76079 was built at Horwich in February 1957 and entered service at Sutton Oak depot at St Helens.
The five representatives of the class based there were mainly used on freight duties, although one of the regular diagrams they worked took them from St Helens to Warrington and on to Chester with a local passenger service, working back home with the morning Hooton to Heaton Mersey freight empties.
In December 1960 76079 was noted as far south as Bristol (St Philips Marsh) but after having spent the night on Bath Road shed it returned north with a parcels train. This was a fairly unusual incident, and the 2-6-0 could more normally be found in the Liverpool area, in particular on the sand trains for Pilkingtons glass works at St Helens, although by mid-1965 it regularly travelled further afield with North Wales coal trains along the Chester to Holyhead line.
In June 1967, along with 76077, it moved to Wigan Springs Branch.
The duties at Wigan were mainly concerned with mineral and general goods traffic, but it only lasted on this work for six months, being withdrawn from service in December 1967.
It was sold to Woodham Brothers as scrap and arrived at the Barry scrapyard in September 1968 (along with 76077 and 76084). It remained at Barry until June 1974.
76079 was taken to Steamport, Southport in July 1974 and initially went on display as a static exhibit. Subsequently privately owned, it was moved to a site undercover in Liverpool where rebuilding was carried out.
It was then bought by Riley and Son(e) Ltd where it was fully restored in 1989 and was certified for main line working.
It was a busy engine, regularly performing on the Whitby Endevour for the North Yorshire Moors Railway and the summer season The Cambrian (2006-2009) operated by West Coast Railway Company. It is the only preserved member of the class to have worked on the main line.
It was then sold to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR).
After latest overhaul it returned to traffic on the NYMR in December 2014 with a main line certificate valid until 2024. The main line certificate is limited to working over Network Rail lines is limited to between Battersby and Whitby on the Esk Valley Line.
At the end of 2017 the driving wheels were removed and sent away for tyre turning. This follows the locomotive covering 17,000 miles on the NYMR during the year.
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