Steam Locos of a Leisurely Era
Photo – The engine as running in the 1930s
This engine started life in 1858 in the form of a small 0-4-0ST, constructed by Sharp Stewart & Co. for the North and South Western Junction Railway for working the Hammersmith to Acton branch. It was taken over shortly afterwards by the NLR becoming at first No.27, and later 29 and 29A in the Company’s lists. In 1872 it was converted at Bow Works into an 0-4-2ST and the crane fitted, and in this form it remained practically unaltered for nearly eighty years, spending its life as works shunter at Bow.
Subsequently it became LNWR 2896, LMS 7217 and later 27217, and finally BR 58865. It was the oldest engine inherited by British Railways on its formation in 1948. It was hoped that it might live to attain its centenary, a feat never then realised by a working engine in this country without drastic rebuilding, although it has happened abroad, at least one engine in Spain today being over a hundred years old, and this incidentally by a British-built locomotive. The old NL engine was withdrawn from service in 1951 and sent to Derby where it remained for several months before being broken up.
Driving wheels – 3’ 10”, Cylinders – 13”x 17”, Pressure – 120lb, Tractive effort – 6370lb, Weight – 32 tons 6cwt.