Austerity Saddle Tank - Restoration

In 1995 a future Southern Locomotives shareholder, Norman Taylor, purchased the locomotive and it was transferred to the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley. The hoped-for help was not forthcoming and Norman exchanged it for Southern Locomotives shares in 1998, at the same time as putting up 50% of the funds to purchase Sidmouth. The Austerity was subsequently transferred to Sellindge where it was thought that the minimal facilities available would be sufficient to overhaul the locomotive. However the splendid external condition of the boiler gave a false impression of its condition.

Austerity Saddle Tank

No. 27, soon after arrival at Sellindge

On dismantling it was discovered that just about every conceivable part was broken, bent or life expired, and it had obviously been derailed at some point. The cylinder block was the major concern and should really have been replaced, but we didn't have the funds to do so. It was therefore expertly repaired and made ready for use.

The frames were rewheeled in November 2006 and the boiler was made ready for re-instatement having had a new tubeplate fitted. New tubes were fitted during the Winter of 2006/7. A new smokebox was rolled and reinstated.

Austerity Saddle Tank

The boiler being lifted on to a low-loader

The small team at Sellindge should be congratulated on their persistence with this locomotive which proved to be an extremely difficult restoration.

Austerity Saddle Tank

The nicely restored slidebars and frames

When restored it was fitted with a conventional exhaust. The locomotive was moved to Swanage in June 2009.

In October 2010 Norman moved to the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway where its restoration was completed, and it entered passenger service on 13th February 2011. Since then it was a mainstay of services on that line. The loco's boiler ticket expired in January 2018.

Work on the overhaul started in 2018, however it was delayed Covid, etc, and is not yet complete. The loco is now at the East Lancs Railway, and we hope it will return to traffic in 2024.