Bahamas was built in 1935 as LMS 5596 by North British Locomotive Co. at Queens Park, Glasgow and entered service at Crewe North depot.
The North British Locomotive Company (NBL, NB Loco or North British) was created in 1903 through the merger of three Glasgow locomotive manufacturing companies; Sharp, Stewart and Company (Atlas Works), Neilson, Reid and Company (Hyde Park Works) and Dübs and Company (Queens Park Works), creating the largest locomotive manufacturing company in Europe and the British Empire.
In 1961 it was unusually fitted with a double blastpipe and chimney as an experiment aimed at improving steam locomotive performance. This was the last modification to a steam locomotive undertaken by BR to try to improve performance.
BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.
|January 1948||Crewe North|
|August 1948||Edge Hill|
|July 1962||Stockport Edgeley|
Bahamas was withdrawn in July 1966 and remained at Stockport Edgeley at the back of the shed under cover until it was bought direct from British Railways in January 1967 by the newly formed Bahamas Locomotive Society. By the time the engine was withdrawn it had covered more than 1.4 million miles in service.
The locomotive was originally moved to the Hunslet Engine Co. of Leeds for overhaul which was completed by March 1968 when it ran under its own steam to Stockport Edgeley depot where it went on display with other locomotives 4472 Flying Scotsman and 70013 Oliver Cromwell. A week later it moved to Bury where it remained until late in 1968.
By the end of 1968 the Bahamas Locomotive Society completed negotiations over leasing a site at Dinting motive power depot which became the Dinting Railway Museum. 45596 moved there in late 1968 and it became its home for 21 years. At its peak Dinting used to feature visits by such famous railway engines as Flying Scotsman, Mallard, and A2 Blue Peter and various members of the LMS Jubilee Class.
In 1972 following the lifting of the ban on steam locomotives on the main line 45593 returned to the BR network to haul a number of excursions in 1972 and 1973. Following this it was taken out of service for overhaul which allowed it to return to main line running in 1989.
In 1990 the locomotive moved to the Worth Valley Railway (now called the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway).
The Dinting Railway Museum closed in 1991, the society and its collection moved to the former Midland Railway goods warehouse at Ingrow West railway station near Keighley.
It was taken out of service in December 1997, three years after it had last worked on the main line.
In 2013 the Bahamas Locomotive Society (BLS) was given a £775,800 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the cost of overhauling 45596 Bahamas. In addition to returning Bahamas to steam, the award encompasses restoration of the BLS’s LMS ‘Riding Van’ DM395470 and its conversion into an Educational Resource and Exhibition Centre to be positioned in the dock between the BLS HQ and Ingrow Station to provide a new visitor attraction. The grant also covers employment of an Audience Development Co-ordinator.
The award of the lottery money made it possible to sign an agreement in October 2013 for the overhaul of the locomotive at Tyseley Locomotive Works. BLS will contribute £130,000 towards the restoration of 45596.
A new tank was fitted onto the tender frames at Ingrow West in November 2016 and by April 2017 the tender work was virtually complete and ready to be moved to Tyseley.
It was hoped that 45596 Bahamas would return to traffic in the middle of 2017. This however proved to be a little optimistic and it was latter anticipated that its return to steam would be completed in 2018. In December 2017 a fire was lit in the locomotive – 20 years since its fire was dropped when it was taken out of service in December 1997.
By early 2018 the hope was that the locomotive would be ready for main line trials in July of that year before returning to its base at Ingrow. These dates slipped with the locomotive first appearance in steam scheduled for the open day at Tyseley at the end of September. Some time after this it will move to Ingrow.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|Keighley and Worth Valley Railway – Ingrow West||Under overhaul||Bahamas Locomotive Society|
|45596 Bahamas at Dinting-June 1971|
|45596 Bahamas on display at Oxenhope on the Keighley Worth Valley Railway-2010|
|45596 Bahamas on display at Oxenhope on the Keighley Worth Valley Railway-2011|