News of some of these overhauls is
available via the Loco Works News pages
SER Stirling 0-6-0 No.65
Built: 1896; Rebuilt 1908
Numbers carried: 65, A65, 1065, 31065
Last major overhaul completed: 1999
Last operational: 7 July 2009
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Built at Ashford as an "O" class locomotive, it received a rebuild to class "O1" in 1908, and ran on until finally withdrawn in 1961.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 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 is being overhauled at The Flour Mill workshop, and will be exchanged for its existing boiler during its current overhaul, which is taking place at Sheffield Park.
BR Standard Tank No.80151
Designer: R.A. Riddles
Last major overhaul completed: 2001
Current status: Overhaul in progress
Last operational: 19 May 2012
Owner: 80151 Owners Group
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 overhaul started at the end of September 2015, and with new tyres already obtained, one of the first major tasks is to remove the driving wheels to be sent away for re-tyring.
SR Schools-class, "Stowe"
Class: V, "Schools"
Numbers carried: 928, 30928
Last major overhaul: 1980/1
Current status: Overhaul in progress; Tender has received overhaul.
Owner: Maunsell Locomotive Society
Web Page and Facebook Page for news of its overhaul
The final development of the classic express 4-4-0, the Schools class were designed originally for the Hastings line with its restricted loading gauge, but proved themselves capable of hauling the Southern's top expresses along side larger engines on the railway's other main lines, and "Stowe" was built for the London-Portsmouth run. Bought from British Rail by Lord Montague, it was for a time displayed at his motor museum at Beaulieu, before moving to the East Somerset Railway in 1973 and the Bluebell in 1980 where it was rapidly restored to working order. Following expiry of its boiler certificate, it was been stored awaiting its turn in the workshop, in need of some very major (i.e. expensive) boiler repairs.
In September 2000 it was bought by the Maunsell Locomotive Society, so securing its future on the Bluebell. The team that rebuilt the tender for No.1638 then completed the major rebuild of Stowe's tender, and the locomotive was repainted into Southern Railway Bulleid-period Malachite Green livery to ring the changes for the subsequent period when it was on display in the loco shed. In 2013 a start on the overhaul of the locomotive was made, with fund-raising also very much to the fore, since this will not be a cheap overhaul. The physical work on the overhaul became very visible in December 2013; until this point the locomotive had been kept in a displayable condition. You can contribute towards the boiler overhaul of this and other locomotives via our "Keep Up The Pressure" appeal.
Rebuilt SR Bulleid Light Pacific, "Sir Archibald Sinclair"
Class: Battle of Britain (Rebuilt)
Built: 1947, Rebuilt: 1960
Numbers carried: 21C159, 34059
Withdrawn by BR: 1966
Last overhaul completed: April 2009
Last operational: October 2011
Current status: Frames on static display, boiler at Crewe for overhaul
Owner: Bluebell Railway
The Bulleid Society's comprehensive web pages
The identical "West Country" and "Battle of Britain" pacifics were built to provide increased power for use on the Southern's secondary main lines, especially those in the West country with weight restrictions. However, some of Bulleid's novel ideas, designed to reduce maintenance costs, proved troublesome. Therefore in 1957 a programme of rebuilding the locomotives along conventional lines was started. The rebuilding of the Bulleid light pacifics added several tons to their weight, but produced, to all intents, brand-new locomotives, whilst retaining the distinctive light-weight Bulleid-Firth-Brown wheels and his superb free-steaming boiler, along with many other of the successful innovative design features.
Rescued from Barry scrapyard in 1979 without a tender, this locomotive has since then been the subject of ongoing restoration work and fundraising. A tender underframe was salvaged from a steel-works, the original intention being to use this in conjunction with a new body. However this underframe was in poor condition, and in the end only some fittings from it were used, with the tender frames being constructed at Sheffield Park from new material. A new 5250-gallon tender body has been made, and placed on it.
The formal launch into Bluebell service, as the first rebuilt Battle of Britain to steam in preservation, performed by Viscount Thurso (grandson of Sir Archibald Sinclair, who was the wartime Secretary of State for Air from 1940) on 24th April 2009. Regretably, the loco was withdrawn during October 2011, in need of further major firebox repairs; the boiler work is being contracted out, and once completed a new 10-year certification period will commence. More details here.
SECR Wainwright P-tank, No.27
Numbers carried: 27, ROD 5027, A27, 1027, 31027
Last operational: November 1974
Current status: overhaul in progress - Project 27 Blog and Older News
Owner: Bluebell Railway
The P-class tank locomotives were, in design terms, an updated copy of the LBSCR Terriers. Coming to the Bluebell in 1961, for two years it carried the name "Primrose". In 1963 it was repainted into full SECR passenger livery, and, with No.323, was a mainstay of the Bluebell's operational fleet for much of that decade.
No.27 was dismantled in 1978 for a "quick" overhaul, but, as was so often the case at the time, this was found to be beyond the skills of the basic workshop capability we had back then, so the restoration stalled.
The restoration of 27 to working condition re-started in 2011 following a delay of over 30 years. The work on the locomotive is being undertaken by the Villas Gang and other volunteers, supported by the fund raising efforts of the 'Fenchurch Fund'. Major work is required on the boiler and frames of the locomotive, as well as some significant mechanical renewal and replacement of plate work, including the tanks.
LBSCR Class H2
Numbers carried: 424, B424, 2424, 32424
Name from June 1926: Beachy Head
Originally built: Sept 1911
Withdrawn: April 1958
Project web pages
Current status: construction in progress - latest news
This is our project to reconstruct a Brighton H2 Atlantic based on SR/BR period "Beachy Head". It is based around a suitable boiler which was obtained some years ago, and the project is now moving ahead rapidly, with a building constructed to accommodate the components, the frames cut, wheels cast, cylinders and valves fabricated and fitted, motion made and fitted, such that the rolling chassis is nearly complete, as is the tender chassis. Various other original H2 components have been given to the project, including the locomotive's original regulator handle, and a class identification plate.
The photo shows Brighton Atlantic No.32424 "Beachy Head" at Horsted Keynes with the Locomotive Club of Great Britain "Southern Counties Limited", 24th February 1957.
BR Standard Class 2
Wheels: 2-6-2T (built as 2-6-0)
Originally built: 1956
Number: 84030 (was 78059 in BR service)
Owner: Bluebell Railway
Current status: overhaul and conversion in progress - latest news
The photo by Tony Sullivan shows the loco's frames welded to the new rear section in the Bluebell's workshops in December 2011, and thus 84030 can now be said to exist.
The 2MT locomotives were built for light branch-line work. The tender engines, as this loco was originally, were almost unknown even as visitors to the South, whereas the 2MT tanks were used extensively on the Southern Region. Thus, when this loco was rescued from Barry scrapyard without a suitable tender being available, the decision was taken to restore the locomotive in the tank-engine form, of which there are no surviving examples. The last 2MT tank having been numbered 84029, this locomotive takes the next number in the sequence.
The loco will be very useful on the Bluebell, since it will be capable of hauling all but our very heaviest trains. The project is making good progress, and news reports are available here.
- Operational Locos
- Locos under overhaul
- Locos on static display
- Bluebell Locos on loan elsewhere
- Locos formerly based on the Bluebell
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