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The Bluebell Railway's Locomotives


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

Locos on Static Display

BR 4MT tank No.80151 GWR Dukedog No.9017 Fenchurch SER 65 Blackmore Vale 75027 Normandy NLR Tank 92240 LSWR Radial Tank SR U-Class No.1618 SR USA Dock Tank 4MT Tank No.80064 4MT Tank No.80100 Sharpthorn


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
Last major overhaul completed: 2001
Current status: Static Display
Last operational: 19 May 2012
Owner: 80151 Owners Group

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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. With wheels being sent away soon for re-tyring, it is expected to be overhauled firstly shortly.


The Dukedog - Richard Salmon - 2 Nov 2003 GWR Earl/Dukedog No.9017, "Earl of Berkeley"
Class: Earl (later 90XX)
Wheels: 4-4-0
Rebuilt: 1938
Numbers carried: 3217, 9017
Last major overhaul completed: 2003
Last operational: June 2011
Owner: Bluebell Railway

Web page

Dukedog with Wealden Rambler - Derek Hayward - 27 March 2010 Nicknamed "Dukedogs" since they were an amalgamation a Bulldog and a Duke, the parts of this loco are thus actually older than the "building" date suggests. The 1938 rebuild of 3217 used the frames from "Bulldog" No.3425 (built 1906) and boiler and cab from "Duke" class No.3282 (originally named "Chepstow Castle" and built in 1899).

A few of the class carried the names of Earls, but 3217 did not receive its allocated name until preservation days. At the time the Earls in question indicated to the GWR that, if their names were to be used, they would prefer their names on something a little more prestigious, and so they were transferred to new Castle class locomotives.

This class of locos was widely used on the Cambrian lines. At the time this loco was saved for preservation the Bluebell was the only line where it could run, and it has been in Sussex ever since, apart from a few years spent at the Great Western Society, at Didcot.

The engine was re-painted in BR black in April 2009, as seen in Derek Hayward's photo on the right. It came out of service in early June 2011 with a number of boiler and mechanical faults.


Fenchurch on Autumn Tints Special - James Young LBSCR Stroudley Terrier, No.672 "Fenchurch"
Class: A1
Wheels: 0-6-0T
Built: 1872
Numbers carried: 72, B636, 2636, 32636
Last major overhaul completed: 2001
Last operational: 23 January 2011
Owner: Bluebell Railway
This web page has details of its last overhaul during which it was converted back to represent its original A1 rather than A1X form, seeing it return to service in February 2001, giving 10 years pretty reliable service.

Stroudley's famous Terriers survived for decades after more modern designs had been scrapped, working on lightly laid Branch lines. Fenchurch was sold to the Newhaven Harbour Company, being light enough to cross a bridge within the docks. It came back into Southern Railway ownership, and continued for many years to work at Newhaven. It came to the Bluebell in 1964, having been for a number of years a celebrity as the oldest locomotive working on British Railways.


65 at Sheffield ParkSER Stirling 0-6-0 No.65
Class: O1
Wheels: 0-6-0
Built: 1896; Rebuilt 1908
Numbers carried: 65, A65, 1065, 31065
Last major overhaul completed: 1999
Last operational: 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 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.

At the end of ten year's service it now awaits a further overhaul (which will be fairly straightforward) before it will again be seen in steam, but is available for viewing on static display at Sheffield Park.


SR Bulleid Pacific Blackmoor Vale SR Bulleid Light Pacific, "Blackmoor Vale"
Class: West Country
Wheels: 4-6-2
Built: 1946
Numbers and names carried: 21C123, "Blackmoor Vale", 34023, "Blackmore Vale"
Last major overhaul completed: 2000
Last operational: 25 May 2008
Current status: Static display, awaiting boiler-work
Owner: The Bulleid Society
Web Page

Bulleid's Light Pacifics were revolutionary in many respects, and brought a great enhancement of available power to lightly laid West Country lines which hitherto had been unable to accept the more modern Southern Railway express locos. Many Bulleid Pacifics are preserved thanks to Barry scrapyard, but "Blackmoor Vale" came to the Bluebell via initial preservation at Longmoor, having been one of the last Bulleid Pacifics running on BR. Unlike many of its classmates, it was not rebuilt, retaining Bulleid's "Air-smoothed" casing and oil-bath-enclosed valve gear. The changes to the loco's name are explained elsewhere.

