52044 was built in 1887 by Beyer Peacock & Co Ltd in Manchester.
Withdrawn from service in June 1959 whilst based at Wakefield. It was bought by Tony Cox and initially kept at Retford. He later became Secretary of the Worth Valley Railway Preservation Society and 52044 was moved to Haworth in March 1965.
Extensive mechanical and boiler work was undertaken tio allow the engine to appear in the film “The Private Life of Sherlock Homes” and make some appearances on passenger trains in 1971. At this time it was running as L&YR number 957.
The locomotive also appeared in the Green Dragon and in the EMI version of The Railway Children. Later the engine has also featured in BBC’s Born and Bred and the remake of The Hound of the Baskervilles.
The engine was taken out of traffic in 1975 and remained side lined until a bequest came to the locomotive’s rescue. Now owned by the Bowers 957 Trust, the locomotive returned to full working order in 2001 following a £150,000 overhaul. On withdrawal at the expiration of its boiler certificate, 957 was put aside in Haworth shed with a view to a return to active service.
Following a review of the locomotive which concluded that it was in a very sound condition and an overhaul started in July 2016 with as much of the work as possible being undertaken at Haworth.
By September 2017 the boiler had been lifted from the frames. The aim is to have the locomotive operating again by 2020.
In 2018 steam-cleaning of the wheelsets revealed cracks in the rims of the leading set. As a result shot-blasting of the other wheelsets was being undertaken so that the state of them could be assessed. By July most of the frames and motion had been inspected and found to be only in need of minor work. The boiler at this time was prepared for non-destructive testing.
In December 2018 the frames were re-wheeled at Haworth. The aim is to have the locomotive back in steam in 2020. The plan being to undertake the hydraulic and steam tests of the boiler in March so it can be lifted back into the frames shortly afterwards.
The locomotive will be turned out in the livery it carried when it appeared in 1970 in The Railway Children – fictional Great Northern & Southern Railway green. The wheels will also be green and the coupling rods red.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|Keighley & Worth Valley Railway||Under overhaul||Bowers 957 Trust|