5080 was completed at Swindon in 1939 and originally named Ogmore Castle. In 1941 it was renamed Defiant after a Second World War aeroplane. It was first allocated to Old Oak Common shed for main line express work to Birmingham and the West Country. It hauled many of the main line expresses such as the Red Dragon; Pembroke Coast Express and South Wales Pullman before the arrival of Britannia class Pacifics on the Western Region. By 1959 it had moved to Carmarthen staying there until its final move to Llanelli in May 1961, working to the last on express trains.
Withdrawn from service in April 1963, 5080 spent almost eleven years (October 1963 – August 1974) in Barry scrapyard before being purchased by the Birmingham Railway Museum Trust (Now called Vintage Trains).
It was originally purchased as spares for 7029 Clun Castle but at the end of 1985, an intensive programme of restoration began to transform Defiant into a working locomotive once again: capable of hauling main line trains at express speeds over BR tracks.
5080 returned steam in July 1987 and to the main line on 11th June 1988, bearing the familiar Red Dragon headboard, hauling a train from Tyseley to Didcot. Since then, 5080 has visited numerous preserved railways including the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Railway, Great Central Railway, and even the Mid Hants Railway, doing so in 1995. Following the introduction of the popular Drive-A-Loco footplate experience course, 5080 was the mainstay mainline engine used until withdrawn in 1997 for overhaul.
Following its boiler certificate expiring 5080 was sent to the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton in January 2002 where it is on static display. After being on static display at Quainton for fifteen years on loan from the Birmingham Railway Museum was moved to Tyseley in May 2017 where it will have an overhaul which is anticipated to cost £1m. After the overhaul the locomotive will be utilised as part of the Vintage Trains fleet on the main line.
In October 2019 it was reported that the overhaul of the tender at Tyseley had begun. The initial work will be on the restoration of the tender in order to keep the locomotive intact as long as possible. It is estimated that it will cost £1m to overhaul the locomotive.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|Tyseley||Awaiting overhaul||7029 Clun Castle Ltd|
- 4073 Caerphilly Castle
- 4079 Pendennis Castle
- 5043 Earl of Mount Edgcumbe
- 5051 Drysllwyn Castle (Earl Bathhurst)
- 7027 Thornbury Castle
- 7029 Clun Castle