51218 (L&YR 68, LMS 11218 & BR 51218)

51218 at Keighley - February 2005.jpg

The locomotive was built at Horwich in 1901.

In 1931 the locomotive was sold by the LMS to John Mowden and used for extension work at Southampton Docks. At this time it was named Bassett but four years later it was renamed Prince and employed at the Charlton works of United Glass Bottle Manufacturers Ltd.

BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.

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

51218 was withdrawn from service in September 1964 whilst at Neath.

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 which will commence once 752 is complete.

Home Base Current Status Owner
Keighley & Worth Valley Railway Static display at Oxenhope Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Trust
51218 at Keighley - February 2005.jpg 51218 at Keighley on the Keighley Worth Valley Railway-2005
51218 41241 Haworth 2012.jpg 51218 with 41241 at Haworth on the Keighley Worth Valley Railway-2012
51218 Oxenhope 2015.jpg 51218 on static display at Oxenhope on the Keighley Worth Valley Railway-2015

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