Veteran 0-6-2T, No. 29, has moved from its home shed at Grosmont on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) to Didcot Railway Centre for the summer season. The 1904-built veteran will be a regular performer on the Centre’s demonstration lines in July and August.
This is the first time the powerful locomotive has visited the Didcot and she will work alongside fellow centenarian No. 1340 ‘Trojan’ which returned to steam in May following a £200,000 overhaul and unique ‘Saint’ Class tender engine No. 2999 ‘Lady of Legend’.
Head of Visitor Experience & Marketing, Graham Hukins, said “We're delighted to welcome No 29 for the summer and thank our colleagues at the NYMR for allowing her to visit. The prospect of having two locomotives that are over 100 years old working side-by-side is very exciting indeed.”
The engine was built to operate heavy coal trains on the Lambton Colliery Railway in County Durham, which after mergers became the Lambton, Hetton & Joicey Collieries (LH&JC) with a network of over 70 miles linking the areas mines with the Port of Sunderland. In common with other locomotives on the LH&JC system, No 29 has a distinctive rounded cab – necessary to ensure the engines could work through the narrow bore of the tunnel to ‘Lambton Drops’ – the company’s coal staithes at the port.
Photos courtesy of Philip Benham (top) and Ray Brown