45293 (LMS 5293 & BR 45293)

This locomotive was built by Armstrong Whitworth Ltd, Newcastle Upon Tyne, during December 1936.

As 5293 it was first allocated to the former London and North West Railway shed at Shrewsbury, where it was chiefly employed on freight and passenger turns down to Swansea.

In September 1938 it was transferred to Carnforth and there then followed an unsettled period when for varying lengths of time it also operated from the sheds at Patricroft, Mold Junction, Chester, Longsight, and back to Shrewsbury once again.

In April 1942 it was re-allocated to Carlisle Upperby and, as a contrast to its previous existence, was destined to stay here for the next 21 years.

Initially its main work would have been found in the vastly increased wartime traffic, but following nationalisation it settled down to more normal mixed-traffic duties and could be seen working most of the lines that radiated from Carlisle.

In 1963 the commissioning of the large marshalling yard at Kingmoor caused the transfer of all freight workings to the nearby motive power depot, and accordingly, in June, 45293 was moved across from Upperby to Kingmoor.

While based in Carlisle it would have worked freight and passenger traffic to a variety of destinations which included the Waverley route to Edinburgh and the Settle and Carlisle route to Leeds.

45293 was withdrawn from service in August 1965 and sold to Woodham Brothers for scrap. It arrived in the scrapyard at Barry in January 1966 and remained there until December 1986, following its purchase for preservation by the British Enginemen Steam Preservation Society.

The British Enginemen Steam Preservation Society (BESPS) was formed in 1980 by a group of locomotive footplate men from Stonebridge Park Depot in North London, with a view to securing a locomotive for restoration. Initially the Society was known as the British Rail Enginemen (1A) Steam Preservation Group but it was necessary to change this name when charitable status was applied for in 1987. British Rail did not wish their name to be linked with any steam locomotive preservation endeavour.

45293 was purchased in August 1983 but the locomotive remained at Barry for another three years whilst funds were raised to move it. It left Barry in December 1986 on a low loader supplied by Engineering Services and taken to the site at North Woolwich Old Station Museum.

In 1989, a crane was hired to lift the boiler and frames from the wheel sets of 45923.

A few years later the news was that the Museum was to close which meant that a new home had to be found for the locomotive.

After careful consideration it was decided to move 45293 and 35010 Blue Star, which the Society also owned, to the Colne Valley Railway. An agreement between BESPS and The Colne Valley Railway was drawn up and signed in 1996 and as a result 45293 moved to the Colne Valley Railway that year.

A lot has happened on parts of 45293 during the summer months of 2006 and various aspects of the restoration have fallen into place, but there is still much to do. For example, the boiler has hardly been touched, apart from removal of the tubes.

One of the things that was noticed early on was that, in a survey carried out in the early 1980’s it was noted that the copper firebox appeared to have been renewed at the last repair. One of the people who had inspected the boiler was a recently retired senior BR boiler inspector at the time and he said that he was quite sure it was new, but actually he had never seen one before in a Stanier boiler in all his time on the railway.

Major repairs usually consisted of welding in new sides, and those areas which had suffered wear and tear. It turns out that new copper fireboxes on The LMS from the late 1930’s onwards were virtually unheard of. Major repairs usually consisted of welding in new sides, and those areas which had suffered wear and tear. This was a technique that had been developed from the beginning of the Stanier era, and was much cheaper than taking the boiler apart to remove the firebox entirely. Previously, fireboxes were often changed at the second or third major repair.

It turns out that the ten Class Five boilers that were made with steel fireboxes were becoming life expired by the mid 1950’s, or at least the fireboxes were. During this time it seems that at least eight of them were replaced with new copper boxes. It may well be that a batch of ten copper fireboxes were made for these boilers (BR made spare Class Five boilers up to 1956), and one of the two unused ones was fitted to the boiler when the boiler was changed in 1958.

A close look at the copper plate in the firebox showed that much of it is still quite close to the original thickness. The only areas which needed serious attention are the lap seams in the doorplate around the area of the firehole. After all it has only seen seven years in service (1958-1965). It is quite likely that the boiler becoming due for lifting was the only major reason why the locomotive was withdrawn.

45293 is actually the sixth locomotive that the boiler (number 9514) has been fitted to. It was made by Armstrong Whitworth and began its career in August 1937 fitted to engine 5394. Almost unbelievably, the next boiler in the production line, number 9515, which began its career the following day on engine 5395 survives to this day fitted to 45305, which is its seventh locomotive.

Dismantling and restoration work is still continuing at Colne Valley Railway.

As part of its restoration new buffers were fitted to the locomotive in 2018. The original buffers were removed in the 1970s whilst the locomotive was in the Barry scrapyard. The replacement buffers had previously seen service on a Class 08 diesel shunter but are of an LMS -pattern design.

Home Base Current Status Owner
Colne Valley Railway Being restored The British Enginemen Steam Preservation Society

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