The Bluebell Railway’s Locomotives


  1. Operational Locomotives
  2. Locomotives under overhaul
  3. Locomotives on static display
  4. Bluebell Locomotives on loan elsewhere
  5. Locomotives formerly based on the Bluebell


Operational Locomotives

BR 4MT tank No.80151 SER 65 Camelot SR Q-Class No.30541 S15 No.847 SECR H-class No.263 SECR P-class No.178
Howard Petrol Loco BR 350 HP Shunter D4106 Sentinel Shunter 10241

The Loco Roster provides details of which locomotives are expected to be running on which days.

80151 taking Water at SP - 28 Oct 2003 - Derek Hayward BR Standard Tank No.80151
Designer: R.A. Riddles
Class: 4MT
Wheels: 2-6-4T
Built: 1957
Returned to service: 27 July 2019
Previously operational: Oct 2001 to 19 May 2012
Owner: The 80151 Locomotive Company Limited

Web Page

The 4MT tank locomotives were closely linked to the last years of the Bluebell line, and although the last Brighton-built locomotive, 80154, escaped preservation, the Bluebell now plays host to three other members of the class, all one-time residents of Barry scrapyard. 80151 arrived from another preservation site in 1998 and returned to steam after the completion of its overhaul in the Bluebell’s workshops in October 2001. Additional boiler work during early 2011 saw its operational period extended to May 2012.

Its latest overhaul, which cost over half a million pounds saw, along with routine heavy maintenance and boilerwork undertaken in-house, new tyres fitted to the driving wheels.

65 at Sheffield Park - Jon Horrocks - 1999SER Stirling 0-6-0 No.65
Class: O1
Wheels: 0-6-0
Built: 1896; Rebuilt 1908
Numbers carried: 65, A65, 1065, 31065
Returned to service: 15 July 2017
Previously operational: 5 August 1999 to 7 July 2009
Web page
Photo © Jon Horrocks

Built at Ashford as an “O” class locomotive, it received a rebuild to class “O1” in 1908, and ran on until finally withdrawn in 1961. In 1963 it was obtained by the late Mr Lewis-Evans and kept at Ashford Steam Centre until its closure. Thereafter its location was something of a mystery until it was brought to the Bluebell Railway for overhaul, and was returned to steam for the centenary of the amalgamation of the SER and the LCDR in August 1999.

0-6-0s were the commonest locomotives in this country, and the Bluebell now hosts a sequence of three unique survivors of this type, demonstrating their development through the first half of the 20th century, from the O1 through the SECR C-class to Maunsell’s Q-class built by the Southern Railway.

The Bluebell’s spare O1/H boiler was overhauled at The Flour Mill workshop, and has now been fitted in place of its previous boiler during the recent overhaul, which took place at Sheffield Park.

Camelot at Kingscote - Hiroshi Naito BR Standard, No.73082 “Camelot”
Class: 5MT
Wheels: 4-6-0
Built: 1955
Last major overhaul completed: 25 October 2015
Previously operational: 28 October 1995- June 2005

Owner: The 73082 Camelot Locomotive Society Web Site and Facebook
Photo by courtesy of Hiroshi Naito

“Camelot” was one of the Southern Region’s allocation of Standard 5s, and when the King Arthur class, which they replaced, were being withdrawn, a staff suggestion led to the names being transferred to the new engines. Modern engines with roller bearings, highly capable and easy to maintain, they were withdrawn long before they were worn out thanks to BR’s rush to get rid of steam in the 1960s.

A survivor of Barry Scrapyard, “Camelot” is the only remaining one of these named Standard 5s. It was returned to working order thanks to the dedication of the Camelot Society, which carried out fund-raising and engineering work. The latter included the construction of a brand-new tender body, fitted to frames recovered from a South Wales Ironworks, since, like so many Barry locos, it had lost its tender. It was a core member of the Bluebell’s loco fleet for the decade after it returned to traffic in 1995.

In preparation for its recent overhaul, the Camelot Locomotive Society prepared the loco for the boiler lift, major work has been undertaken on the wheelsets and the roller-bearings, the boiler has received heavy repairs off-site, and the overhaul and painting was completed in October 2015.

To mark 60 years since 73082 was constructed at Derby in 1955, although relaunched complete with its nameplates at the Giants of Steam weekend in 2015, it ran for the following year without nameplates, to mark this anniversary. Camelot received its nameplates at Eastleigh works in August 1959, whilst still carrying the early BR tender emblem, and now carries them.

