58926 was built by the London & North Western Railway at Crewe Works in 1888. It was the 250th example of the class of Webb Coal tank engines that were designed by the Chief Engineer of the LNWR, Francis W Webb.
Not much is known of the engine’s early service, but it is understood to have worked in the Birmingham area before the First World War, and in North and South Wales before it was withdrawn from service in January 1939. The locomotive was almost scrapped but for the outbreak of war, when it was overhauled and reinstated in December 1940, a consequence of the shortage of locomotives required for the war effort.
The locomotive continued to move around the country. It operated in the Manchester area working local trains from Bolton, and the Liverpool area from Edge Hill, before moving south to Bletchley where it worked the local passenger service to Dunstable.
In 1950 it was at Shrewsbury, again working local passenger trains this time to Craven Arms and, after four years, moved to Abergavenny from where it was loaned to the National Coal Board for 12 months working alongside two of its class mates at Windsor Colliery in Ynysybwl near Pontypridd. It returned to Abergavenny as the last survivor of its type and, incidentally, the last Webb-designed locomotive in operation. It was kept as a spare engine and fitted with a snowplough during the winter months in case of heavy snowfalls on the line. It is doubtful, however, if it was ever utilized in this role.
BR motive power depot allocations since 1948.
|January 1948||Plodder Lane|
|November 1948||Edge Hill|
|November 1954||NCB Abercynon|
After working the last train on the Abergavenny to Merthyr line with 0-8-0 ‘Super D’ 49121 it ended its days at Ponytpool, where it was finally withdrawn for scrap in October 1958, having travelled over one million miles in 70 years of public service.
There the story might have ended, but for a group of determined enthusiasts headed by Max Dunn. Mr Dunn, the former Shedmaster from the locomotive depot at Bangor, was persuaded by a friend to organise an appeal to raise £666 to buy 1054. The appeal was successful, and he then arranged for it to be repainted in LNWR livery at Crewe, following which it went to Hednesford in Staffordshire for safe storage by the Railway Preservation Society.
By 1963 the engine was transferred to the ownership of the National Trust for display at Penrhyn Castle.
In 1973 the engine was transferred to the Dinting Railway Centre where it was extensively overhauled and restored to its original LNWR condition in time to appear in the Rocket 150 Cavalcade at Rainhill in 1980.
It returned to the main line in 1984, when it was hired by Wilsons Brewery, Manchester to haul a 1 coach train from Manchester to a specially erected station adjacent to the Brewery at Newton Heath.
In 1986 the Coal tank visited the Keighhley & Worth Valley Railway where it operated on evening specials. It returned to Dinting in August 1986 where it was prepared for a four week visit to the Severn Valley Railway. After working on the Severn Valley Railway it worked an enthusiast’s special excursion from Shrewsbury to Stockport via Chester.
It subsequently spent time at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.
In 1990 with the closure of Dinting the engine was moved to Ingrow on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. By 1999 it was withdrawn from service for its third and most expensive overhaul since being preserved.
Following an overhaul which was partly funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund it is operational and is usually used during steam galas on the KWVR.
In October 2018 it was reported that the locomotive would return to the guise of BR 58926 for the period up to the expiry of the boiler certificate in 2021.
In June 2019 the locomotive visited Hope Cement Works during the site’s 90th anniversary celebrations. This turned out to be its last appearance as it was then withdrawn from service when weeping tubes were discovered. The Bahamas Locomotive Society later said that the last steam day for the locomotive would be in early November 2019.
The plan is to have the locomotive back in steam in 2022 for the celebration of the merger of the LNWR and the L&Y Railway on 1st January 1922.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|Ingrow Locomotive Works on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway||Under overhaul||National Trust – cared for by Bahamas Locomotive Society|