Worksplate find of a defiant Victorian steam survivor

A worksplate from a humble Victorian 0-4-2ST that due to increasing workloads became unsuitable for its original task but nevertheless defiantly survived in LMS stock and almost into BR ownership, is set to take on heavyweight opposition as one of the stars in a railwayana auction in October.

I’m in charge: The driver of LMS 0-4-2T No. 15001 poses with his charge on Inverness shed in June, 1936, with the worksplate clearly visible on the sandbox above the cylinder. Inset: The worksplate from the ex-Caledonian Railway loco that will be coming up for sale on October 1. CALEDONIAN RAILWAY ASSOCIATION/GNRA
I’m in charge: The driver of LMS 0-4-2T No. 15001 poses with his charge on Inverness shed in June, 1936, with the worksplate clearly visible on the sandbox above the cylinder. Inset: The worksplate from the ex-Caledonian Railway loco that will be coming up for sale on October 1. CALEDONIAN RAILWAY ASSOCIATION/GNRA

The plate is from Caledonian Railway No. 263, one of two locomotives designed by Caledonian Railway chief mechanical engineer Dugald Drummond for working the challenging Killin branch in Perthshire, which although only five miles long featured gradients of up to 1-in-50.

Promoted by local residents and businesses to increase tourism in the area, the line, running from the Callander & Oban Railway main line to the village of Killin and beyond to the steamers on Loch Tay, was opened in 1886. The CR worked the Callandar & Oban line, and the new Killin branch was also operated by the company, in return for 55% of the receipts.

Read more in the latest issue of Heritage Railway

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