This locomotive was one of two built in 1954 by Robert Stephenson & Hawthorn to work at the Castle Donington Power Station on the River Trent In Leicestershire. The other locomotive was RSH 7817 which has also been preserved.
Construction of the coal fired power station at Castle Donington commenced in 1951 and the station was opened in 1958. It cost £30m to build and at that time was the biggest power station in western Europe.
Although the locomotives were replaced by diesel traction the locomotives were retained on the site so that in April 1988 they were used to haul empty waggons for an Industrial Railway Society event at Castle Doninghton. It is claimed that 7817 was the last industrial steam locomotive working in Britain as late as 1990.
Initially I had understood that 7818 had never steamed in preservation but I have since learn that in was in steam on the Great Central Railway,Nottingham at Ruddington in the 1990s before its boiler certificate expired.
It is thought that the locomotive was being bought by Peter Wood in instalments and that he had intended that the locomotive would go to the Midland Railway Centre (MRC) where it would be restored and run with 7817. Following the death of Peter Wood the MRC decided that they no longer had space for 7818 and could not afford to pay the money still outstanding in order to own the locomotive. The owner then put the locomotive up for sale in order to be able to repay the MRC for the amounts Peter Wood had already paid towards the purchase price.
The locomotive appears to be now stored as a kit of parts in the undergrowth at Yaxham Station on the Mid-Norfolk Railway although it remains privately owned.
|7818 behind 7817 at Castle Donington – February 1985|