Having operated for a decade following restoration in 1976, the locomotive returned to steam for a second time, following a comprehensive overhaul, being recommissioned on 19th August 2000.


75027 on the Pines Express BR Standard, No.75027
Class: 4MT
Wheels: 4-6-0
Built: 1954
Last major overhaul completed: 1997
Last Operational: end of February 2007
Owner: Bluebell Railway
Current status: Static display (at Horsted Keynes) awaiting overhaul

Web page.
The Standard 4 tender engines were designed as a modern branch-line engine, capable of hauling both freight and passenger services on the country's secondary routes. Some, with larger tenders, were allocated to the Southern Region; however No.75027 is a "foreigner", although it did work over the Somerset and Dorset when allocated to the WR.

On its withdrawal from service it was one of the very last steam locos operating on British Railways. It was bought from BR by Charlie Pyne, one of our members, and donated by him to the railway. The locomotive appeared to be far larger than was necessary on the Bluebell of the late 1960s, but it soon proved its worth though as we entered the seventies. A relatively modern loco, capable of hauling heavier trains up our 1-in-75 gradients, it was very much appreciated. It remains to this day the ideal locomotive for many of our trains, powerful yet economical, attractive and easy to prepare and maintain.


Normandy shunting at Horsted LSWR Adams dock tank, No.96 "Normandy"
Class: B4
Wheels: 0-4-0T
Built: 1893
Numbers carried: 96, E96, 96, 30096
Last major overhaul completed: 1996
Last Operational: 6 July 2006
Current status: Static display awaiting overhaul
Owned by B4 Loco Group, part of The Bulleid Society

Web Page.
A deceptively powerful shunting locomotive, it spent most of its working days at Southampton Docks. After disposal by BR it was used, again at Southampton, shunting a private wharf, from where it was purchased by members of the Bulleid Society who later moved their stock to the Bluebell.

Remaining out of use for many years, only after it received an overhaul was it realised just how useful an engine it was. "Normandy" has been called "the reason we don't need a diesel", and has put in sterling service on our works trains for the construction of the northwards extension. When its ten-year boiler certificate expired in 1995 it was given a very rapid overhaul to put it straight back into service.

It has been used most weeks for our Monday and Thursday shunts, the only regular steam shunting turn in the country. It is not suited to high speed, and was only rarely to be found on passenger trains.

With the end of its boiler certificate on 6 July 2006, we must now wait and see whether the steam-shunt mantle passes to this loco or the North London Tank, and to cover the interim until one of these locos is overhauled, D3023 has been hired.


NLR Tank locomotive North London Railway Goods Tank
Class: 75
Wheels: 0-6-0T
Built: 1880
Numbers carried: NLR: 76, 116, LNWR: 2650, LMS: 7505, 27505, BR: 58850
Last major overhaul: 1984
Last operational: 1993
Owner: Bluebell Railway
Current status: Static display awaiting overhaul

Web Page

This powerful goods locomotive was built for shunting in the docks served by the North London Railway, and for the goods traffic emanating from the docks, and carried on the NLR's 14-mile main line, probably frequently venturing out onto other companies lines with exchange traffic. The NLR subsequently became part of the LNWR and, at the grouping in 1923, the LMS. Several locos from this class became celebrities thanks to their use on the LMS's very steeply graded Cromford and High Peak line in Derbyshire.

When this, the last one of the class, was withdrawn from traffic in 1960 it was kept at Derby until coming to the Bluebell in 1962. Used by contractors for the demolition of the line from East Grinstead to Ardingly, it has since been used in the rebuilding of the same line, on the Bluebell's northwards extension. Requiring very major boiler work before it can again be steamed, in the interim it was placed on loan to other locations, and so both relieve space at Sheffield Park and act as an ambassador for the Bluebell in foreign parts, but has now returned. It is hoped to be able to commence its overhaul in the near future.


