of Wales and placed under the custodianship of the Caerphilly Railway Society. Latterly the out-of-ticket loco has been stored at the Gwili Railway. Its donation to the P&BR follows a decision to rationalise the museum’s collections. The Blaenavon line’s case was enhanced by the recent restoration to operation of Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST Rosyth No. 1 (AB1385/1914).
Victory was relocated to Furness Sidings in time to appear as a surprise added attraction at the P&BR’s September 12-14 gala. The event was already billed as a celebration of Andrew Barclay locomotives linked to the 100th birthday of Rosyth No. 1. Other products from the Kilmarnock loco builder appearing at the gala were 0-4-0STs AB2088/1940 Sir Thomas Royden and AB1931/1927 (both visiting from Leicestershire’s Rocks by Rail) and 0-4-0ST Edmundsons (AB2168/1943) making a rare appearance away from its Rushton Railway Museum home. This was thought to be the largest gathering of Andrew Barclay locomotives in the preservation era.
SECR C class 0-6-0 No. 592 was formally gifted to the Bluebell Railway Trust by The Wainwright ‘C’ Preservation Society at a September 20 ceremony at Sheffield Park. The hand-over secures the future of the locomotive at the Bluebell Railway, although in fairness this was never in serious doubt.
No. 592 was one of surprisingly few locomotives to enter preservation by being purchased direct from BR in working order. Instead of being scrapped with most of the rest of its class the harsh 1962-63 winter meant it was retained for snowplough duties with two of its classmates at Ashford and it remained in service for another three years, latterly as DS (Departmental Service) No. 239. This gave the society time to raise the £1,420 (then about half the cost of an average house) required to buy it, the purchase being completed on December 12 1966. The class was introduced from 1900 onwards.
It remained at Ashford, where restorative work was carried out by society members during the following three years. It was relocated to the Bluebell on August 16 1970 with a long-term loan arrangement agreed in 1972. It has been at the Bluebell ever since.
Despite its age, and goods design origin, it has proven a reliable, popular, and consistently useful engine, on all but the heaviest Bluebell trains over the last 40 years (other than periods out of traffic undergoing overhaul). It has three years left on its current boiler certificate.
Faced with a diminishing, and aging, membership the society decided to donate the loco to The Bluebell Railway Trust. Ironically, on the day of the official transfer No. 592 was out of service with a broken spring!
Bluebell Railway volunteer, and noted photographer, Mike Hopps, has designed a set of safety posters for display around the railway – highlighting the danger of accidents as a result of opening carriage doors before the train has stopped. He was asked to prepare the posters due to concerns about a form of doors now unfamiliar to many passengers brought up in an age when doors slide rather than swing, and automatically open and close – or at most operate at the press of a button.
Prepared to a format agreed by the Bluebell’s Operational Safety Group they have been prepared in the style of the old BR ‘slam door safety’ posters that many will remember from yesteryear, headed with the warning, ‘Mind that Door!’