68153 was built by Sentinel (Shrewsbury) Ltd in December 1933 and was the final of such locomotives built for the LNER. It is interesting to note that with a boiler pressure of 275psi it has the highest pressure of any locomotive now in service in Britain.
It was delivered new Geneva Permanent Way Yad in Darlington where it became 8153 in October 1946 and the BR number 68153 vin Jube 1951.
Thee locomotive remained at Darlington where it became Departmental stock as Dep 54 in October 1954.
It was withdrawn from service in July 1961 and purchased by the recently formed Middleton Railway in Leeds in September 1961.
The locomotive was quickly restored to working order and used for freight duties. One of the main benefits of the engine being that it could be steamed in as little as 45 minutes from cold.
As well as working on the Middleton Railway has made appearances at other heritage railways including the North Yorkshire Moors Railway where it hauled a Director’s saloon up the 1 in 49 between Grosmont and Goatland.
The locomotive was taken out of service in 1977.
The locomotive was overhauled in the 1980s and returned to traffic in July 1988 and operated until 1997 when it was withdrawn for its ten-year overhaul.
It has been out of service for some time undergoing an overhaul on the Middleton Railway.
During February 2017 the boiler passes a hydraulic test after major work had been completed at Israel Newton’s boiler works in Derbyshire. The mechanical work on the chain-driven chassis had by this time already been completed leaving only pipework to be finished off before 68153 could steam again. It is planned that it will be operating later in 2017 before the “Mainline to Industrial” gala which will be held on the Middleton Railway in September.
In August 2019 it was reported that the boiler work and pipework was complete and it was hoped that the locomotive would be back in steam soon.
In August 2019 it was reported that the boiler work and pipework was complete and it was hoped that the locomotive would be back in steam soon. In fact it was back in steam in October 2019 although there were still a number of jobs to be finished before it could enter service again at the start of the 2020 season.
The locomotive entered service again in September 2021.
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