Tag Archives: Industrial Railway Society

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era – 1942 – ‘USA’ Class Southern Region 0-6-0T

Steam Locomotives of a More Leisurely Era

1942 – ‘USA’ Class

Southern Region 0-6-0T

Model of No.32 Model USA 0-6-0 Loco 1

Roger Monk sent these 2 photos of a model of the locos.

For anybody interested this was built in the 1980s from a white metal kit.  A ready to run version is due to be released in the near future.  A couple of locos of this type worked in the West Midlands – at the Austin (later BL & Rover) plant at Longbridge.  Details are in the IRS West Midlands Industrial Locomotives Handbook.

Model of No.32 Model USA 0-6-0 Loco 2

USA ClassOrigin – USA, Purchased by Southern Region – Dec. 1946, Driving wheels – 4’ 6”, Length 29’ 8”, Weight – 46 tons 10cwt, Water capacity – 1,200 US gallons, Designer – US Army Transportation Corps, Purpose – Heavy-duty Dock Shunting, Cylinders (2) – 16½”x 24”, Boiler pressure – 210 lb., Coal capacity – 1 US ton, Power classification – 3F.

A typically American ‘Switcher’ or shunting engine. Stove-pipe chimney and three domes, the centre one of which carries the whistle. Quite un-English in appearance. Outside cylinders and valve gear. Connecting rods drive on rear axle. Very wide cab necessitating special warning notice to shunters riding on steps.

Number series: 30061- 30074 (Total 14).

A total of 382 of these locomotives were built to this design by three American builders – Davenport, Porter and the Vulcan Iron Works.

After the war, forty two of these locomotives were stored at the War Department’s Newbury depot awaiting disposal. A number found their way to Yugoslavia but others were sold for £2,500 each to the Southern Railway at the end of 1946. The latter found the locomotive’s 10 feet coupled wheelbase very useful and they were allocated to Southampton Docks where they subsequently became very well known to British enthusiasts.. Indeed, some of these locomotives have survived and can still be seen working on preserved railways – I believe there is one the Bluebell Line, on on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway and two on the Kent and East Sussex Railway.

DS238The National Coal Board purchased three of the locomotives in May-June 1947 for use at its collieries in the north east. It would appear that their new surroundings were not to their liking and all three locomotives had short lives. Presumably their unusual pedigree posed a problem when major renewal was required. NCB No.32 (Davenport 2521 of 1943, number 4372) operated at Rising Sun Colliery and from Backworth Shed before it was scrapped in June 1954.

The other two locomotives – No.35 (Davenport 2509 of 1943, number 1944) and No. 36 (Davenport 2595 of 1944, Number 6006) worked on the Hartley Main system until they were scrapped in May and October 1953 respectively.

No.35

Museum News – New loan entries to the Chasewater Railway Museum.

Museum News

New loan entries to the Chasewater Railway Museum.

New plates on loan from IRSThe photograph was taken by Bob Anderson.

During their visit to Chasewater Railway the Industrial Railway Society placed three loco nameplates and two worksplates on loan to join their other 18 items already in the museum. The nameplates are ‘Dreadnought’, ‘Pioneer’ and Lamport. The worksplates are from ‘Pioneer’ and ‘Lamport’.
The museum is most appreciative of this further loan as it demonstrates the confidence that the Industrial Railway Society has in the Chasewater Railway Museum.

DSCF9157

The Sidings Tea Room, Industrial Railway Society visit plus other news

On 21st October 2011 Chasewater Railway were hosts to a visit by members of the Industrial Railway Society, including Rosalind Sirr, daughter of the late Eric Tonks, who put together the collection of locomotive nameplates, later donated to the Industrial Railway Society, who, in turn, loaned the collection to the Chasewater Railway Museum.The visit opened with tea and biscuits and a slide show on the first floor of the Museum.This was followed by a train ride behind Asbestos, the full length of the line – not cut off at the causeway as it was on the previous visit, for the IRS AGM when the causeway was closed to allow for a culvert to be built into it.Asbestos in Chasewater Heaths Station.

