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Hunslet 0-6-0 saddle tank Austerity class built 1956, number 3839 "Wimblebury"
Above: Final preparations to Hunslet 0-6-0ST 7 "Wimblebury" at Caverswall Road on 16 July 2004
"Wimblebury" is a very similar locomotive to "Whiston", being a second example of an Austerity saddle tank built by Hunslet of Leeds, but six years younger. It was delivered new in 1956 to the National Coal Board at Cannock Wood Colliery near Hednesford in Staffordshire and worked there until withdrawn in the early 1970s. Originally earmarked as spares for another engine, "Wimblebury" was purchased privately for preservation and moved to Foxfield on 26 September 1973.
Hunslet 0-6-0ST "NCB No7 Wimblebury" at Cannock Wood Colliery [late HB
Once fitted with vacuum brakes "Wimblebury" became a regular performer on Foxfield passenger trains in the mid 1970s. After an overhaul in the early 1980s including a repaint in original livery, it put in many more years of service. "Wimblebury" also took part in a memorable photographic charter at Littleton Colliery in 1992. Out of traffic for ten years, it was much missed by footplate crews for its power and performance.
In the late 1990s "Wimblebury" received mechanical attention to rectify faults from its NCB days and the reassembled chassis then awaited some boiler repairs to restore it to working order again. This took place in early 2004, and the countdown began to the 2004 Steam Gala in July. Repainting in blue was assisted by a team from the office of "Steam Railway" magazine, and "Wimblebury" steamed for its test on 14 July. The story of "Steam Railway" team appeared on pages 72-3 of its 300th edition (13 August - 9 September 2004). Detail painting and lining continued right up to 16 July, the eve of the Gala, and the loco appeared in tandem with "Whiston" once again.
Above: Last minute lining on bunker of "Wimblebury" at Caverswall Road on 16 July 2004
Steam pressure: 170lbs
Cylinders: 18in x 26in
Tractive effort: 23,870 lbs (at 75% boiler pressure)
Wheel diameter: 4' 3"
Coupled wheelbase 11' 0"
Weight in working order: 48 tons 3 cwt
Water capacity: 1,200 gallons
Coal capacity: 2 tons 5 cwt
a website totally devoted to "Austerity" saddletanks, including a detailed
list, see WD Saddletanks.
|For more information on the Foxfield Steam Railway, its passenger services and special events please see the official website at http://www.foxfieldrailway.co.uk.|