The Bluebell Railway's Locomotives
The Loco Roster provides details of which locomotives are expected to be running on which days.
United States Army Transportation Corps S160 No. 6046
Visiting the Bluebell until late October 2021
Designer: Major J.W.Marsh, US Army Corps of Engineers
Built: 1945, Baldwin Locomotive Company
Hungarian State Railways MÁV 411 Class, No. 411.144
Owner: Greg Wilson, Churnet Valley Railway
Last overhaul completed: 29 June 2012
Details of 6046 on the Churnet Valley Railway web site
Photo: 6046 on arrival at Sheffield Park, Russell Pearce, 11 August 2021
No. 6046 arrived on the Bluebell on 11 August, and will be with us until late October.
Although intended for use on the continent after D-day, 400 of the class were used in the UK, including six which were allocated to the Southern Railway. So the class is not totally alien to the area.
No. 6046 was built in 1945 as works No.70280 by the Baldwin Locomotive Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and the locomotive was exported straight to France in 1945 to help with the war effort. After working in Hungary, largely on industrial lines, it was brought to the UK by Martin Haines for restoration and in 2006 moved to the Churnet Valley Railway where it was returned to steam in 2012.
BR Standard Tank No. 80151
Designer: R.A. Riddles
Returned to service: 27 July 2019
Previously operational: Oct 2001 to 19 May 2012
Owner: The 80151 Locomotive Company Limited
Photo: 80151 taking water at Sheffield Park, 28 October 2003, Derek Hayward
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.
SER Stirling 0-6-0 No. 65
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
Photo: at Sheffield Park, Jon Horrocks, 1999
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.
SR Maunsell Q-class No. 30541
Numbers carried: 541, 30541
Last major overhaul completed: April 2015
Previously operational: 1983-1993
Owner: The Maunsell Locomotive Society
Photo: at East Grinstead, Brian Lacey, 8 April 2015
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.
SR Maunsell S15-class No. 847
Numbers carried: 847, 30847
Last major overhaul completed: 11 Dec 2013
Previously operational: 13 Nov 1992 – 6 Oct 1997
Owner: Maunsell Locomotive Society
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.
South Eastern & Chatham Railway No. 263
Numbers carried: 263, A263, 1263, 31263
Last major overhaul completed: 28 May 2012 – Details of overhaul
Owner: Bluebell Railway Trust
Photo: Richard Salmon, August 1996
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.
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
Arrived on Bluebell Railway: March 1965
Used on Bluebell until 1969, and returned to service: August 2010
Photo: at Horsted Keynes during the 50th anniversary gala, Richard Salmon, 8 August 2010
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 auspices 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.
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.
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/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
Photo: Sentinel in the yard at Horsted Keynes, Derek Hayward, 13 August 2011
The Locomotive Roster 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.
- Operational Locomotives
- Locomotives under overhaul
- Locomotives on static display
- Locomotives formerly based on the Bluebell