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Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era – Beattie 2-4-0WT

Steam Locomotives of a Leisurely Era

London & South Western Railway – 1863

 Beattie 2-4-0WT

 No. 0329 after its 1921 rebuilding.  H.C.Casserley

In 1863 Joseph Beattie introduced some 2-4-0WT engines for suburban working which remained a standard type for the rest of his tenure in office, and also for that of his son, W.G.Beattie, who followed him from the years 1871-8.  In all, 88 of the class were constructed, 85 from Beyer Peacock & Co., and the other three built in the Company’s own works at Nine Elms.  They worked most of the London area suburban services until displaced in the 1880s by Adams’ larger 4-4-2Ts, after which many of them were converted to 2-4-0 tender engines.  With three exceptions the whole class was withdrawn between 1888 and 1899, and it could be hardly have been imagined at the time that these three were destined to outlast all their sisters by at least another sixty years, with a life of more than three times that of any of the rest of the class.  Such, however, has proved to be the case.Two of the then three remaining Beattie 2-4-0 Well-tank engines, used on the Wenford Bridge line until 1962, on an RCTS railtour shunting at Hampton Court station in December 1962.  The engines were 30585 and 30587 G.D.King.

The reason for this retention was that they were found to be the only suitable engines for working the Wenford Bridge mineral line in north Cornwall, which has numerous curves and is of light construction.  These conditions still apply, in consequence of which the engines have been several times rebuilt and renewed and, but for the eventual probability of being replaced by diesels, would seemingly have been destined to carry on indefinitely.  Previous to 1921 they had carried boilers and chimneys of Adams pattern, but in that year they received new Drummond type boilers with ‘pop’ safety valves on the dome, although retaining the stove-pipe chimneys for the time being.  Later these were discarded for Drummond chimneys, and amongst other minor alterations steel buffer beams have replaced the original wooden ones.  Otherwise the design has undergone little change.30586 – In spite of their age the 0298 class do a good day’s work.  One is used for the Wenford Bridge mineral line, another for station pilot duties at Wadebridge, whilst the third is kept as a spare engine.  Here is No. 30586, dropping off a fitted van just taken from the rear of a down Oakhampton to Padstow train.  Derek Cross.

The original numbers of the engines were 298, 314, and 329, later transferred to the duplicate list as 0298, etc., whilst in Southern days they became 3298, 3324, and 3329.  On absorption into British Railways stock they were renumbered respectively 30587, 30585 and 30586.  All were from the last two batches built by Beyer Peacock & Co. in 1874-5.

Driving wheels – 5’ 7”,  Cylinders – 16½”x20”, Pressure – 160lbs.,  Tractive effort – 11050lbs.,  Weight 37tons 16cwt., LSWR and SR power classification K,  Br power classification OP

30587 approaching Chasewater Heaths from Chasetown Church Street

 Chasewater Railway was proud to feature Beattie 30587 during the Spring Gala of 2004.  Having a prestigious locomotive working on our lines attracted interest from members, guests and the visiting public.  The occasion provided excellent photo-shoot opportunities and we are indebted to Michael Denholm for allowing us to use some of his photographs.