Ready to go.On return to Brownhills West all were treated to an absolutely first class buffet, put on by the new Hospitality Manager, Craig Wilkinson and his staff in the Sidings Tea Room, I cannot remember having a better buffet anywhere! I tried most of the items on offer – all delicious – taking care to leave room for at least two sweets (I wish I could have eaten more!)Anyone thinking of trying the Sunday Carvery which starts on 23rd October should be in for a real treat!

Derek Hayward brought along his latest acquisition – a beautiful Bassett Lowke ‘0’ gauge model Peckett.

This model is available in two colours, the red one is called ‘Wenman’ and the green ‘Joseph’.

Tailpiece – the gruesome twosome!

Industrial Railway Society – Letter of Thanks

Chasewater Railway Museum curator Mr. Barry Bull has received the following letter of thanks from the Industrial Railway Society in appreciation of their successful visit for the Society’s 2011 AGM.  Barry , in turn, would like to pass on his thanks to all Chasewater Railway members who helped to make the visit so successful.

Industrial Railway Society Day at Chasewater Railway. 16-04-2011

Industrial Railway Society Day at Chasewater Railway.

 The Chasewater Railway was honoured to host the Annual General Meeting of the Industrial Railway Society on Saturday 16th April 2011.

The day started with the unveiling of the Eric Tonks Collection of locomotive nameplates and worksplates, this was, of course held in the Museum.Following this, and many photographs, a number of rides down the line with ‘Asbestos’ and ‘Linda’ taking turns in hauling the train.  I think that ‘Colin McAndrew’ was in steam later.Pic by oakparkrunner

The Marston’s Baguley diesel shunter and the Class 08 were also put through their paces.

There was a buffet lunch on the first floor of the Heritage Centre which was well appreciated – well done Linda and Mavis and anyone else involved.

The Annual General Meeting was held after lunch, followed by more railway activity.Pic by oakparkrunner

Our visitors’ book bears testimony as to how well Chasewater Railway’s efforts were appreciated.  Well done everyone.

Chasewater Railway and Museum News – 12th April 2011

Chasewater Railway and Museum News

12th April 2011

One or two bits of news about happenings on the railway today.  The first batch of seats for the carriage has been returned and the remainder taken away for reupholstering.

I tried to get a picture of Jason carrying some of the seats – but I missed!  I know he doesn’t carry much weight but…….

The Marston’s Baguley has been running in the yard – very well done Jason!  I shall put a clip on youtube when I have finished this post.

We hear that the work on the causeway isn’t going too well at the moment.

Preparations are going ahead for the visit of the Industrial Railway Society for their AGM on Saturday.  Three locos in steam, plus diesels, plus the narrow gauge – sounds like a mini-gala!

With the increasing number of visitors to the museum we have seen an increase in offers by way of loan or donation of artefacts.   Amongst items of note to arrive recently on loan from Michael Mayne is a very rare enamel wagon plate “Empty to Coventry Colliery, Foleshill”, also a nameplate of “Coronation”, a Peckett 0-6-0ST formerly at West Thurrock Cement Works.  Finally, three items of local interest have been loaned by Robert Cadman, these are as follows: Memorandum of Association of the Cannock & Rugeley Colliery Co.Ltd.  Regulations of the Cannock & Rugeley Colliery Co.Ltd., 1895 and finally the lease of the Cannock Chase Colliery, dated 21st January 1867 – including a map of the area.

A section of the map of the lease area

Thanks go to all those who have entrusted us with their treasures.

Museum Notes


Press Release (13th September 2010): Provisional Museum Accreditation

Chasewater Railway is delighted to announce that the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council (the MLA) has awarded the Railway’s Museum the status of “Provisional Accreditation”. Some work is still to be completed to achieve full accreditation, but the award has attracted congratulations from the MLA, the Consultant Accreditation Assessor and the West Midlands Regional Accreditation Adviser, all of whom have described it as an “excellent achievement”.

The Railway’s Chairman, David Bathurst, said: “This is a significant event for the Museum team, who have been working for a number of years alongside museum professionals to develop the standards of care and other procedures that represent what is best for the management and display of the Railway’s superb collection of railway artefacts.