92240 with the GNR Directors' Saloon BR Standard, No.92240
Class: 9F
Wheels: 2-10-0
Built: 1958
Last major overhaul: 1990
Last operational: November 2002
Owner: Bluebell Railway
Current status: Static display (at Horsted Keynes) awaiting overhaul

Web page
The renowned 9Fs were the final steam design of British Railways, and a total of 251 of this most successful heavy-freight design were built. 92240 was one of the last steam locomotives constructed at Crewe. In the rush to abolish steam they were scrapped decades before their originally planned withdrawal dates. 92240 was also the very first of the ex-Barry scrapyard 9Fs to be restored to traffic, and we also built a replacement body for the tender in our own workshops, something rather more common now than it was then.

A few years after its initial return to traffic a number of boiler stays were found to need replacement, and the opportunity was taken to re-certificate the boiler for a new ten-year period at that time. In spite of its size and power, it is an economical locomotive to run, and is much better suited to our 25mph speed limit than an express locomotive. It was withdrawn from service before the end of its boiler certificate due to the deteriorating condition of its tubes, with work also likely to be required on the firebox and front tubeplate.


LSWR Adams Radial Tank LSWR Adams Radial Tank No.488
Class: 415
Wheels: 4-4-2T
Built: 1885
Numbers carried: 488, 0488, EKR 5, 3488, 30583
Last major overhaul: 1985
Last operational: 1990
Owner: Bluebell Railway
Current status: Static display, awaiting major boiler work.


Designed for the LSWR's inner suburban network, these locomotives were displaced by electrification, and the entire class were scrapped by 1927 with the exception of two which were retained to operate the Lyme Regis branch, where sharp curvature made the use of anything other than this class of loco impossible. Many other classes were tried, but they either couldn't cope with the heavy loaded holiday trains, or were too inflexible for the many curves. This particular loco though had been sold to the military during the first World War, and in 1919 was sold on to the privately run East Kent Railway. In 1946 it was bought by the Southern and overhauled to provide relief for the other two Lyme Regis engines, and the three operated the branch until 1960.

No.488 was chosen by the Bluebell since, out of the three, it was closest to original condition at the time of withdrawal, having an original Adams boiler. Following several spells in traffic over the next 30 years on the Bluebell it is the boiler which is now preventing this fine Victorian engine from steaming. It will probably require a complete new boiler barrel before it can work again.


U-Class in 1992 SR Maunsell U-Class, No.1618
Class: U
Wheels: 2-6-0
Built: 1928 at Brighton
Numbers carried: A618, 1618, 31618
Arrived at Bluebell: 17 May 1977
Last major overhaul: 1987
Last operational: 1994
Current status: Static display awaiting overhaul
Owner: Maunsell Locomotive Society

Web Page


The Sevenoaks accident of 1927 resulted in the rebuilding of the K-Class tank locomotives, known as the Rivers, as U-class tender engines, in which form they were much more successful, being very useful mixed traffic locomotives. 1618 was part of a batch which were to have been built as Rivers but the order was changed, and they came out as U-Class locos. On withdrawal from Guildford in 1964 it went to Barry Scrapyard in South Wales, and was the second of the many locomotives to leave the yard for preservation.

Restored to working order, it steamed initially at the Kent & East Sussex Railway. However it was too heavy to be used on that line and so its owners relocated it to the Bluebell in 1977, and it has subsequently had two spells of activity. The U-class is an ideal locomotive for the size of trains we run on the Bluebell, and its sister locomotive, No.1638, has been restored to working order, again by the Maunsell Locomotive Society, entering service for the first time in 42 years in 2006.


SR USA Dock Tank SR "USA" class Dock Tank No.WD 1959 (BR 30064)
Class: USA
Wheels: 0-6-0T
Built: 1943, Vulcan Iron Works (No.4432)
Entered SR service: 1946
Numbers carried: USATC: 1959, SR: 64, BR: S64, 30064
Owner: Bluebell Railway
Current status: Static display, awaiting overhaul.


Built to the designs of the US Army for wartime shunting requirements, it was sold off as surplus to the SR who required replacements for the B4s which were used to shunt Southampton Docks. Modified for British usage these were very successful, and following the introduction of diesel shunters at Southampton most found use elsewhere in departmental service or as loco-shed shunters.

30064 ended its days as Eastleigh Works shunter, and on withdrawal in 1967 was sold to the Southern Loco Preservation Co. Ltd, and after several years in Hampshire came to the Bluebell along with the other SLP Co. stock, which is now owned by the Bluebell. Following a number of years in use on the Bluebell, it now awaits major boiler work. In 2003 it was repainted into wartime livery as WD 1959.


