Saddletank rings the changes at Spa Valley


By Geoff Courtney

FORMER quarry company 0-6-0ST Ring Haw is to boost the Spa Valley Railway steam fleet during the summer after its arrival at the Tunbridge Wells-based line on May 22, when it will join resident steam locomotives Nos. 62 and 72.

Ringing the changes: Hunslet 0-6-0ST Ring Haw, seen here in full flight on the North Norfolk Railway, which has been its home for nearly half a century, will make a trip south of the Thames this summer to boost the Tunbridge Wells-based Spa Valley Railway fleet of steam locos. FRANK RICHARDS

The saddletank is a wartime product, having been built by Hunslet Engine Co of Leeds in 1940 for the then newly-opened Nassington ironstone quarry in Northamptonshire, which had its own railway system linked to the nearby LMS Rugby Midland to Peterborough East line.

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With the closure of the quarry in 1970 it moved to the North Norfolk Railway, where it has been resident ever since. Its first main event on the Spa Valley line in tandem with Nos. 62 and 72 – both also 0-6-0STs – will be the railway’s summer steam festival on July 1-2.

No. 62 carries the name Ugly and was built by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorns in 1950, while No. 72, a former MOD and NCB locomotive, is a Vulcan Foundry product built in 1945.

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