30070 (WD 1960, SR 70, BR DS 238 & BR 30070)

30070 at Rolvenden on the Kent & East Sussex Railway - March 1970.jpg

Built in 1943 by the Vulcan Iron Works, Pennsylvania, this engine became War Department No. 1960. After store at Newbury Racecourse station and subsequent purchase by the SR, it became plain 70, and went to work in Southampton Docks in November 1947. Becoming BR 30070, it remained a shunter at Southampton Docks until 1962, when ousted by diesel shunters. Grabbed by one of the engineering departments, the engine was latterly renumbered DS238, named Wainwright, and made its way to Ashford Wagon Works in November 1963. It remained in use there alongside classmate No. DS237 (formerly 30065), until being taken out of service permanently in June 1967. Sister engine DS237 was decommissioned in April of the same year, and in March 1968 both were sold to Woodham Brothers, South Wales. Dragged dead in tow from Ashford, bound for the scrapyard on Barry Island, the pair were declared unfit for further travel at Tonbridge, due to developing hot bearings. Here, they were dumped on the site of the closed engine shed for six months, until being moved to Rolvenden, on the Kent & East Sussex Railway, in September 1968. They had been re-sold to the preserved line in the previous month.

After many years out of use restoration work started in 1988 and enabled it to enter traffic in 1994 as DS238 although with extensive modifications to the cab and bunker.  It represented the K&ESR at the 150th Anniversary of railways at the National Railway Museum, York in 2004 but was then withdrawn for a routine overhaul, which is currently being undertaken.

It is hoped to have the locomotive operating on the K&ESR in the summer of 2017 at which time it will be painted Longmoor Military Railway blue. It passed its boiler hydraulic tests in December 2016 and was due to return to service in April 2017.

It was still under overhaul in June 2017 but was then expected to be in service in August 2017 in the guise of Longmoor Military Railway WD 300 Major-General Frank S Ross.

Home Base Current Status Owner
Kent & East Sussex Railway Operational Kent & East Sussex Railway
30070 shunting at Southampton Docks.jpg 30070 shunting at Southampton Docks
30070 at Rolvenden on the Kent & East Sussex Railway - March 1970.jpg 30070 at Rolvenden on the Kent & East Sussex Railway – March 1970

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