186 Great Southern & Western Railway 0-6-0 Class 101 GSR Class J15 Sharp Stewart Works No 2838

This locomotive was built by Sharp Stewart & Co (works number 2838) at their Atlas Works in Manchester in 1879.

In 1932 the locomotive was fitted with a superheated boiler and Belpaire firebox

In its latter days in service the engine was based at Waterford shed and amongst other duties was employed in 1962/63 on its last season of hauling sugar beet trains.

It was withdrawn from service in 1964 and acquired by the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (RPSI) which was formed in that year.

In December 1966 the locomotive went into the York Road works of the Northern Ireland Railway (NIR) to have some work done to prepare the locomotive for a filming contract. Although the filming work did not happen the engine was occasionally used by the NIR as the York Road pilot. In May 1967 the locomotive was employed on two ballast workings between Magheramorne, Carrickfergus and Ballycarry.   

In September 1967 the locomotive became the first owned by the RPSI to run on Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ) metal.

In February 1968 ran light engine from York Road works to Whitehead where the RPSI have their headquarters. Prior to this the locomotive had hauled a series of shuttle trains on the Portrush – Coleraine branch.

The locomotive continued to be used extensively by the RPSI on railtours until July 1980 although it was retubed in 1973.

Quite early in its ownership of the RPSI it was fitted with a larger 3,345 gallon tender which the society had acquired. The tender is thought to have come from a 400 class locomotive.  

Whilst out of it was externally restored for exhibition at the open day celebrating the 150th anniversary of Inchicore works in 1996.

The locomotive returned to Whitehead in October 1999 and was given a comprehensive overhaul by the RPSI and returned to traffic in mid 2004.

The locomotive operated from its base at Whitehead until March 2014 .

Like number 184 is now considered to be too small to work the sort of railtours that the RPSI plan to run. It has therefore been installed as an exhibit at Whitehead.

186 at Laffan’s Bridge – June 1964
186 heading the 1964 Joint Irish Tour train for Foynes at Askeaton – June 1964
186 pilots 130 with a railtour for Rosslare at Bray – June 1964
186 at Kilbarrack with a railtour from Kingscourt to Dublin – May 1970
186 at Dundalk – April 1971
186 at Lalahide – April 1971
186 with an RPSI special for Galway at Athenry – June 1977
186 being turned at Waterside – September 1979
186 at Whitehead – December 2004
186 at Carrickfergus – December 2004
186 at Waterford on a train from Rosslare – May 2005
186 heading for Whehead crossing the River Lagan at Belfast – September 2011
186 at Lisburn – March 2013
186 at Whitehead – August 2013
186 at Carrickfergus – October 2013
186 at Whitehead – November 2017


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