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46443 was built at BR’s Crewe works in 1950.

BR motive power depot allocations.

Date ArrivedDepot
February 1950Derby
November 1961Saltley
October 1966Newton Heath

Whilst at Derby it worked on local passenger duties which took it to Birmingham, Nottingham and Burton. At Saltley it was limited to infrequent rush-hour duties. Its last overhaul followed a collision with a Warship diesel locomotive.

It was withdrawn from service at Newton Heath in March 1967 after having been stored at Bury for some time.

46443 was purchased from BR by Richard Willcox in 1967, and was the second engine to arrive on the Severn Valley Railway SVR), arriving under its own steam in April that year. In 1970 it was able to take part in the opening of the Severn Valley Railway (SVR).

The SVR bought the locomotive in 1972, but announced in 1983 that the locomotive had been sold as part of the deal that brought 45690 Leander to the SVR, and would be leaving the following year. In 1984 a fund was launched to ‘buy back’ the locomotive, during which time it gained the nickname ‘The Peoples Engine’, and 46443 never left the SVR. It is now owned by The SVR 46443 Fund.

Although only a class 2 locomotive, 46443 has fully earned a place in the list of SVR locomotives that have worked on the main line. During the 1985 GWR 150 celebrations 46443 hauled a number of Bristol-Portishead shuttles. In July 1987, 46443 was asked to punch well above her weight when sent to Wales to replace Class 4MT 75069 on the BR Cardigan Bay Express service. On arrival, the BR footplate crews expressed the opinion that they would be “creeping around with three coaches at 20 mph!’. The first on-time arrival at Barmouth brought forth the comment “She steams quite well, doesn’t she!”. An early return to Machynlleth gave rise to “She isn’t a bad little engine, is she!”. Within two days, “I’d take ten to Pwllheli with her anytime!”.

The Severn Valley Railway’s longest serving resident was withdrawn from active service in October 2011. It had been running on a boiler extension so it could operate on SVR Enthusiasts event, however the general condition of the locomotive, along with a fault in the smokebox, dictated that it be stopped from the active SVR fleet.

As the locomotive had entered traffic in December 2001, having gained its boiler certificate in July of that year it completed a successful 10 years boiler cycle and accumulated 145,997 miles in service on the SVR.

46443 is now stored in The Engine House, Highley whilst it awaits a heavy overhaul. It remains owned by the SVR 46443 Fund.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Severn Valley RailwayOn static display at the Engine House at HighleySVR 46443 Fund
46443 at Derby London Road – March 1958
46443 passing through Kings Norton – date unknown
46443 at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway – 1968
46443 at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway – 1969
46443 at Tyseley – September 1969
46443 at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway - May 1970.jpg
46443 at Bridgnorth on the Severn Valley Railway – May 1970
46443 at Hampton Loade on the Severn Valley Railway – Circa 1972
46443 approaching the closed Ashton Gate station heading a train from Bristol to Portishead hauling the Avon Gorge Specioal to mark the Great Western 150th Anniversary – September 1985
46443 leaving Fairburn at the head of a train from Barmouth to Machynlleth – September 1987
46443 at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway – 1988
46443 on the Severn Valley Railway – September 1993
6443 at Bury on the East Lancashire Railway – February 2011
46443 piloting 73129 at Burrs Country Park on the East Lancashire Railway – February 2011
46443 at Bewdley on the Severn Valley Railway – September 2011. Behind 46443 is 7812 Erlestoke Manor575662857 & 6024 King Edward I
46443 in the Engine House at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway – March 2013. The other locomotive is 47383
46443 being shunted at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway – June 2018

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