51218 (L&YR 68, LMS 11218 & BR 51218)

51218 at Keighley - February 2005.jpg

The locomotive was built at Horwich in 1901.

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

Date ArrivedDepot
January 1948Preston
September 1950Monument Lane
December 1950Crewe South
July 1953Preston
October 1953Crewe South
December 1958Bank Hall
February 1959Widnes
September 1959Bristol Barrow Road
February 1961Stored
December 1961Bristol Barrow Road
March 1962Stored
December 1962Swansea East Dock
June 1964Neath

51218 was withdrawn from service in September 1964 whilst at Neath after having been overhauled at Horwich in the previous year.

A group of enthusiasts, members of the Roche Valley Railway Society (RVRS) and mainly from Rochdale set their sights on preserving a L&Y engine. Initially the L&Y Radial 50850, which was used on the Rail tour of 1960 above, was considered. However, this engine at the time proved out of reach financially. So, a less expensive engine became the target and a Pug Fund was set up to purchase L&Y 0-4-0 Saddletank number 51218. Finally, enough money was obtained to secure the purchase. An additional cost was incurred as the engine had finished its days on BR at Neath MPD in South Wales.

It was brought back to Yorkshire by road and arrived at The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (KWVR) in 1965. It was the first engine to arrive at Haworth.

51218 has spent about two and a half years away from the KWVR. After working enthusiasts’ excursions in Rochdale and Manchester in 1969 it was loaned for two periods to Messrs. Brown & Polson at Trafford Park, Manchester whilst their own locomotive was under repair.

The locomotive was re-tubed in 1974 and took part in the Stockton & Darlington Railway cavalcade that year.

The mid-1990s saw the first major overhaul since 1963, taking place at Haworth and the East Lancashire Railway, with a return to steam in late 1997 as 51218 complete with a replacement saddletank. The boiler tubes lasted well beyond the expected 5 years and were eventually condemned in early 2006, and now 51218 will not run again until the boiler has had a 10 year overhaul.

The locomotive was cosmetically restored in 2018.

It is intended that the next restoration to steam will be undertaken as a voint venture between the owners and the KWVR.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Keighley & Worth Valley RailwayStatic display at OxenhopeLancashire & Yorkshire Railway Trust
51218 in its days as LMS 11218
51218 on Neath shed
51218 on Bolton shed in 1963. Thought to be following it being overhauled at Horwich and then running hot
51218 at Swansea East Dock – October 1963
51218 at Swansea East Dock - June 1964.jpg
51218 at Swansea East Dock – June 1964
51218 at Haworth on the KWVR – August 1966
51218 at Trafford Park Estate – 1967
51218 taking part in the Stockton & Darlington 150th anniversary cavalcade – August 1975
51218 on the KWVR – May 1988
51218 at Goathland on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway - October 2001.jpg
51218 at Goathland on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway – October 2001
51218 at Ingrow on the KWVR - October 2005.jpg
51218 at Ingrow on the KWVR – October 2005
51218 at Keighley - February 2005.jpg
51218 at Keighley on the Keighley Worth Valley Railway-2005
51218 with 41241 at Haworth on the Keighley Worth Valley Railway – October 2012
51218 on static display at Oxenhope on the Keighley Worth Valley Railway -July 2015
51218 at Oxenhope on the KWVR – March 2022
51218 at Bury on the East Lancs Railway – October 2022

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