Q-class at East Grinstead - Brian Lacey - 8 April 2015 SR Maunsell Q-class No.30541
Class: Q
Wheels: 0-6-0
Built: 1939
Numbers carried: 541, 30541
Last major overhaul completed: April 2015
Previously operational: 1983-1993
Owner: The Maunsell Locomotive Society

Web Page

Built as a basic goods engine to replace life-expired pre-grouping locomotives, this was Maunsell’s final design as Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Southern Railway. It could be described as a competent though not outstanding engine. Bulleid, Maunsell’s successor, improved the draughting arrangements with a multiple blast-pipe arrangement and new chimney, and it was in this condition that 541 was withdrawn from service in 1964. Sent to Barry scrapyard, like many other locos there it escaped the cutter’s torch and was bought by preservationists.

In 1973 it was moved to Ashchurch in Gloucestershire and moved on in 1978 to the Bluebell, where its owning group merged with those of U-class No.1618 and S15 No.847 to form the Maunsell Locomotive Society. The blast pipe and chimney arrangement have been further modified using BR Class 4 components, in the same way as BR had done to some of the class. This has the advantage of returning the locomotive visually to very close to its original form. Major restoration work saw it return to steam in 1983, operating for the following decade in Maunsell livery as No.541.

An overhaul started in July 2011, and the Loco Works Working Group, who started by overhauling the tender, have also assisted with work on the loco itself. It returned to service on 28 April 2015, carrying BR livery as No.30541, and received a major valve and piston exam in 2017.

S15 No.847 at Poleay Bridge - Derek Hayward - 14 December 2013 SR Maunsell S15-class No.847
Class: S15
Wheels: 4-6-0
Built: 1936
Numbers carried: 847, 30847
Last major overhaul completed: 11 Dec 2013
Previously operational: 13 Nov 1992 – 6 Oct 1997
Owner: Maunsell Locomotive Society
Audio Recording of No.847 in action
Photos and Web Page

This class of locomotives, of which this was the final locomotive to be built, were essentially a goods version of the King Arthur class of express passenger locos (N15). The S15s thus became known as Goods Arthurs, and like the N15s, their origins went back to the LSWR designs of Robert Urie. Coming to the Bluebell from Barry scrapyard in 1978, its restoration was not started until the Maunsell Society had completed the restoration of their Q-class locomotive in 1983.

The boiler received its hydraulic test in 1988, and although it did not enter service at that time, regulations retrospectively applied mean that the boiler certificate, valid for ten years, started ticking from that test. Hence after a relatively short spell (under 5 years) in traffic it was withdrawn for overhaul. The Maunsell Locomotive Society then carried out as much preparatory work for the boiler lift as is possible, whilst maintaining the loco in a presentable condition for display.

The overhaul commenced in earnest in October 2006, with some of funds to finance the overhaul (in the Bluebell’s own workshop) already available. The boiler overhaul, which was a major part of the project involving replacing many of the stays including the complex crown stays, was returned to the overhauled frames on 9 August 2013, and it re-entered service on 11 December that year.

SECR H-Class No.263 - Richard Salmon - August 1996 South Eastern & Chatham Railway No.263
Class: H
Wheels: 0-4-4T
Built: 1905
Numbers carried: 263, A263, 1263, 31263
Last major overhaul completed: 28 May 2012 – Report of overhaul
Owner: Bluebell Railway Trust

Web Page

Built as the standard loco for the SECR’s suburban services, the H-class were a popular loco in later years for services on rural branch lines in Sussex, especially after the withdrawal of the LBSCR D3 tanks. This particular locomotive ended up working the line between East Grinstead and Three Bridges and was withdrawn when that line was closed in January 1964. Purchased from BR by the H-Class Trust, it was initially located at Robertsbridge, but soon found a home at the South Eastern Steam Centre at Ashford, where the engine appeared at various open days. However, in 1975 the Trustees decided that the locomotive would have much more scope for running if based on the Bluebell. Since then it has had two periods in steam. In 2008 ownership was transferred to the Bluebell Railway Trust, which funded an overhaul which started in March 2009, with a return to service, again in full Edwardian SECR livery, in July 2012. In 2017 it received a full repaint in preparation for exhibition at the Warley model railway show.

178 relaunch train - 1 May 2010 - Derek Hayward SECR Wainwright P-class, No.178
Class: P
Wheels: 0-6-0T
Built: 1910
Numbers carried: 178, A178, 1178, S1178, 31178
Last major overhaul completed: February 2010
Boiler ticket ends: October 2020
Owned by the Bluebell Railway

Web page

The last of the four P-class tank locomotives to have steamed in preservation, 178 came to the Bluebell in 1969 after industrial service at Bowaters Paper Mill, where it carried the name “Pioneer II”.