“If you are intending to visit the Railway, make sure that you call in to see the Museum (located in the Heritage Centre at Brownhills West Station) and see for yourself. Whether you are knowledgeable about railways or not, we believe that you will leave the Museum suitably impressed by the displays and by the enthusiasm of the Museum staff.”

Some New Items


This clock was presented to Mr. J. E. Garnett by British Railways North Eastern Region in appreciation of 45 years service.  It was given to the Chasewater Railway Museum by Mr. Garnett’s grandson, Mr. Phil Arundale of Burntwood.Museum Curator, Mr. Barry Bull, putting the clock right on it’s new stand.  It keeps very good time but sadly it has lost its talking point – it now does the correct number of chimes.  It was more fun guessing how many it was going to do – the record stood at 21!

We are very grateful to accept this clock, which has already received many favourable comments, and thank Mr. Arundale for his most generous donation.

Another recent donation is this camera and tripod, which belonged to Norman Glover, and was certainly used to take at least two of the photographs on our 2011 calendar – now available in the Chasewater Railway shops and Museum, and you get change out of a fiver!

It was given to the museum as part of a collection of documents and photographs from the Birmingham Locomotive Club, the forerunner of the Industrial Railway Society,  courtesy of Alan Wycherly and delivered by Peter Clark.  Our Curator is now examining the documents and putting them in order.  (or just reading them because he is interested!).  While going through some correspondence, Barry did find a letter addressed to himself – this does raise the question – if this correspondence goes into the Museum collection should Mr. Bull also be included in our catalogue??

Finally for these notes, a ‘Dinky’ diecast tank locomotive, given to us by Mr. Peter Bujara, found in a Charity Shop.

After some deliberation it was decided to repaint the loco to its former glory.  This was done by a good friend of the museum, Derek Wright.

Industrial Gala

Sunday 13th September

2009_09130039The second day highlight in the heritage centre was this six coupled diesel loco – it’s just a pity more people didn’t see it.  As I said yesterday, our visitors don’t like walking round to the back door.  There were times when there was no loco movement in the vicinity and it would have been safe to cross – if only we had a Station Master on duty to control the crossing.  It would surely be a quite simple task for someone with an understanding of the timetable.  To continue the now regular moan about station staff, it does seem absolutely ridiculous that the railway has a Gala, with a fairly complex timetable, and no-one on duty on the platform, in uniform to help our paying passengers.  Earlier in the year, were five people not appointed Station Masters – what has happened to them?

One is now a valued member of the museum staff2009_06090009But that still leaves four!

As for the Gala attendance, it didn’t seem to be as busy as you would expect  – not what you would hope for with such good weather.  A lot of work went into the Gala, especially by the train crews, but with no different locos on show, interest seemed to be lacking.  Also there were a quite a few other events held over this weekend.

The highlight of the running locos was, for me at any rate, the re-appearance of the ‘Bass No.5’ diesel engine – nice to see it back in the yard.2009_091300412009_09130046

2009_09130100The narrow gauge ran demonstration trains for a while, but, with no passenger facility, didn’t seem to generate much interest among the public on this occasion.

The museum also continued to suffer low numbers, with just an occasional burst of activity, in spite of having the Industrial Railway Society’s Eric Tonks nameplate collection on show.2009_09130057I hope that passenger figures prove me wrong as to the overall ‘feel’ of the Gala, but after the great success of the 50th Anniversary bash it felt a little flat.2009_09130052It’s a frame-up!!

Eric Tonks’ Collection

Ironstone cropped

Chasewater Railway Museum is delighted to announce that the Industrial Railway Society has loaned the Eric Tonks Collection of nameplates and worksplates to the Museum for at least the next two years.

The collection comprises examples of plates from both standard and narrow gauge locomotiveswhich worked in collieries and ironstone quarries, principally in the East Midlands.

A small number of these items will be on show this coming weekend, Asbestos’ Birthday, and more in another couple of weeks at the 50th Anniversary Celebrations.  We hope to have the entire collection on display in the Autumn.

2 worksplates cropped