80064 at work on the Bluebell BR Standard Tank No.80064 Class: 4MT
Designer: R.A. Riddles
Wheels: 2-6-4T
Built: 1953
Last overhaul: 1981
Current status: Static display, awaiting overhaul.
Owner: 80064 Locomotive Fund


The last in a long line of large tank locomotives to have been built at Brighton Works, the Standard 4 tanks were closely associated with the last years of the Bluebell Line under British Railways. This locomotive worked initially from Watford, and then from 1959 on the Southern Region, before transfer to the Western Region along with the lines it worked. It was one of over 200 locos sent to Barry scrapyard that were subsequently rescued for preservation, in this case by a group based on the Dart Valley Railway where it was restored to working order in 1981. In 1984 its owners decided to transfer it to the Bluebell, and it worked out the remainder of its boiler certificate in fine style in Sussex. Since then it has been back to Devon and has now returned again to the Bluebell.


80100 after arrival at SP - Geoff Pethick BR Standard Tank No.80100
Class: 4MT
Designer: R.A. Riddles
Wheels: 2-6-4T
Built: 1955 at Brighton Works
Arrived on Bluebell Railway: October 1978
Owner: Bluebell Railway
Current status: Ex-Barry Scrapyard condition, stored under tapaulin.


One of three Standard 4 Tanks on the Bluebell, this particular locomotive was not a Southern based engine in its BR days, working from Tilbury and later Shrewsbury until withdrawn for scrapping. As with the others it survived at Barry scrapyard long enough to be saved for preservation, arriving at the Bluebell in 1978.

It is retained because it is the only one of the three to belong to the railway, and the strong links between the class and the line, but relegated to a long-term restoration objective, thanks to the presence on the line of restored 80064 and 80151.


Sharpthorn with Baxter Contractor's Locomotive "Sharpthorn"
Wheels: 0-6-0ST
Built: 1877 by Manning Wardle.
Maker's class: "K"
Maker's Number: 641
Last operational: 1958
Current status: Static Exhibit at Horsted Keynes.

Owner: Bluebell Railway
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This typical Victorian contractors' loco is instantly recognisable as a Manning Wardle product. What makes this one special was that it was owned by Joseph Firbank, the contractor who built the Lewes and East Grinstead Railway, of which the Bluebell is a part. Delivered to West Hoathly (just north of our tunnel) it was employed throughout the construction of the line, taking its name (albeit mis-spelt) from the neighbouring village of Sharpthorne. From 1888 until 1982 it was the property of Samuel Williams and used on their coal dock in Dagenham until withdrawn from service in 1958. It was subsequently placed on loan to Bressingham Steam Museum, and moved to the Bluebell in 1981 for the line's centenary celebrations in 1982, during which it took part in a locomotive cavalcade at Horsted Keynes.

The above photograph shows it during this event. Since then it has remained on the Bluebell, having been purchased by the Bluebell from the receivers after Samuel Williams went out of business. Being considerably smaller than "Baxter", it is not a large enough locomotive to haul passengers (although the Selsey Tramway used one of this class for their trains of 3 4-wheelers, albeit without the steep gradients of the Bluebell line). As such can be given no priority in our works schedule for overhaul. However a volunteer group on the railway have it in mind as a project for about 15 years' time, several other locomotives having higher priority for their efforts as well! In the mean-time it remains on static display, now at Horsted Keynes.


Note: Boiler Certificates. Steam locomotive boilers are certificated by the Insurance Company's inspector for up to a ten-year term. At the end of this period, the locos must usually be taken out of service for a boiler overhaul including a complete re-tube, and it is also usual at this time to undertake a full mechanical overhaul. Therefore at any one time we are only able to maintain a proportion of our fleet in working order, and the others must wait their turn in the queue for workshop attention. Even if we had the facilities to maintain a greater number of engines in working order, the costs of this could not be afforded by our income, and so we maintain sufficient engines in working order at any one time for our requirements, given also that some of our working fleet may require workshop attention in addition to their routine boiler washouts and regular mechanical and boiler checks.

The locomotives listed on this page are generally accessible to the visitor in our loco shed at Sheffield Park, although a few may, at times, be stored away from areas with public access.


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