Port Talbot 0-6-0ST No. 26 (GWR 813)
A welcome visiting loco to Chasewater
Last here a couple of years ago – a photo can now be seen on our 2009 leaflet – shame they couldn’t have used a pic of one of our own engines for the 50th Anniversary and Asbestos’ 100th year.
This locomotive is a six-coupled 0-6-0ST Saddle Tank No.813 under the Great Western Railway numbering system but was built for the Port Talbot Railway & Docks in 1901. The Port Talbot Railway & Docks Company was formed in 1894 to work the docks of the town. The Railway opened several branches especially those to the Llynfi & Garw valleys. This attracted a heavy coal traffic, which was dealt with at Duffryn Yard.
In 1901 the PTR ordered a number of small 0-6-0 saddle tank locomotives (six in all) from Hudswell Clark of Leeds & was given the works No. 555/01 & on delivery it became PTR No.26. In this guise it was put to work in Duffryn Yard & served in this capacity until 1908 when the PTR was absorbed into the GWR system. However, no changes were made to the loco at this time until the grouping which brought changes to No.26 in that it was first Westernised & given the GWR number 813.
The GWR decided later however that the older absorbed locos should be sold off out of service & No.813 fund itself on that list in 1934. It was sold to a Backworth Colliery, Northumberland where it was again renumbered as No.12 & remained there for the next 33 years. The No.12 did not stay for long though, as when the colliery was absorbed in to the National Coal Board when it was formed in 1947 it became NCB No.11
In 1950 it was fitted with a new boiler & firebox. However the original GWR boiler fittings were retained. As steam working was nearly at an end hastened by the closing of collieries, older locos were withdrawn in the late 1950’s & early 60’s with 813 lasting until the summer of 1967.
The loco was duly discovered by Mr. Paddy Goss & attempts to preserve it were ultimately successful for he was able, after a great struggle to raise funds as is ever the case in the preservation scene, to purchase the loco. The loco arrived at the Severn Valley Railway in November 1967 with sufficient finance available to pay for the removal charges. Since then much loving care & a great deal of money has been spent keeping 813 in its present condition.