80151 Standard Tank is coming back in steam

The Bluebell Railway is bringing the 80151 back on the tracks from the end of July.

The standard tank was withdrawn from service on the Bluebell Railway in May 2012.

The standard tank was the type of engine working on the Lewes to East Grinstead Line upon its closure in 1958.  The following year the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society was formed and in 1960, part of the line reopened as the Bluebell Railway.

80151 is a member of the BR Standard 4MT 2-6-4T class, which was designed at Brighton under Riddles and introduced in 1951. The locomotive was built at Brighton Works, and was completed in December 1956, and entered service in January 1957. It was withdrawn from service at Salisbury in 1967, and went to Barry scrap yard.

It was initially bought for use by the Stour Valley Railway Preservation Society in Essex, and transported to Chappel and Wakes Colne station in 1975. By 1986 the SVRPS was negotiating to buy the station and yard at Chappel, and they agreed to sell 80151 to a group of SVRPS members who formed The 80151 Locomotive Company Limited in January 1987. The intention was to restore 80151 at Chappel for use by the SVRPS on the Stour Valley line.

The locomotive restoration was started at the SVRPS base at Chappel and Wakes Colne, however the current owners decided to move the locomotive to the Bluebell Railway in 1998, where restoration to working order was completed by both parties. As a result, the locomotive was returned to service in October 2001.

The 80151 is planned to be back in steam from Saturday 27th July, subject to availability.

The material costs and boiler work for 80151 from 2015 to date amounts to £357,425, with this total excluding labour, consumables, light and heat, gas supplies and general locoworks department costs.

The Bluebell Railway Trust and donors, including funds raised by The 80151 Locomotive Company Ltd, donated £173,000 against this work.

Read more: Today at the Railway