30499 (LSWR 499, SR E499, SR 499 & BR 30499)

30499 in Woodham's scrapyard at Barry - October 1968.jpg

30499 was built at Easleigh in 1920 and as such is the oldest of the two Urie S15 locomotives which have been saved for preservation.

It entered service at Nine Elms as 499 and then moved the short distance to Feltham in 1940 to work from the new marshalling yard there. A year later 499 was commandeered to help on the GWR. This wartime period kept 499 on the GWR section working out of Old Oak Common until 1943.

Once part of the Southern Railway, 499’s first heavy overhaul in 1924/5, saw it repainted into lined goods black livery as no. E499, but in 1931, it received Maunsell lined green in recognition of the S15’s regular passenger duties. At this time, E499 also received its distinctive smoke deflectors. The number reverted back to 499 in 1934. The next most obvious change was the replacement of the Urie stovepipe chimney with a Maunsell class U1 pattern chimney in 1941, when it was also repainted in wartime plain black livery. After nationalisation of the railways, 499 received number 30499 and British Railways goods black in January 1949.

30499 was withdrawn from service in January 1964 having accumulated 1,241,024 miles in service, three years after its last major overhaul. During its running under BR ownership it had been based exclusively at Fetham.

Shorty before withdrawal the original 5,000 gallon water tender attached to 30499 was removed and replaced by an Ashford 4,000 gallon tender which had previously been used by 30835. Following withdrawal 30499 was sold to Woodham Brothers for scrap for £1,040.

30499 languished at Barry for sixteen years before losing its tender for a second time, when it was purchased to go with class U No. 31625, which left for the Mid-Hants Railway in 1980. The Urie Locomotive Society had purchased another Urie S15 (30506) in 1973 and moved it to the Mid Hants Railway and once that engine was well on the way to steaming again a plan was put forward to buy 30499 as a full set of spares for 30506.

The Urie Locomotive Society purchased 30499 in 1983 with the intention of restoring it to a fully working locomotive and it was transported to the Mid Hants Railway. A Maunsell double bogie 5,000 gallon tender of 1927 vintage was also purchased from the scrapyard at Barry to replace the one used in 1980.

Since arriving at Ropley on the Mid-Hants Railway in 1983, work on 30499 has focussed on obtaining or making the missing parts required to return it to steam. In 1996, 30499 was taken to Ian Riley Engineering at Bury on the East Lancs Railway, where its boiler, No.755, was removed and donated to sister engine 30506 to allow that engine to extend its service on the Mid-Hants Railway to fourteen years. Whilst at Bury, the frames of 30499 were overhauled and painted, and the wheels and crank pins have been turned. In November 2008 it was decided to move 30499 back to the Mid-Hants Railway and it then saw a period in store at Alresford. In 2011 the locomotive was brought up to Ropley to join the Society’s headquarters and other locomotive 30506, where it was then lifted onto a specially laid concrete plinth. Restoration then commenced on 30499 with the cab being the first major project. New steelwork was fabricated and erected and in the course of the next stage, more steel will be purchased to construct a new roof and then replacement of the corroded running plates.

By August 2016 the front end of the frame had been replaced.

In 2018 a new smokebox was cast for the locomotive at Bridport Foundry – the last smokebox for a LSWR locomotive was made in 1961 for 30120.

It was planned to have the locomotive operating again in 2020 in its original LSWR livery without smoke deflectors.

In April 2020 the owners disclosed that a deal had been struck with the Mid Hants Railway that resulted in the boiler to be used on the locomotive being moved into the workshops at Ropley in the previous month. The boiler itself was originally used by King Arthur N15 class locomotive 30799 Sir Ironside. The hope at this stage was that the locomotive would be in steam in 2022.

The locomotive was lifted off all of its wheel for the first time in preservation during the summer of 2020.

At the end of 2020 it was reported that the target date for competing the task of returning the locomotive to steam was the end of 2022.

When restored the locomotive will be the only S15 class engine to be restored to LSWR condition complete with a Urie pattern stovepipe chimney and an earlier style of smokebox door.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Mid Hants RailwayUnder restorationThe Urie Locomotive Society
30499 passing Harlesden
30499 after its withdrawal from service at Feltham
30499 in Woodham’s scrapyard at Barry – October 1968
30499 in Woodham’s scrapyard at Barry – June 1975
30499 in Woodham’s scrapyard at Barry – May 1983

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