68153 (LNER 59, LNER 8153, BR 68153 & Dept 54)

Sentinel 8837 at the Middleton railway - June 1990.jpg

68153 was built by Sentinel (Shrewsbury) Ltd in December 1933 (Works No 8837) 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.

At nationalisation in 1948 it was based at Darlington Geneve Permanent Way yard where it was based for many years. In October 1954 it was renumbered in Departmental stock as Dep 54.

It was withdrawn from service in July 1961 and purchased by the Middleton Railway in Leeds which had opened the previous year.

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The locomotive was overhauled in the 1980s and returned to traffic in July 1988 and operated until 1997 when it was withdrawn for its ten-year overhaul.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.

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Middleton RailwayUnder overhaulMiddleton Railway
68153 behind Bagnall 0-4-0st 2702 at the Middleton Railway – July 1966
Sentinel 8837 at the Middleton railway - June 1990.jpg
68153 (8837) at the Middleton Railway – June 1990

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