Little Engines Gala – Second Visiting Engine

With less than two weeks to go until our brand new “Little Engines Gala” we are delighted to announce our second visiting locomotive, London & South Western Railway ‘Beattie well tank’ 2-4-0WT 30587 courtesy of the Bodmin & Wenford Railway (BWR). Similar locomotives, but designed and owned by the Midland Railway, operated the branch in the very first years that the Railway was open in the nineteenth century.


30587 was one of a class of 85, designed by Joseph Hamilton Beattie, the CME of the London & South Western Railway. These locomotives were designed in consultation with and built by Beyer Peacock at their works at Gorton, Manchester. Originally numbered 298, 30587 was completed in 1874 under the direction of William George Beattie who had succeeded his father in 1871.

Initially the engine worked at Nine Elms in London, the class having proved itself capable of handling the heavy loads and high speeds demanded of them. However, with the arrival of larger locomotives, the class members were transferred to sheds outside the London area. Most of the engines had been scrapped by 1898 with the exception of 3 members of the class which were transferred to the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway in 1895 to work the sharp curves of that railway’s freight branch to Wenford Bridge carrying china clay traffic to the main line. They were finally withdrawn in 1962 and replaced by GWR 0-6-0PT dock tanks, outlasting the rest of the class by a staggering 64 years.

30587, one of two in preservation, was selected for the national collection. It was stored at various locations before being taken to the Flour Mill Workshops in 2001 in the Forest of Dean for restoration to working order, entering traffic on the BWR in 2002. Withdrawn in 2012 for overhaul it returned to action in 2013.



Little Engines Gala – Visiting Engine

With only nine weeks to go until our brand new “Little Engines Gala” we are delighted to announce our first visiting locomotive, ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST 71515 ‘Mech Navvies Ltd.’ courtesy of the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway (PBR). This type of engine featured in the early days of the KWVR with two examples of the class operational during the early years, Longmoor Military Railway no. 118 ‘Brussels’, now resident in Oxenhope Exhibition Shed and ‘Fred’, an ex-National Coal Board engine which left the Railway many years ago.

71515 was commissioned by the War Department in 1945 from Robert Stevenson and Hawthorns as WD71515, but, with WW2 drawing to a close, was quickly put to work at the Swalwell Disposal Point in what was then County Durham, the modern day Tyne & Wear. At the time, the opencast disposal point was worked by Mechanical Navvies Limited, and it is in that company’s livery that the loco now appears.

It was taken into preservation by 1974 to the East Somerset Railway, where shortly after arrival she was liveried in BR black with the BR number 68005 in line with the J94 locomotives that ran on the national railway system, although 71515 never ran in BR service.

By 1995 71515 ran at the Bolton and Embsay Railway, still in BR black and where she was nicknamed ‘The Mog’. Although overhauled in 2004, a burst boiler tube two years later put paid to her active service and was laid aside.

Three years later, following interest shown by a PBR member, 71515 was purchased in August 2009, and in the following month, taken to the Flour Mill works in the Forest of Dean for repair, being repainted into Mech Navvies livery in the process. Arriving at the PBR in April 2010, the engine has worked the majority of services scheduled for steam haulage since.