48305 (LMS 8303 & BR 48305)

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48305 was completed at the Crewe Works of the LMS in November, 1943 and was numbered 8305 by the LMS.

It spent a number of years allocated to Wellingborough where it hauled the coal trains to Brent Sidings, Cricklewood, and to Toton.

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

Date ArrivedDepot
January 1948Wellingborough
March 1957Northampton
October 1962Crewe South
July 1965Norwich
September 1965Speke Junction

48305 was withdrawn from service at Speke Junction in January 1968 and sold to Woodham Brothers at Barry for scrap. It arrived at Barry in September 1968 and remained there until November 1985.

During the time spent at Barry scrapyard it was sprayed with the words “Please don’t let me die!” on the smokebox door, but was saved by Roger Hibbert in 1985

The locomotive arrived on the GCR, at Quorn & Woodhouse, in November, 1985. It was hauled to the Locomotive Department at Loughborough where dismantling soon began. It then underwent a long and comprehensive restoration which included the acquisition of a new tender. The locomotive was completely stripped down to its component parts and those repaired and restored or replaced before reassembly. Missing parts were made or found from other sources and the locomotive gradually developed into a complete machine once again. It was completely restored to running order and after running-in trials and final adjustments entered traffic in February 1995.

It worked extensively on the GCR’s passenger and freight services and was particularly at home of the “Windcutter” train, the train of 16 ton mineral wagons so reminiscent of the original GCR. 48305 proved a free steaming and free running engine and was well liked by all the locomotive crews who had the privilege of driving her. 48305 became a much travelled locomotive in preservation, spending periods at the Midland Railway Centre, North Norfolk and Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railways. It made an appearance at the GCR(N) at Ruddington in 2000 before going to the Churnet Valley Railway at Cheddleton in June of that year for a five-year period.

Whilst boiler repairs became necessary and although some repairs were completed at Cheddleton, it was then sent to L&NWR at Crewe for a ten-year overhaul. Once there it became apparent that the boiler repairs required were more extensive, and thus more expensive, than at first anticipated. A complete re-tube was required and attention and replacement was necessary to the crown stays. Work proceeded as funds allowed.

During this period a desire was expressed to bring the locomotive back to the GCR on a permanent basis. With funds made available from The David Clarke Railway Trust the boiler repairs where completed and the locomotive returned to the GCR in April, 2006. After some further remedial work to the motion and general tidying up of locomotive and tender paintwork the engine returned to traffic in May, 2006.

Towards the end of 2011, whilst half way through its boiler certificate, 48305 was taken out of service for a full ten year overhaul. Tubes were removed from the boiler in October, 2011 and the boiler lifted from the frames in November and the frames lifted and the wheels rolled out. In January, 2012 the driving wheels were painted.

The overhaul of the locomotive on the GCR is still continuing. Th boiler was lifted back onto the frames in December 2017 and a return to steam anticipated in 2018.

In August 2018 the boiler was fitted once again following steam tests in June.

The locomotive returned to traffic in May 2019.

In February 2019 the locomotive underwent steam testing on the GCR as a final stage of its overhaul.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Great Central RailwayOperationalRoger Hibbert
48305 passing Birkenhead Mollington Street shed with black five 44844 awaiting duties – 1967
48305 in Woodham'd scrapyard at Barry - June 1975.jpg
48305 in Woodham’d scrapyard at Barry – June 1975
48305 in Woodham’s scrapyard at Barry – August 1983
48305 boiler and firebox being worked on at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway – April 1988
48305 on the Great Central Railway – March 2009
48305 at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway – January 2011

The boiler of 48305 outside the works at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway – January 2013. Next to it is classmate 48624.
48305 at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway – January 2019
48305 at Quorn on the Great Central Railway – May 2021
48305 at Loughborough on the Great Central Railway – October 2022

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