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

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

10241, as painted green on the Bluebell, in the yard at Horsted Keynes, 13 August 2011 - Derek Hayward

Purchased 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.

Another Sentinel in original NCB condition - Robin Waywell

A Sentinel designed loco, this one was built after the company became known as Rolls-Royce and is their No.10241 of 1966. The loco worked for 5 years on the Manchester Ship Canal's railway system (having taken part in the MSC changeover from steam event in July 1966), before being resold to the National Coal Board, in whose livery another similar Sentinel loco is seen in the photo on the left (with thanks to, and © Robin Waywell).

Following accident damage at Thoresby Colliery in 1973, No.10241 was rebuilt by Thomas Hill (Rotherham), who had by then acquired the Sentinel/Rolls-Royce locomotive business. It was given their builder's number No.247C. The rebuilt loco (with a 'Vanguard' cab replacing the original one) is seen in the photo below (also © Robin Waywell) taken in the yard of Booth Roe Metals at Rotherham; note the loco retains NCB livery.

The loco is currently air-braked, but it is hoped to fit with a mechanical vacuum pump.

Sentinel after rebuilding, at Booth Roe's yard - Robin Waywell

Industrial history

The detailed history of the loco is gradually being assembled. The following should only be regarded as preliminary information.

The following information is obtained from the 'EL' series of books, IRS (Industrial Railway Society) publications of 'Existing Locomotives', and provided through discussions on their email list.

New to Manchester Ship Canal, numbered DH27, 1966
To Thomas Hill Nov.1971 - see note (a)
To NCB Thoresby Col, N Notts Area, 30 Dec.1971 (3EL, 4EL, 5EL)
1973 - Involved in accident at NCB Thoresby, returned to Thomas Hill for rebuild
Returned to NCB Thoresby Col, 23 May 1973
NCB Sherwood Col, N Notts Area (6EL)
NCB Rufford Colliery, Notts Area (7EL, 8EL)
To Booth Roe, Scrap merchant, Rotherham, Jan.1989 (9EL to 12EL)
To HNRC, Barrow Hill, 23 Aug.2001 - note (b) (13EL)
To Siemens Transportation Systems, Northam Depot, Hants. 29 Mar.2003 (14EL, 15EL)
To Marcroft, Stoke, 9 Sep.2009 (hired from Reids Transport)
To Reids Freight Services, Stoke, Dec.2009
Sold to Bluebell Railway, delivered 7 May 2010.
Sentinel in the yard at Sheffield Park - Tony Sullivan - 7 May 2010 When new it was fitted with a RR C6SFL engine, number 606B-156, and this was retained in the rebuild by TH. It appears that the loco now carries a reconditioned unit, possibly from L H Plant at Barton under Needwood, Staffordshire.

(a) 10241 was one of ten similar locos bought by Thomas Hill from the Manchester Ship Canal Railway around the same time. Seven went to NCB, two to BSC, and one to British Celanese.

(b) Harry Needle Railroad Company Ltd (HNRC) purchased the loco as a depot shunter, but after undertaking some work on it, took the opportunity to sell it on to Siemens, who wanted a pilot loco.
This photo shows 10241 in Siemens livery, on arrival at Sheffield Park, 7 May 2010 - Tony Sullivan

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Photos with thanks to and © copyright Derek Hayward, Tony Sullivan and Robin Waywell.
Last updated by Richard Salmon 29 May 2013 and 27 January 2022
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