30850 Lord Nelson (SR E850, SR 850 & BR 30850)

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30850 was built at Eastleigh Works at a cost of £15,825 in 1926.

The smoke deflectors were fitted in 1929 and multiple jet balstpipe in 1938. In 1939 it was fitted to a self trimming tender. The cylinders were improved in 1942.

Lord Nelson entered service in August 1926 at Stewarts Lane, moving in March 1930 to Exmouth Junction, April 1930 to Stewarts Lane, February 1940 to Nine Elms, February 1943 to Bournemouth and January 1949 to Eastleigh to be withdrawn 18th August 1962. At this time Lord Nelson had accumulated a final mileage of 1,349,617.

Listed for museum status, 30850 spent some time in store at Fratton before going to the Pullman Co.’s works near Brighton, where it remained until 1977 when it moved to Carnforth.

Restoration started in 1979 at Carnforth with the work on the boiler being undertaken by Babcock Power Construction Company and the other work at Carnforth. After being restored it in Southern Railway livery it appeared in the Rainhill Rocket 150 cavalcade before running on the main line hauling enthusiast’s specials. This was curtailed by firebox problems so 30850 underwent a period of storage at Carnforth where it was on static display as Carnforth in those days was open to the public.

When the number of main line locomotives at Carnforth reduced to just two a new home was sought for 30850 and was found with the aid of the Eastleigh Railway Preservation Society who negotiated with the National Railway Museum to allow the locomotive to be moved to Eastleigh.

The move itself was undertaken free of charge by the haulage company owned by Andrew Goodman.

In 1997 the Eastleigh Railway Preservation Society overhauled Lord Nelson at Eastleigh back to main line use, partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. After negotiations with the owner, National Railway Museum it arrived at Alresford in February 2009 to be based at Ropley.

Lord Nelson is a popular engine with crews at the Mid Hants Railway, but provides a challenge for firemen as having a long firebox, some 10’ 6” to the front, a very accurate aim with the shovel is required in order to build and maintain the fire and get the best from the engine.

The boiler certificate for Lord Nelson expired in 2015 and the locomotive was taken out of service. The engine was moved into the MHR workshop at Ropley in December 2016 for overhaul.

The locomotive will remain on the Mid Hants railway after concluding a loan agreement with the National Railway Museum.

The locomotive is expected to return to traffic in 2020. Since 2007 the locomotive has been restricted to operate at only up to 25mph.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Mid Hants RailwayAwaiting overhaulNational Railway Museum

NRM Object Number{1978-7035}

30850 Lord Nelson on Nine Elms shed – July 1959
30850 Lord Nelson at Poole at the head of a train from Waterloo – Summer 1960
30850 Lord Nelson at Nine Elms – September 1960
30850 Lord Nelson on Eastleigh shed at unknown date
30850 Lord Nelson on Eastleigh shed – February 1962
30850 Lord Nelson at Bold Colliery prior to taking part in the Rocket 150 cavalcade – May 1980
30850 passing Dent – July 1980
30850 Lord Nelson heads south at Helwith Bridge heading the Cumbrian Mountain Express – August 1982
30850 Lord Nelson at Breaks Hall whilst heading south from Carlisle – March 1984
30850 Lord Nelson at Hellifield – August 1985
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30850 Lord Nelson at Giggleswick – August 1985
30850 Lord Nelson at Woking open day – May 1988
30850 lord Nelson next to 48151 at Steamtown, Carnforth – September 1991
30850 Lord Nelson prepares to leave Kensington Olympia – August 2007
30850 Lord Nelso at Eastleigh Works Open Day – May 2009
30850 at Arlesford on the Mid Hants Railway – February 2010
30850 Lord Nelson with 31806 at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway-2011
30850 with 80080 at Bury on the East Lancashire Railway – January 2012
30850 Lord Nelson at Heywood on the East Lancashire Railway – February 2012
30850 Lord Nelson on the Mid Hants Railway – March 2014
30850 Lord Nelson at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway – October 2015
30850 Lord Nelson at Ropley on the Mid Hants Railway – October 2015

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