Fenchurch locomotive 1872 (No. 72) - locomotive.worldmy.info

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Fenchurch locomotive 1872 (No. 72)

History locomotives

Fenchurch locomotive 1872

By the time  of its withdrawal from  British  Railways in  1963.  1872-built Terrier  0-6-0T No. 32636  was the oldest working locomotive in the country. As one of 50 AT class engines designed by the London Brighton & South Coast Railways William Stroudley and built at Brighton between 1872 and 1880, it is one of several members of the class diat have enjoyed extremely long and varied lives.

Fenchurch locomotive 1872

Fenchurch locomotive 1872
Introduced  1872
Builder  LBSC, Brighton
Designer  Stroudley
Weight (loco)  28 tons
Boiler pressure  150psi
Cylinders (2)  13  x  20 in
Valve gear  Stephenson

Driving wheel diameter  4 ft  0 in

Tractive effort  10,4000 lb
Other numbers  B636/2636/32636/672

Withdrawn 1963
Preserved  Bluebell Railway

Named Fenchurch by the LBSC and numbered 72, it worked for more than a quarter of a century before being sold in 1898 to the Newhaven Harbour Company for £500. It should have passed permanently into industrial obscurity, but by a strange quirk of fate, the harbour company was taken over by the Southern Railway in 1926 and so the little 0-6-0 found itself back on the same main line books as its former stablemates, this time numbered 2636. Partly because they combined reliability and durability with ability to work over lightly-laid lines, 20 survived to be taken into SR stock in 1923, by which time most had been reboilered to form the A1X class, and almost all of those were still in use when British Railways was formed a quarter of a century later.

British Railways, too, found them indispensable, especially on the Hayling Island, Isle of Wight, Kent & Hast Sussex and Weston & Portishead routes, and so nine were still on the books in the early-1960s, by which time the preservation movement was well under way. The Terriers were ideal for fledgling heritage lines as they were reliable yet cheap to run, and it is perhaps no surprise that no fewer than ten have been preserved, Fenchurch moving to the Bluebell Railway in 1963. In 2001, the Bluebell back-converted it as far as possible to its A1 form. It is worth noting that a younger classmate, 1875-built No. 55 Stepney, had been the first loco to arrive on the Bluebell, on May 17, 1960, and can thus be considered the senior citizen of the standard gauge heritage railway movement.

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