80079 was built at Brighton in March 1954. It was based on the Eastern Region working on the London, Tilbury and Southend Line (LT&S) working commuter services out of London until that route was electrified in 1962.
Whilst based Tilbury 80097 was involved in an accident at Dagenham in which ten people were killed when the train it was hauling failed to stop at a danger signal in fog and ran into the back of another train. (See details in Accidents and Incidents under 4MT 80000-154)
Motive power depot allocations.
|July 1962||Croes Newydd|
It was withdrawn from service in July 1965 whilst based at Croes Newydd which by this time was a London Midland Region after being transferred to the London Midland from the Western Region in September 1963.
80079 was then sold for scrap to Woodham Brothers at Barry. It arrived at Barry in January 1966 and stayed there until May 1971 when it was moved to Bridgnorth following its purchased by funds raised by Severn Valley Railway members. Fouteen members of the class were sent to Barry to be cut up and 80079 was the first to leave. Not surprisingly it was considered to be in the best condition of the Standard class 4 tanks at Barry at the time of its purchase.
After restoration 80079 returned to service in 1977 on the Severn Valley Railway.
80079 has made a significant number of appearances on the main line. It first ran on the main line in April 1980 when it double headed a train from Hereford to Manchester Victoria along with Stanier Black Five 5000. It performed a few more until 1983 when it hauled a train from Hereford to Newport and back along with Ivatt 2-6-0 43106.
It also took part in the Rocket 150 celebrations in May 1980.
After a gap of ten years it returned to main line activity in May 1993 when it hauled a number of trains in the Carmarthen and Swansea areas.
In 1994 80079 joined up with 80080 to work a number of steam specials including a run over the Cambrian Coast Line. One notable incident was when 80080 with 80079 banking from the rear worked the climb up the 1 in 37 to Exeter Central. When near to the summit, 80080 lost its footing on the climb and stalled the train. The resulted continuous wheelspin from 80080 resulted in damage to both the track and the locomotive. It was only after the crew had hand-sanded the rails for both engines that they managed to get the train over the summit past Exeter Central.
In 1998, 80079 became the first steam locomotive to work a steam special down the Conwy Valley Line to Blaenau Ffestiniog since 1967. On the first run however, 80079 stalled near Pony Y Pant with six coaches, and as a result, a second attempt was made with only four coaches, which was successful.
80079 returned to Blaenau in 1999 with 80098. Despite only hauling 4 coaches 80079 again stalled near Pony Y Pant, resulting in assistance being given from 80098., which had been waiting at Llanwrst with the second portion of the train. 80098. was therefore uncoupled, ran light engine up to Pont Y Pant, and helped bank the first portion up to Blaenau. The pair then returned to Llanwrst for the other four coaches, which they double headed up to Blaenau. The train was then reformed to eight coaches, and the combined service returned to Llandudno Junction in the dark.
The last main line activity undertaken by 80079 was in December 1999 when it provided banking assistance to Stanier Black Five 45110 on the Lickey Incline.
Since 2002 has been out of service and during its period of inactively it spent two years on display at Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Swindon.
In 2002 the Passenger Tank Fund who owned the locomotive sold it to Jeremy Hosking for £250,000. 80079 is currently on static display in the Engine House at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) and it is planned that the locomotive will be overhauled at Bridgnorth and return to steam on the SVR.
|Home Base||Current Status||Owner|
|Severn Valley Railway||On static display in the Engine House at Highley||Jeremy Hosking|
|80079 in front of 80135 at Woodham’s scrapyard in Barry – July 1968|
|80079 crossing Folkestone Harbour – 1994|
|80079 at Leigh on Sea – May 1999|
|80079 on static display in the Engine House at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway|