30120 (LSWR 120, SR E120, SR 120 & BR 30120)

30120 large.jpg

30120 was built at Nine Elms as LSWR number 120 in 1899 at.

Some early motive power depot allocations.

Date ArrivedDepot
July 1937Fratton
December 1945Eastleigh

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

Date ArrivedDepot
January 1948Eastleigh
July 1950Fratton
May 1951Dorchester
December 1952Guildford
September 1953Eastleigh
February 1961Exmouth Junction
October 1961Eastleigh

In March 1960 the locomotive hauled the last Passenger train between Newbury and Eastleigh.

It was withdrawn from service at Exmouth shed at Exeter in 1961 but remained in capital stock. The following year it was restored at Eastleigh to run in LSWR green livery and numbered as 120 to work special trains and some normal services.

It was withdrawn from capital stock in July1963 but continued to haul special trains until October of that year.

It was then placed in store at Fratton, Stratford in September 1964, Preston Park in February 1968, Tyseley in September 1970 and the National Railway Museum in York in October 1977.

In August 1981 The Urie S15 Preservation Group were given custody of the locomotive and it was moved to the Mid Hants Railway during the following month.

It returned to steam on the Mid Hants Railway in 1983 but because of the steep gradients on the line it was moved to the Swanage Railway in 1991 and remained there until the boiler certificate expired in 1993. It then moved to the Bluebell Railway, who could provide undercover accommodation and access for the public, where it was placed on static display until 2008 when it was taken to the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Here it was restored to fully working order by the Bodmin & Wenford Railway Trust at the Flour Mill Workshop in the Forest of Dean, and the locomotive had its public debut in 2010.

It is part of the National Collection and was on long term loan to the Bodmin and Wenford Railway. In July 2017, after a head on collision, the locomotive was transferred to Swanage but was due to return to Bodmin by September 2017.

30120 remains at Swanage where it has not steamed again and there are concerns that it will never steam again. The issue being that the cylinder blocks, which are located directly below the smokebox, are vunerable to sulpur-induced corrosion. When the locomotive was last overhauled several holes in the top of the cylinder block were given temporary repairs. It is now felt that a new block may be required.

In the event a heavy repairs to the cylinder blocks was undertaken and 30120 undertook a light engine test run in early November 2017. It returned to service in the following month.

Late in 2017 a long term loan agreement was signed by the National Railway Museum and the Swanage Railway. This will mean that the locomotive will stay on the Swanage Railway until the 30th September 2020 when it will be due for an overhaul.

In August 2020 it was reported that the locomotive had failed its annual steam test in July. The locomotive was due to be withdrawn at the end of September 2020 when the boiler certificate expires. Following the failed steam test the National Railway Museum and the Swanage Railway decided to withdrawn the engine from service. Given the mechanical problems it raises the question as to whether the locomotive will be returned to steam.

In February 2021 it was reported that an agreement between the National Railway Museum and the Swanage Railway could result in the locomotive being returned to steam. Under the agreement the Swanage Railway Trust will store the locomotive, with provision for a boiler lift to assess the potential for the locomotive to be returned to steam. No timetable was set for the assessment but it is understood that the Swanage Railway are keen to complete it as soon as possible.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Bodmin and Wenford Railway

but now at Swanage Railway

Out of serviceNational Railway Museum

NRM Object Number{1978-7024}

30120 at Haywards Heath – October 1962
30120 on Bournemouth shed – April 1963
30120 on Eastleigh shed – June 1963
120 at London Victoria - September 1963.jpg
30120 at London Victoria – September 1963
30120 at Tyseley – June 1971
30120 at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway - August 1985.jpg
30120 at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway – August 1985
30120 at Woking open day – May 1988
30120 at Swanage – May 1993
30120 double heading with 31806 at Bewdley on the Severn Valley Railway – September 2012
30120 at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway – September 2012
30120 at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway – September 2012
30120 on the Mid Hants Railway – March 2013
30120 at Norchard on the Dean Forest Railway – July 2016
30120 on the Swanage Railway – November 2018
30120 at Swanage – August 2019
30120 at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway – October 2019

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