30053 (SR 53, SR E53 & BR 30053)

30053 large.jpg

30053 (Southern Railway No 53 and E53, British Railways No 30053) was designed by Drummond and built by the L&SWR at Nine Elms in London in 1905 and worked all over the L&SWR’s, and later Southern Railway’s, lines.

In 1930 the locomotive was fitted with the compressed air push and pull control developed by the former London, Brighton & South Coast Railway.

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

Date Arrived Depot
January 1948 Eastleigh
November 1950 Fratton
March 1953 Faversham
July 1953 Brighton
May 1959 Eastleigh
February 1960 Brighton
April 1961 Three Bridges
June 1962 Eastleigh
January 1963 Tunbridge Wells West
September 1963 Three Bridges
December 1963 Bournemouth

It was withdrawn from service in May 1964.

30053 was picked for preservation as it was considered to be in the best condition of the surviving M7 engines.

It was then stored at Eastleigh where it was subsequently cosmetically restored and the push and pull equipment removed before it was moved to Fratton for storage.

In April 1967 it was towed along with Schools class 30926 Repton to Gladstone Docks at Liverpool and shipped to the United States in April 1967, for exhibition at Steamtown USA, Scranton, Pennsylvania. There it remained for twenty years, out in the open, the sun bleaching its paintwork and leaving the humble tank engine in a very sorry state.

A group known as the Southern Repatriation Group evolved with the aim of returning 30053 and 30926 to Britain. Some of the people in the group were closely involved in the development of the Swanage Railway. After five years of negotiations 30053 was purchased by the Drummond Locomotive Society in June 1986 and after further fund raising the locomotive left the USA at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey in March 1987aboard the Nedlloyd ship Rosario which docked at Felixtowe in early April and 30053 was then transported to Swanage.

After being displayed at Swanage and at the LSWR 150 celebrations at Woking in May 1988 the locomotive was moved to the former GWR Swindon Works site for overhaul and restoration. As space at Swindon was then needed for exhibits temporarily displaced from the National Railway Museum at York another home had to be found for 30053.

In December 1990 the partly restored engine was moved by road to the East Anglia Railway Museum at Chappel & Wakes Colne. The restoration was completed there which enabled 30053 to be returned to steam on the Swanage Railway in June 1992.

30053 had a valid boiler certificate which ran out in early 2017 but an extension to the certificate was obtained as the boiler had been re-tubed in 2011. The locomotive was in service until the end of October 2017 when the boiler certificate expired.

In December 2017 the boiler was lifted off the frames to enable the overhaul of the locomotive to start.

Home Base Current Status Owner
Swanage Railway Under overhaul Drummond Locomotives Ltd
30053 on Eastleigh shed – July 1962.jpg 30053 on Eastleigh shed – July 1962
30053 at Eastleigh - January 1966.jpg 30053 at Eastleigh – January 1966
30053 at Eastleigh - March 1966.jpg 30053 at Eastleigh – March 1966
30053 near Corfe Castle-2009.jpg 30053 on the Swanage Railway near Corfe Castle-2009
30053 at Loughborough-2012.jpg 30053 at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway-2012
30053 on Victoria Bridge-2014.jpg 30053 on Victoria Bridge over the River Severn on the Severn Valley Railway-2014
30053 at Bewdley-2014.jpg 30053 at Bewdley on the Severn Valley Railway-2014
30053 small.jpg 30053 at Bewdley on the Severn Valley Railway-2014
30053 a.jpg 30053 & 34053 Sir Keith Park at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway-2014

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