92220 Evening Star

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92220 was completed at Swindon, at a cost of £33,500, in March 1960 as the 999th and last steam locomotive built by BR. It was turned out in GWR green livery with a copper capped chimney and given the name Evening Star. As the last engine to be built it was earmarked for restoration as soon as it was built.

During its five year in service it achieved the notable feat in June 1960 of hauling the Red Dragon express at estimated speeds up to 90mph and did so whilst using less coal than a GWR Castle class or the rostered Standard Britannia class locomotive would have done.

In September 1962 92220 hauled the last ever Pines Express.

Towards the end of its working life on BR, 92220 was involved in a shunting accident at Cardiff East Dock and suffered damage to the front buffer beam. After this it was stored at Severn Junction depot until it went to Crewe Works.

The front end damage gave rise to theories that the engine actually preserved is not 92220 but there is no evidence to support this. The actual story appears to be that despite the fact that the locomotive was earmarked to join the National Collection when it was first built the fact that it had an accident at Pontypool Road which caused it to be withdrawn from service in March 1965. The curator of historical records refused to accept the locomotive in its damaged condition and was not prepared to pay for the repairs which were estimated to cost £1,029. The engine was then offered to Swindon Corporation but they declined the offer. Next a private sale was pursued with a Mr Snowden with an asking price of £4,000 but funds were not forthcoming. During this period the locomotive was in open storage but following the interest of a Mr Green in buying it the engine was moved to Crewe Works for inspection in November 1966. By this stage inflation had pushed the purchase cost and repairs to £14,000 and negotiations with the prospective buyer dragged on. At some stage Crewe Works undertook to restore and repair the locomotive for £10,000 whilst it remained in public ownership.

Motive power depot allocations.

Date ArrivedDepot
May 1960Cardiff Canton
July 1962Bath Green Park
September 1962Old Oak Common
October 1962Oxford
August 1963Bath Green park
October 1963Cardiff East Dock

92220 was transferred to Bath Green depot so that it could haul the last Pines Express train over the Somerset & Dorset line on 8th September 1963. In doing so it handled the heavy twelve coach train with ease. It also worked some local trains between Bournemouth and Bath around the same time.

The locomotive was withdrawn in March 1965 after five years in service and overhauled at Crewe. It was stored for a short while at the former Pullman Car workshops at Brighton before being loaned to the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway from July 1973 until May 1975 when the National Railway Musuem at York was completed.

It was subsequently based at the York from where it operated occasionally on the mainline. In 1989 it was loaned to the West Somerset Railway for the summer season.

92220 operated on many specials on BR tracks in the 1980s, but all 9Fs were subsequently banned from UK mainline tracks, as the flangeless centre driver caused problems with newer points.

In 1990 returned to Swindon where it went on static display whilst the York museum was refurbished.

Home BaseCurrent StatusOwner
National Railway Museum – YorkOn static displayNational Railway Museum NRM Object Number{1975-7024}
92220 Evening Star on Cardiff Canton shed – April 1961
92220 Evening Star at Newport – c1961
92220 Evening Star at Newport High Street – 1961 Photograph by Mike Macleur
92220 Evening Star on Gloucester Barnwood shed – July 1962
92220 Evening Star in Crewe Works – February 1963
92220 Evening Star on Bristol St Philips Marsh shed on the day the shed closed – June 1964
92220 Evening Star at Gloucester – July 1964
92220 Evening Star on Cardiff East Dock shed – July 1964
92220 Evening Star at Severn Tunnel Junction showing the damage to the buffer beam - November 1965.jpg
92220 Evening Star at Severn Tunnel Junction showing the damage to the buffer beam – November 1965
92220 Evening Star inside Crewe Works undergoing a heavy overhaul – January 1967
92220 Evening Star inside the new paint shop at Crewe Works – January 1967
92220 Evening Star at York - July 1978.jpg
92220 Evening Star at York – July 1978
92220 Evening Star at York - September 1983.jpg
92220 Evening Star at York – September 1983
92220 Evening Star on the Leeds to Harrogate leg of the Scarborough Spa Express – August 1984
92220 Evening Star in front of 60800 Green Arrow at Perth - April 1986.jpg
92220 Evening Star in front of 60800 Green Arrow at Perth – April 1986
92220 Evening Star at Minehead on the West Somerset Railway –
92220 Evening Star in the Steam Museum at Swindon – February 2010
92220 in the National Railway Museum at York – January 2016

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