Its best chance of restoration was seen to be outside the Bluebell Railway’s direct ownership, due to the railway already having two other Ps, and so it was sold to Southern Locomotives Ltd, who commenced its overhaul, at Sheffield Park. However, with the shift in emphasis of that group to become major providers of motive power to the Swanage Railway, it was decided more appropriate to transfer ownership of this ‘P’ class loco back to the Bluebell. This was achieved in mid 2006, thanks to funding made available by the Bluebell Railway Trust.

The overhaul was undertaken by the Loco Workshop working group, and the loco now runs in full SECR lined green, after just a few weeks initially operating in its industrial guise as “Pioneer II”.

Sadly now having a cracked cylinder, the locomotive is capable of little more than light work until it can have replacement cylinders fitted. It is however ideal for light duties such as brake van rides, a role it fulfilled in 2017 on loan to the NRM in York.

Howard No.957 at Horsted Keynes - Richard Salmon - 8 August 2010 Howard Petrol-engined locomotive
Class: 2-speed 7 ton Main Line Loco
Wheel arrangement: 4w, chain driven, maximum speed 8mph
Engine: Dorman type 4-JUD 3970cc developing 41bhp at 1000 rpm
Built: 1926 by James & Frederick Howard Ltd, Britannia Iron Works, Bedford
Maker’s number: 957
Operated: 1926-1965
Arrived on Bluebell Railway: March 1965
Used on Bluebell until 1969, and returned to service: August 2010

Web Page
Built by Howards in 1926, No 957 was used to shunt their agricultural implement and railway wagon factory sidings in Bedford. The Britannia Iron & Steel Works Ltd took over the site in 1932 to make pipe fittings and continued using it until a larger shunting loco was obtained in 1965. Through the intervention of a local enthusiast the company presented 957 to the Bluebell Railway where it was used for light shunting until about 1969. Under the auspicies of the Alf Brown Group an overhaul (details of which are here) was begun in the 1970s at Horsted Keynes which had to include new wheelsets, and it made its debut at the 50th Anniversary Gala in August 2010.

Although nominally operational, at the present time more work is required to complete the restoration of the locomotive.

D4106 also newly painted - Tony Sullivan - 8 June 2017 350HP Diesel shunting locomotive No.09018 was purchased by a consortium of members who have set up a company to manage the loco, which is hired by the Railway as and when it is needed.

The 09 class of diesel-electric shunters were a Southern Region version of the ubiquitous 08 class, geared for slightly higher speeds. D4106 was built at British Railways’ Horwich Works on 13 November 1961. It was renumbered as 09018 on 31 December 1973. On the Bluebell it initially retained HNRC orange and grey livery, with the lettering removed, since the priority was the acquisition of a pool of spare parts.

Web Page.

Tony Sullivan’s photo shows it on 8 June 2017, soon after being repainted the previous month into its original BR Green livery with wasp stripes, numbered as D4106.

Sentinel in the yard at Horsted Keynes - Derek Hayward - 13 August 2011

Sentinel/Rolls-Royce/Thomas Hill 4-w Diesel-Hydraulic loco No.10241

Acquired by the Bluebell Railway’s C&W department mainly for shunting work around the carriage yard, this loco arrived on 7th May 2010, in working order.

A Sentinel designed loco, this one was built after the company became known as Rolls-Royce and is their No. 10241 of 1966. However, the loco was rebuilt by Thomas Hill (Rotherham) in 1973 (who had by then acquired the Sentinel/Rolls-Royce locomotive business), becoming their No.247V.

Web Page for No.10241

The Today at the Railway page indicates which locos should be working our trains on what days.

Note: Boiler Certificates. Steam locomotive boilers are certificated by our Insurance Company’s inspector, initially for seven years from the date of pressure testing after overhaul. The dates given above assume that a mid-term boiler examination/test allows an extension to a full ten-year term. In addition boilers require an annual inspection which they must also pass to remain in use. The mechanical condition of the locomotive may also prevent it attaining the potential 10-years. At the end of this period, unless a futher short extension is granted, the locos must be taken out of service for a boiler overhaul including a complete re-tube, and detailed inspection of the entire boiler and firebox, which will usually require the boiler to be removed from the locomotive’s frames. It is also usual at this time to undertake a full mechanical overhaul.

  1. Operational Locomotives
  2. Locomotives under overhaul
  3. Locomotives on static display
  4. Bluebell Locomotives on loan elsewhere
  5. Locomotives formerly based on the Bluebell

splash The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Last updated by Richard Salmon, 19 May 2020