Second working steam locomotive for Aln Valley

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.

Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST No. 60 at Ian Storey’s works at Hepscott in February. AVR

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.

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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