30777 Sir Lamiel (SR E777, SR 777 & BR 30777)     

30777 large.jpg

Sir Lamiel, numbered E777, was built in June 1925 at the North British Locomotive Works (Hyde Park Works) in Glasgow as one of the batch of 30 engines built there. These engines had a narrower cab to suit them for use on the Eastern section of the Southern Railway and had 5000 gallon bogie tenders. Smoke deflectors were fitted in December, 1927. The E prefix was abandoned in 1932.

In 1936 achieved some notoriety whilst working the Atlantic Coast Express when it cut 17¼ minutes off the booked time of 90 minutes for the 83.8 miles from Salisbury to Waterloo and attained a speed of 90 mph at Byfleet.

E777 was first allocated to Nine Elms shed in London for work on the expresses from Waterloo to the West Country and Bournemouth. Later allocations were Battersea, Bournemouth, Dover, Feltham and Basingstoke. After the Nationalisation of the Railways in 1948, Sir Lamiel was re-numbered 30777.

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

Date Arrived Depot
January 1948 Eastleigh
January 1951 Nine Elms
June 1951 Stewarts Lane
September 1951 Dover Marine
May 1959 Feltham
September 1960 Basingstoke

During its working life it carried a number of liveries in addition to its original olive green. During the war it was painted black but donned malachite green in, 1947 and British Railway’s version of that colour in, 1948. BR’s Brunswick Green was applied in 1951.

Sir Lamiel was withdrawn from service in October 1961 after a relatively short working life of some 36 years. Normally a steam locomotive would have been expected to work for 50 years but the British Railways Modernisation Plan of 1955 led to the rapid introduction of diesel locomotives and the consequent early withdrawal of the steam engines.

After withdrawal Sir Lamiel was first stored at Fratton and then Stratford and Ashford. In 1978 it was adopted by the Humberside Locomotive Preservation Group and taken to their base at Diarycoates shed in Hull. Restoration to main line standards took place there and the first steaming in preservation took place in 1982. In the same year it made its first main line trip over the famous Settle and Carlisle Railway. Following a first overhaul in preservation in 1989, there then followed a successful and varied main line career which included a trip to Birmingham in 1994 for an appearance in the film The Cruel Train.

Sir Lamiel is part of the National Collection of the National Railway Museum at York. It is in the custody of the 5305 Locomotive Association at Loughborough, the successor to the Humberside Locomotive Preservation Group. It arrived at the Great Central Railway in 1995 and after some limited running was withdrawn for overhaul in 1996.

For restoration to running condition, aided by several Main Line Steam Trust (MLST) grants, the locomotive was stripped down to its component parts before these were repaired and re-painted and, where necessary, replaced with new parts before re-assembly into a complete engine once again.

A great deal of work was completed on the locomotive including a complete re-tube of the boiler. The work has been done to the highest standards to equip the engine for a further round of main line running. The latest safety devices have been fitted.

In May, 2004 the locomotive was cosmetically restored to make an appearance at the National Railway Museum’s Railfest exhibition in York celebrating 200 years of steam locomotives. It had a full paint finish and oily rags were lit in the smokebox to give the appearance of a locomotive in steam.

A most critical stage was reached in January, 2006 when the boiler passed its hydraulic test both for insurance and main line running purposes. The boiler was pumped up to a pressure of 270psi, 33% above its steam operating limit, and held that pressure for the required thirty minutes. The test had to be conducted at a minimum temperature of 7OC so testing in January can be frustrating. However, all was fine on the day so testing proceeded. The clock then started ticking for the seven year main line and the ten year preserved line approval. So all the rubber seals and temporary fittings had then to be removed and proper gaskets, seals and packing fitted for the steam test.

Following passing a static steam test, with safety valves being set the maximum boiler pressure of 200psi and fitting the ashpan and fitting some of the boiler cladding, the boiler was lifted onto the frames the locomotive returned to traffic in May, 2006.

Since then Sir Lamiel has been a regular performer on the main line.

Following some heavy maintenance on the main driving wheels and bearings at Tyseley and Loughborough in late 2012 it emerged in Southern Railway malachite livery as 777 for the first time having previously carried Southern Railway olive green as 777 and in British Railways Brunswick green as 30777.

Sir Lamiel was taken out of service on the Great Central Railway in August 2017 with leaking tubes. The boiler certificate was valid until the end in October 2017.

The National Railway Museum have signed another loan agreement with the 5305 Locomotive association who are the custodians of the locomotive.

 

Home Base Current Status Owner
Great Central Railway Under overhaul National Railway Museum NRM Object Number{1978-7034}

In the custody of the 5305 Locomotive Association

30777 at Tyseley-1971 30777 Sir Lamiel at Tyseley-1971
30777 Sir Lamiel at Scarborough - August 1985.jpg 30777 Sir Lamiel at Scarborough – August 1985
30777 Sir Lamiel at Seamer Junction leaving Scarborough - August 1985.jpg 30777 Sir Lamiel at Seamer Junction leaving Scarborough – August 1985
3077 at Quorn-2011.jpg 30777 Sir Lamiel at Quorn and Woodhouse on the Great Central Railway-2011
30777 2013.jpg 30777 Sir Lamiel at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway-2013
30777 at Quorn-2013.jpg 30777 Sir Lamiel at Quorn and Woodhouse on the Great Central Railway-2013
30777 2016.jpg 30777 Sir Lamiel at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway-2016
30777 2016 a.jpg 30777 Sir Lamiel with 47406 at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway-2016

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