30583 was built in 1885 by Neilson & Co for the London South Western Railway and entered service as number 488. It subsequently carried numbers 0488, EKR 5, 3488 and 30583.
In September 1917 number 0488 (30583) was sold to the Ministry of Munitions, and then worked at Ridham Dock near Sittingbourne either as a rather unsuitable dock shunter or more likely on staff trains. It was purchased from the Ministry of Munitions Disposal and Liquidation Commission in March 1923 for £375 by Colonel Holman F. Stephens, for use on the East Kent Railway where it became EKR No 5, and delivered at Shepherdswell on 13 April 1923.
Seemingly little suited to the East Kent Light Railways’ needs the new addition was a pure passenger engine it was only used when absolutely necessary and then largely on coal trains taking 14 wagons on the Tilmanstone shuttle. Latterly it seems to have worked about once a month and last used on 29 May 1943.
In March 1946 the East Kent Railway engine 0488 (30583) was re-purchased by the Southern Railway for £120 and extensively overhauled at Eastleigh Works. The work was undertaken in order to use the locomotive to complement the other two surviving 0415 class engines working the sharply curved Lyme Regis branch. It was then renumbered 3488 and the three engines continued to work the branch until 1961.
The engines took turns to work the Lyme Regis branch, one week at a time, with the other two being kept spare at Exmouth Junction Shed. The line was then taken over by the Western Region in 1961 and modifications were undertaken on the trackwork to enable the 0415 class locomotives to be replaced by Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2Ts.
It was purchased by the Bluebell Railway who chose it because of the three 0415 class locomotives it was the one retaining the original pattern of boiler. It arrived on the Bluebell Railway under its own steam in July 1961.
It was operational until 1968 when extensive repairs became necessary to the cylinders and motion. After a wait of several years it was decided to seek outside help from Swindon Works for an overhaul of the locomotive.
It returned to service in August 1973 after costing nearly £20,000 to overhaul and repair. At this time it was painted in LSWR Drummond green livery.
It was given another overhaul in 1985 but is currently out of service and is displayed as a static exhibit as extensive overhaul (probably involving replacement of the boiler barrel) is required before it can steam again. It last steamed in 1990.
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