Coalbrookdale No 5

Coalbrookdale 1865 5 Enginuity - July 2013.jpg

The information on this locomotive was kindly supplied by Joanne Smith who is the Museum Registrar at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.

Leading dimensions

  • Cylinders – 12inch x 15 inch
  • Wheels – 3 feet 0 inch
  • Weight – 12 tons

Coalbrookdale Locomotive No.5 is one of the six standard gauge 0-4-0 saddle tank locomotives built by the Coalbrookdale Company between 1864 and 1866, soon after the sidings had been laid into the Company’s works.  Two of these locomotives are believed to have gone to the Horsehay Works, and two to the Ebbw Vale Company in South Wales, which was owned by Abraham Darby IV.  The remaining two, numbers 5 and 6, were kept by the Company for shunting in the new sidings at the works.

No.5 was fitted with a new boiler by the Lilleshall Company in 1924 and survived at Coalbrookdale until the early 1930s, when it was sold to the Victoria Colliery Company, Wellington, to be cut up for scrap.  The Victoria Colliery Company was a firm of colliery plant dealers, and instead of scrapping No.5 they sent it on hire to work at Netherseal Colliery in Derbyshire.  No.5 was at Netherseal in August 1934, but it was later sold to Bardon Hill Quarries, Leicestershire, where it was still in use as a standby locomotive in 1944.  At some time after this, No.5 was taken out of service and stood in the open at Bardon until 1959.

A few days prior to the opening of the Coalbrookdale Works Museum in 1959, a member of the Manchester Locomotive Society visited the Works Manager at Coalbrookdale, Mr G.F. Williams, and informed him that the old Coalbrookdale No.5 had survived and was standing in a siding at Bardon Hill.  Mr Williams quickly succeeded in negotiating with the quarry owners for the return of the locomotive to Coalbrookdale on a long-term loan, and No.5 was duly brought back to its birthplace two days before the official opening of the Museum on 15 October 1959.

The boiler on this type of locomotive was of the `launch’ type, which was cheaper both to construct and maintain than the conventional locomotive boiler, and much used by the Royal Navy in small launches, etc. (hence its name).  Its application to railway locomotives was limited since the design of the firebox restricted the amount of air under the firebed, thereby reducing steam output, making it suitable only for shunting locomotives where steam demands were modest and intermittent.

The boiler carries two Salter spring balance safety valves on the dome casing, and on the backhead are a water gauge and two Gresham and Craven injectors.  The injectors were probably fitted when the locomotive was reboilered at Lilleshall in 1924, since this particular pattern of injector was not introduced until 1910, they cannot be original fittings.

Coalbrookdale 1865 5 Enginuity - July 2013.jpg N0 5 at Enginuity – July 2013

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