THE Aln Valley Railway is set to take delivery of a second steam locomotive which will be based permanently at the Northumbrian line.
Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST No. 3686 of 1948 went new to the Lambton locomotive shed at Philadelphia in County Durham in January 1949. It later worked at Hetton-le-Hole, Springwell Bank Foot, Sherburn Hill, Blackhall Colliery and Dawdon Colliery where it arrived in July 1965.
A mechanical stoker was fitted in 1962 but it was removed five years later. Its NCB career ended with it being the standby for diesels at Dawdon Colliery.
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The Austerity was bought by Stephen Wood and operated on the Strathspey Railway where he was a director, as No. 60.
However it was out of service for two decades and was moved to the Hepscott works of Ian Storey in Northumberland for a heavy repair including a full overhaul, boiler repairs and attention to items such as bearings.
It will arrive at Lionheart station near Alnwick in mid-March and will be repainted into black livery and undergo a period of running-in.
The heritage line intends to introduce the locomotive to public service for the bank holiday weekend of May 5-7 when the line is holding a ‘Branch End 50’ steam gala to mark the 50 years since the closure of the NER Alnmouth to Alnwick branch in 1968.
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