47493 (LMS 16576, LMS 7493 & BR 47493)

47493 Tunbridge Wells - July 2011.jpg

47493 was built in 1927 by Vulcan Foundry ltd, at Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, with works number 4195. Emerging as LMS No. 16576, and one of the relatively few of the class to be fitted with a screw reverser rather than the more usual lever reverser.

The first allocation was to Bromley-By-Bow (later renamed Devons Road) in London, where it joined several other members of the class for working suburban passenger and trip freight trains over the former North London Railway, services from Broad Street to Poplar, and to Potter’s Bar on the former Great Northern main line. It was renumbered before the Second World War to 7493 and again in April 1948 to 47493.

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

Date ArrivedDepot
January 1948Devons Road
November 1954Speke Junction
December 1958Newton Heath
March 1959Speke Junction
July 1962Wigan Springs Branch
September 1965Edge Hill

Withdrawal took place from Edge Hill in December 1966 and it was sent to Woodham Brothers scrapyard at Barry where it arrived in June 1967.

47493 was purchased by Mr. B.G.Buckfield in June 1972 and it was moved for temporary storage to the premises of the Somerset and Dorset Railway circle at Radstock in November 1972, and finally was towed to Cranmore via Westbury in November 1973 by 75029 The Green Knight. After an 18 month general overhaul in the railway workshops at Cranmore, 47493 was steamed for time in nearly 10 years in January 1976, and returned to traffic in BR livery. In April 1980 47493 hauled the inaugural public passenger train out of Cranmore station on the East Somerset Railway (ESR).

Since then, it has given excellent service, and has unquestionably been the mainstay of the ESR services, not only on passenger trains, but on numerous other duties for which it is eminently suited. In 1985, 47493 was even commemorated on a postage stamp issued by the Tuvalu islands (formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia) as part of their ‘Leaders of the World’ series, thus placing the locomotive into a unique place in history.

Withdrawn from service once again on 1st January 1989, 47493 entered Cranmore Works for a general overhaul, which was completed at a cost of nearly £30,000. It re-entered revenue earning service for a second spell in February 1998, but unexpected problems resulted in it being withdrawn from service in January 1999.

47493 moved to the Spa valley Railway where after overhaul in 2004 it ran until being taken out of service in January 2014 after ten years in service. An overhaul of the locomotive commenced three days after it was withdrawn from traffic and is still progressing at the Spa Valley Railway at Tunbridge Wells.

By the autumn of 2018 the locomotive was being disassembled in readiness for sending the boiler to the North Norfolk Railway in November for contract overhaul.

47493 was privately owned by Barry Buckfield until purchased by the Spa Valley Railway in in 2019.

At the end of January 2022 the locomotive was re-wheeled and testing of the boiler was anticipated to take place soon.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Spa Valley RailwayUnder overhaulSpa Valley Railway
47493 at Derby Works – May 1961
47493 on the East Somerset Railway – 1989
47493 at Sheffield Park on the shed suffering from a weeping tube – October 2008
47493 Tunbridge Wells - July 2011.jpg
47493 at Tunbridge Wells on the Spa Valley Railway – July 2011
47493 on the Spa Valley Railway – August 2011
47493 on the Spa Valley Railway – August 2011
47493 at Eridge on the Spa Valley Railway – April 2012

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