65033 (NER 876, LNER 5033 & BR 65033)

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65033 was built at Gateshead where it was completed in March 1889 as a two-cylinder compound (meaning it used its steam twice) engine. It was converted to a simple engine in December 1908 when it was fitted with 19″ cylinders and piston valves. It had a Schmidt pattern superheater fitted in October 1914 which was removed in September 1956.

BR motive power depot allocations.

Date ArrivedDepot
1st January 1948Darlington
November 1951Reedsmouth*
September 1952Blyth South
November 1955Hexham
August 1958South Blyth
January 1959Blaydon
May 1960North Blyth
January 1961Heaton
April 1961North Blyth
  • Reedsmouth was where the Wansbeck Railway (Morpeth to Reedsmouth) joined the Border Counties Railway (Hexham to Riccarton Junction). The motive power depot could house six engines and closed in 1952.

65033 now carries a Kirkby Stephen shed plate but was never allocated there but stole the limelight late in its career by working the last run by a J21 over Stainmore on an RCTS Special on 7 May 1960. Amazingly on that trip the engine also worked its train on the LMS main line north from Tebay over Shap to Carlisle without assistance.

It was withdrawn from North Blyth shed in April 1962.

65033 had been withdrawn previously on 22nd November 1939 as LNER 876, but due to wartime shortages had been repaired and returned to service.

In December 1942 it is reputed that 65033 hauled Winston Churchill (then the Prime Minister) on a visit to the army battle school at Barnard Castle.

It was initially planned that the locomotive would be part of the National Collection and it was placed in store at Darlington but it was dropped from the list of engines to be retained as it was no longer in an as-built condition.

In September 1960 the boiler from classmate 65099 was removed from that locomotive at Darlington and the engine formally withdrawn from service with a cracked frame the following month. It is understood that the boiler on 65033 had earlier been condemned at some point when the locomotive was still on the National Collection list and that the boiler from 65099 was then fitted to 65033. At this time it was discovered that the cab on 65033 was not the original but one from the 651xx series.

After withdrawal in 1962 65033 remained at Darlington for a number of years waiting for a scrap merchant. Luckily this allowed it to be preserved at Tanfield for the nearby Beamish Museum due to the efforts of Frank Atkinson who was the first director of the museum. In June 1968, just four day before 65033 was due to be towed away for scrapping Frank Atkinson arranged for the locomotive to be squirrelled away at Consett steelworks until it could be secured for preservation at Beamish. Paul Jarman (Beamish Transport Curator and LCLT Trustee) said “The story goes that Frank had the engine purchased and then spirited away, without actually paying for it. That came later when he was quizzed by Durham Council, his employers, about a curious debt for the purchase of a steam locomotive”. The cost of buying 65033 was then £1,200.

This was not the first time that the locomotive was reportedly saved from being taken to a scrapyard. There were stories that on at least one occasion the driver “forgot” to marshal the engine into a train and took only o load of waggons away.

It was moved to the Tanfield Railway in 1970 for restoration work before being returned to Beamish in working order.

The Locomotive was preserved in 1972 for Beamish Museum. It was used from 1975, pulling the restored NER Coach and the restored NER wagons between the Colliery Sidings and Station, until 1984 when it was declared unfit to run due to the Boiler certificate running out it last ran in December 1983. In 1976 it had been used to open the ‘Rowley’ station scene.

It then languished in the station yard, with No 14 (Hawthorn Leslie) or the Diesel shunter moving it to keep the motion from seizing up on occasion. It was on static display until 2004/2005 when it was removed to the North Norfolk Railway for restoration to steam in 2007.

In March 2009, 65033, passed from ownership by Beamish to The Locomotive Conservation & Learning Trust (LCLT) with the aim of restoring the engine and then moving it to the Stainmore Railway Company, at Kirkby Stephen East where it once ran in its working days.

65033 is currently at Locomotion which is the National Railway Museum at Shildon where work continues to restore the locomotive to steam.

It is expected that restoration work will start in 2017 following the award of a stage one pass in early 2015 for Heritage Lottery funding. By September 2015 nearly £40k had been received from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a fully costed and detailed proposal which, once approved, will provide the funds necessary (approximately £850K) to restore the J21 and the Stores Van.

No restoration work could be undertaken until this has been done.

In June 2017 the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded a £954,900 grant to the Locomotive Conservation & Learning Trust to restore the locomotive and a NER stores van built in 1902.

The work will be undertaken at Kirkby Stephen.

In 2017 the owners of the locomotive were notified that 65033 would have to be moved away from the National Railway Museum at Shildon as the museum needed the space. It is thought that initially the locomotive would be transported to the Great Central Railway at Loughborough. Later in 2017 The National Railway Museum agreed that the locomotive could remain at Shildon until early 2018 when it will go directly to a contractor.

It is thought the locomotive can be back in steam in 2020 and will remain based on the Stainmore Railway. Initially it will run in LNER green livery.

In June 2018 it was noted that the locomotive was to leave Shildom by September 2018 although no formal agreement existed to restore it. The problem with agreeing the restoration project was caused by permission not having been received from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

It is had been thought that the locomotive can be back in steam in 2020 but Heritage Lottery Fund did not give the owners permission to start the restoration work until December 2018. As a result the locomotive is not expected to steam again until 2022.

Tenders for the restoration of the locomotive were expected to be submitted in January 2019 and the locomotive leave Shildon by as early as the end of January 2019. This proved not to be possible as the quality of some of the tenders to undertake the restoration were not of a suitable standard and the tender period had to be extended.

In May 2019 it was revealed that the locomotive would be restored by Locomotive Services Ltd at Loughborough. The locomotive was to move there in June 2019 following the resolution of issues with asbestos.

It was later reported that the overhaul of the locomotive would commence in September 2019. In the following month it was announced that Locomotive Maintenance services Ltd had started stripping the locomotive down.

Once restored the locomotive will be based at the Stainmore Railway. Initially it will run in LNER green livery

In January 2020 it was announced that both the left-hand and right-hand frame plates were deemed to beyond economic repair following the discovery of severe wastage and distortion. The option of refurbishing the frames was considered to involve an unacceptable level of risk for no cost benefit and minimal conservation value. The work will add £20,000 to the cost of restoring the locomotive with a further £10.000 added to cover the cost of providing new tender frames as wastage has rendered them fragile and unsafe.

The aim remains to have the locomotive in steam at Kirkby Stephen in 2022.

In October 2020 it was reported that the overhaul was progressing at Locomotive Maintenance Services Ltd at Loughborough with the expectation that a rolling chassis would be achieved in 2021.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
Kirkby Stephen East – Stainmore RailwayUndergoing overhaulThe Locomotive Conservation & Learning Trust
65033 at Newcastle
65033 at Darlington Works – May 1965
65033 at Darlington Works - November 1965
65033 at Darlington Works – November 1965
65033 at Beamish Museum - 1983.jpg
65033 at Beamish Museum – 1983
65033 at Beamish - June 1990.jpg
65033 at Beamish – June 1990
65033 at Doncaster Works – July 2003
65033 in Locomotion at Shildon – October 2010
65033 at Kirkby Stephen East - August 2011.jpg
65033 at Kirkby Stephen East – August 2011
65033 at Doncaster 150 – March 2015
65033 at Locomotion, Shildon – April 2015
65033 at Locomotion, Shildon – May 2016

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