45690 was built at Crewe in 1936 as LMS 5690 and was based at Crewe North shed until it was transferred to Bristol Barrow Road in 1947. It remained at Bristol Barrow Road until withdrawn from service in July 1964 by which time it had accumulated 1,589,826 miles in service. This mileage equates to 45690 doing over 150 miles every day of its 28 years in service.
Upon withdrawal from service Leander was sold to Woodham Brothers at Barry for scrap. It arrived at Barry scrapyard in July 1964 and remained there until May 1972.
Rescued by Brian Oliver (of Oliver, Taylor & Crossley engineering company) in May 1972, it was restored by the Leander Locomotive Society at Derby in the BR Derby works and later kept at the Dinting Railway Museum, Glossop.
In August 1980 Leander arrived on the Severn valley Railway (SVR) for a boiler repair and overhaul to allow the locomotive to continue to operate on the main line. Following this being done Leander left the SVR in late 1981.
In November 1983 the owners, Leander Locomotive Limited, put the engine and class mate 45699 Galatea up for sale. 45699 was then regarded as a source of spare parts for 45690. Leander was and Galatea were acquired by SVR(H). The terms of the sale required Ivatt 2-6-0 46443 to be sold as part of the price for the Jubilees.
Leander first arrived on the Severn Valley Railway as a “home” engine in February 1984. It then worked on the line until 1989 when it was placed into store to await overhaul.
Leander was ‘on tour’ on the main line at the time of purchase, and first returned to the SVR as a ‘home’ engine on 20 February 1984. The locomotive worked until winter 1989, and was then stored awaiting a major being overhauled.
In winter of 1994 the SVR(H) Board announced the sale of 45690 Leander (and 45699 Galatea) to the family of Dr. Peter Beet. The justification given was that the offer was attractive, the locomotive had been stored out of use for 5 years, funds were not available for a General Repair, and once repaired the locomotive would see limited use on the SVR due to its size and axle loading.
Leander was then restored to running condition on the East Lancashire Railway in LMS Crimson Lake livery in 2002.
As of 2008 the locomotive remained in the ownership of the Beet family but operated by the West Coast Railway Company from their Carnforth base.
In April 2012 Leander was withdrawn early for overhaul due to its poor condition. Chris Beet managed the overhaul, assisted by the team at West Coast Railway Company from their Carnforth depot. It returned to operation in October 2014, painted in BR Lined Black, the livery that it carried between 12 April 1949 and 15 November 1952, and which was also carried by 46 other members of the class from August 1948.
In March 2015 Leander returned to service on the main line
Its first revenue earning run was to be over Shap Summit to Carlisle and back along the Settle & Carlisle line on 24 January but she failed her FTR exam so her first revenue earning run was over Shap Summit to Carlisle, Newcastle upon Tyne, York, Manchester and Preston on 7 March 2015.
Late in 2019 Chris Beet revealed that the next ten year boiler certificate will possibly be its last. This is because the owner will be 66 by the time that boiler ticket expires. He also said he would not be prepared to sell the locomotive but would be open to offers of a “restore and run” agreement. If this does not work out then a home for the locomotive to go on static display.
The mainline certificate expires in 2021.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|West Coast Railway Company – Carnforth||Operational||Beet family|