THE boiler of LMS ‘Jubilee’ 4-6-0 No. 45596 Bahamas passed its steam test at Tyseley Locomotive works on December 21.
The rolling chassis is in the final stages of a bottom-end overhaul, while the tender is complete barring a final coat of paint.
Most of the overhaul – backed by a £776,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant – has taken place at Tyseley, with smaller tasks undertaken at the Bahamas Locomotive Society’s Ingrow West base on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
Bahamas is unique in that it was the only class member to receive a double chimney and blastpipe. This modification was installed very late in the engine’s life, in May 1961, but despite its success in BR trials, it was not applied to other locomotives as by then steam was on its way out.
The boiler has not been steamed since December 1997.
It is hoped that the locomotive, which paid a visit to Heritage Railway publisher Mortons’ office in November 2013 – when it was viewed by hundreds of local people as well as the Emmerdale soap actor Patrick Mower, en route to Tyseley – will be steamed in the KWVR’s 50th anniversary year.
British Railways wanted to improve the class’s performance, the trial with Bahamas proved successful, but by the early 1960s steam was starting to be phased out, meaning No. 45596 was the only member fitted with this equipment.
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